REUTERS: Trump looks to lift LNG exports in US trade shift




June 23, 2017 | By: Barney Jopson, Demetri Sevastopulo and Ed Crooks.

Donald Trump is engineering a sharp shift in US energy policy by using natural gas exports as an instrument of trade policy, championing sales to China and other parts of Asia to create jobs and reduce US trade deficits.

In a bid to unleash US energy, Mr Trump is trying to promote more liquefied natural gas exports to Asia while extending Barack Obama’s efforts to use LNG as a geopolitical weapon in Europe aimed at Russia.

The goal of the push is to help US LNG companies land sales contracts in energy-hungry nations across Asia, including Japan and India.

“Mr Trump is not afraid to brag about the industry,” said Mr Souki.

When Mr Trump visits Warsaw in July before the G20, he is expected to tout the first Cheniere shipment of LNG to Poland, which arrived recently and has been billed as proof of the US’s ability to reduce eastern Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas. But the most obvious shift in the US stance came during negotiations with China in which the US provided an explicit guarantee that Beijing wanted in order to entertain contracts with US companies. The Trump administration hopes the move will spur LNG exports to China and help address the $300bn trade deficit the US has with the country.

Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary, and Rick Perry, energy secretary, have both in recent weeks stressed the Trump administration’s desire to help find Chinese buyers for American LNG, shipped from multibillion-dollar terminals being built along the US Gulf coast.

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