EU woos Trump with potential import of U.S soybeans and U.S. LNG

The EU’s strategic decision to publish historic trade data is a message to Trump: let us work and trade competitively rather than fight bashful wars. Tariff-free trade can be a win-win situation for both economies.

On Thursday, the European Union stated although the bloc was committed to buying more U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) it wants prices to be more competitive.

EU’s chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker has agreed to boost the import of U.S. soybeans and LNG to the bloc while urging him to drop the new tariffs.

The import of U.S. LNG will help the EU diversify its LNG import 40% of which is got currently from Russia. However, EU officials are quick to point out that, whether the import of U.S. LNG will materially impact the LNG market in the bloc will depend on market forces.

“The growing exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas, if priced competitively, could play an increasing and strategic role in EU gas supply,” said Juncker in a statement.

He continued to add, “But the U.S. needs to play its role in doing away with red tape restrictions,” in reference to U.S. rules that require regulatory approval for LNG exports to Europe.

Ever since the EU has started importing U.S. LNG in 2016, cumulative imports to the bloc have touched 2.8 billion cubic meters, said the EU on Thursday.

In 2017, Europe accounted for more than 10% of all U.S. LNG exports, up from 5% from the previous year.

France, Spain, and Italy are the largest of nine EU member states purchasing U.S. gas.

Last month, Trump had tweeted that the EU would “be buying vast amounts of LNG” while Juncker had said the EU would be building more terminals to handle U.S. LNG.

Incidentally, three-quarters of Europe’s existing import facilities lie empty while demand for U.S. LNG on the continent remains limited.

The most lucrative markets for U.S. LNG are in India, South and Central America, and the Far East, with Europe near the bottom of the pile given its relatively low prices and ample supplies of gas via pipelines from Russia and Norway.

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