The natural gas, which is the cleanest fossil fuel with the fastest growing use, has been stuck in an unusual corner of the trade war between the two largest economies in the world.
When Washington introduced sanctions on Chinese goods for 34 billion USD last month, Beijing responded with its own measures that included levies on imports of natural gas through pipelines from the United States. In the new list of Chinese goods for 200 billion USD, which will have higher tariffs, the US also included LNG from China.
This is not a surprise in itself, but the two countries do not trade such goods each other.
China is the second largest LNG importer in the world and does not have the necessary export facilities. But even if Beijing had similar plants, the US can not export “blue fuel” to China through pipelines.
However, natural gas is not the only commodity that is involved in the trade conflict between the US and China without a reason. For example, Washington has included in its list the live trout, although it has not been imported from China since 1992.
The list of the US President Donald Trump includes both portable radios and cassette player that have not been imported since at least 2006.
The US also imposes higher tariffs on electricity from China, although the lack of a Trans-Pacific electricity grid is a sufficiently obvious cause for the lack of imports.