Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts A Closer Look at the Trump and Juncker Agreement

A Closer Look at the Trump and Juncker Agreement

Kleinman Center for Energy and Policy

Last week, in an effort to prevent a possible trade war over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, the President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker met in Washington with U.S. President Donald Trump. They struck an agreement about Europe buying more U.S. LNG. But as noted by many analysts, neither side can really make this happen.

The agreement includes very few details: Juncker committed Europe to significantly increase their volume of U.S. LNG imports, while Trump agreed to send more. Yet neither person making the promises has much influence on fulfilling them. The LNG that originates from U.S. coasts does not belong to the U.S. government but to profit-seeking private companies. The U.S. government can encourage LNG production—by providing a hospitable regulatory and legal environment—but it cannot force companies to send products to a specific region or country.

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