WV’s Thrasher Says Tariffs “Shouldn’t” Derail China Shale Investment

West Virginia Secretary of Commerce, Woody Thrasher, once again addressed the issue of an ongoing trade war with China at yesterday’s West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) conference at Oglebay Park. Last November Thrasher signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government, an agreement in which the Chinese pledged to spend $83.7 billion over the next 20 years in WV’s shale and petrochemical sectors (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). So far, six months later, not one red yuan has been invested. And since that time, a trade war has erupted. President Trump told a number of countries, including China, that the U.S. has had enough of being screwed over in trade deals. It’s time to emphasize “fair” instead of “free” when it comes to trade. China (and other countries) have a history of “dumping” steel in our country–selling it at far below the cost of producing it. Such practices result in our steel companies closing their doors, sometimes permanently. Later on, when a country has the market cornered, the price goes up. Trump recently slapped China with a 25% steel tariff and 10% aluminum tariff. China isn’t happy. The question becomes: Will China use their promised $83.7 billion investment in WV as a bargaining chip in the trade war? Will China slow, or even cancel, their investments in WV’s shale industry? Back in April Thrasher, at another industry event, said he doesn’t think so (see WV’s Thrasher “Hopeful” First Chinese Project Announcement Soon). At yesterday’s WVONGA event, Thrasher reiterated that he believes there will be a flurry of announcements “soon” about the first projects China will invest in, and that China will not cancel their promised WV investments…

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