China Threatens U.S. Shale Oil & Gas with Prospect of Tariffs

We don’t know how many times we have to say it (have said it for years, continue to say it): The Chinese are not America’s friends. They are our enemies. We tend to forget it because we love our iPhones and other electronics built by Chinese children. We’ve become far too cozy, too comfortable, in trusting that China will not do anything to harm America for fear of ending their gravy train. When President Trump wisely slapped tariffs on China in retaliation for their THEFT of our companies’ intellectual property and knock-off goods, China felt the need to respond. Part of that response is proposed tariffs on liquefied petroleum gas (i.e propane), and petrochemical products. The not-so-subtle threat is that they may add oil and LNG to the list. Since China imports more U.S. LNG than any other country, a tariff would definitely hurt. Ditto for oil. We currently export 435,000 barrels a day of oil to China. If that oil flow were suddenly shut down, it would have a dramatic impact on the price of oil here at home (sending West Texas Intermediate into the basement again). Meanwhile, West Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce, Woody Thrasher, says he “hopes” all this trade war stuff won’t affect China’s announced $83.7 billion investment in WV, an investment in shale and petrochemicals. The trade situation with China is high stakes stuff. We’re just glad the guy who wrote The Art of the Deal is the one playing a necessary game of chicken with China…

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