Jan 16, 2020

"Phase one" trade deal could spur Chinese purchases of U.S. energy

Ben Geman, author of Generate

The newly inked "phase one" U.S.-China trade deal calls for China to boost purchases of U.S. energy products — including crude oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) — by $52.4 billion over the next two years.

Why it matters: China is the world's largest oil importer and second-largest LNG consumer.

But, but, but: S&P Global Platts notes that it "could spur more commercial activity for American liquefaction projects, but much will depend on the fate of existing LNG tariffs."

  • They note that no U.S. LNG cargoes have gone to China since March.

The big picture: "Most of the purchases China committed to making are in 2021, so any recurrence of tensions could undercut the deal," the New York Times reports.

  • "More important, executives noted, China made no explicit pledge to eliminate tariffs on energy imports — 5 percent on crude oil and 25 percent on liquefied natural gas — which they viewed as a response to the administration’s refusal to remove tariffs on Chinese goods."

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Protesters on Tuesday evening by the metal fence recently erected outside the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday night across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse for mostly after curfews were in force in cities including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland — where police used pepper spray and flash bangs on a group throwing projectiles at them during an "unlawful assembly," per KATU. Portland police said this group was separate to the thousands of demonstrators who protested peacefully elsewhere in the city.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Iowa Rep. Steve King defeated in GOP primary

Rep. Steve King. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

State Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in Tuesday's Republican primary for Iowa's 4th congressional district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.