U.S. gas is under threat as a trade war with China escalates.
China may target American liquefied natural gas in retaliation for a fresh round of duties announced Monday by the U.S. While the Asian nation last month said it was considering a 25 percent tariff on the fuel, it hadn’t yet provided any details when it vowed Tuesday to take new action.
The move would be a setback for a burgeoning energy relationship that was on track to be a boon for both economies. The move would also add new pressure on the U.S. LNG industry, which is competing with Russia, Australia and Qatar for market share in China, the world’s biggest gas buyer. Just last year, U.S. officials were courting Chinese companies to invest in new export projects.
The tariffs would signal how much pain Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump are willing to endure not to back down from a trade fight. Trump risks stifling the U.S. gas export industry, which is seeking an estimated $139 billion to fund more than a dozen projects, while Xi threatens to raise the cost of his drive to eliminate smog by burning less coal.
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