President Donald Trump pressed for even more U.S. LNG exports to Europe via a pipeline as he stood with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House on Monday.
Trump was responding to a reporter’s question in the leaders’ joint press conference when he reaffirmed that the U.S. would be keeping sanctions on Russia.
The U.S. president then addressed the reporter’s question regarding the Trans Adriatic (TAPI) gas pipeline.
“As far as a pipeline is concerned, I’d like to see a competing pipeline,” said Trump who then addressed Conte. “So, Mr. Prime Minister, I hope you’re going to be able to do that competing pipeline.”
“And we are already talking to the European Union about building anywhere from 9 to 11 ports, which they will pay for, so that we can ship our LNG over to various parts of Europe. And that will be more competition,” Trump added.
Just last week Trump hosted European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker for trade talks. The two came to agreement to seek a trade agreement that includes a zero tariffs.
At the recent NATO meetings in Brussels, president Trump made known to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg his national security concerns over the Russian gas pipeline to Germany, the Nord Stream II pipeline. He raised concern over Germany’s payments to Russia for the pipeline and partial dependence on Russia as an energy source while NATO spends money to defend against Russia. Trump also discussed the pipeline with German Prime Minister Angela Merkel at the NATO summit.
Trump expressed at a Helsinki, Finland press conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. would be competing with the Nord Stream II pipeline to export U.S. LNG gas to Europe. Trump said the U.S. was or soon would be the “largest in the oil and gas world.” He added, “So we’re gonna be selling LNG, and we’ll have to be competing with the pipeline. And I think we’ll compete successfully, although there is a little advantage locationally.”
At a July 2017 summit in Warsaw, Poland, Trump spoke to leaders of the 12 Three Seas nations. There he spoke of the first shipment of U.S. LNG to Poland just the month prior. President Trump pledged at the meeting, “Let me be very clear about one crucial point: The United States will never use energy to coerce your nations, and we cannot allow others to do so.”