Access to the Chinese market for US LNG exporters could be set to improve, following the Mar-a-Lago summit between US President Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping.
At the meeting to advance US –China economic cooperation in April 2017, the two leaders agreed on a 100 day action plan under the framework of the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Initial commitments under the new plan have now been agreed, according to a statement from the US Department of the Treasury.
“Under the leadership of the co-chairs, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross of the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang of China, both nations have negotiated intensively to make progress on key issues. The three co-chairs reached consensus on initial commitments under the 100-day plan and objectives for next steps.”
The agreement on LNG is one of ten initial actions announced by the US government.
“The United States welcomes China, as well as any of our trading partners, to receive imports of LNG from the United States. The United States treats China no less favourably than other non-FTA trade partners with regard to LNG export authorisations”, states the factsheet announcing the initial actions of the 100 day plan.
“Companies from China may proceed at any time to negotiate all types of contractual arrangement with U.S. LNG exporters, including long-term contracts, subject to the commercial considerations of the parties.”
According to S&P Global Platts, China first imported LNG from a US supplier in 2016. The country is set to increase its imports of natural gas dramatically by 2020, from 25 million mt in 2016, to more than 40 million mt.