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The LNG storage facility for China Resource Gas in Xiangyang. Photo: Wang Hu/VCG

Liquified natural gas (LNG) is on the list of products targeted by planned retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods announced by China on Friday morning, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Hitting U.S. LNG exports is one of China's "last major weapons from its energy and commodities arsenal" in the escalating trade war with President Donald Trump, they report.

The big picture: China is an important destination for the expanding U.S. LNG industry. Last year it was the third-largest buyer of U.S. cargoes, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

  • Companies like Cheniere Energy have been exploring opening additional terminals in China for shipment, Bloomberg reports; this development leaves "[b]illions of U.S. dollars" in question.
  • Other products included in China's planned tariffs are beef, coffee, some aircraft, and more.

Go deeper: China will soon be the world's largest natural gas importer.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
53 mins ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.