U.S. energy exports will compete directly with Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to deliver natural gas via Germany. Trump said Monday.
`We will be competing when you talk about the pipeline.“ Trump said during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin following a meeting between the two leaders in Helsinki.
President Trump made headlines last week when he accused Germany of being a `captive` of Russian energy because of the pipeline.
Trump noted that the U.S. is now the “largest“ producer of oil and natural gas in the world. underscoring the relationship of the two countries as competitors in the global energy market.
“I called him a competitor.` Trump said. `And a good competitor he is. The word competitor is a compliment.“ he added.
“I think we will compete successfully. although there is a little advantage locationally. So. I wish them luck.“ Trump said.
“Germany. as far I’m concerned. is captive to Russia.“ Trump had said in Brussels last week. in criticizing the decision this spring to go ahead with the pipeline. which directly connects Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. “So we’re supposed to protect Germany. but they’re getting their energy from Russia.“
On Monday. Trump softened his tone a bit. saying “I am not so sure that it`s in the best interest of Germany or not. but that was a decision that they made.“
Trump has been actively pushing for European countries to diversify their energy supplies away from Russia and toward the United States when it comes to natural gas.
The Trump administration has voiced public opposition to Russia’s construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline for months. The U.S. president’s message to European leaders visiting Washington in recent weeks has been about “energy diversification.“
Now that the U.S. is a net natural gas exporter. Trump wants to increase energy exports. But at the same time. his push for more energy exports could be undermined by the pushback he is receiving from countries retaliating against the tariffs he has recently imposed.
The United States launched separate disputes at the World Trade Organization on Monday against China. the European Union. Canada. Mexico. and Turkey.
“The actions taken by the president are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules.“ said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
“Instead of working with us to address a common problem. some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers. farmers and companies.“