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Trade dispute could hurt Houston
Last Updated: 2018-06-21 08:07 | China Daily
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Houston's exports to China have been growing more than 26 percent each year for the last five years, in part because of the increasing amount of oil sent to China. But the current trade spat with the US could interrupt that growth and hurt the city, says the president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership.

"We are not only looking at crude oil but also refined products, more importantly, liquefied natural gas. China has announced its strategy to shift energy consumption from coal to gas. There are a lot of opportunities for Houston to strengthen that relationship with China. That could be upset by the dispute," said Bob Harvey.

Harvey discussed the issue with China Daily on Tuesday at a spinoff event of Select USA. A group of Chinese officials and business executives, led by Lu Jian, division chief at the Department of Commerce of Jiangsu province, met with local business leaders to exchange information and seek opportunities for cooperation.

Harvey said that in the last two years oil production in Texas has been growing, making the state the leading crude oil producer and exporter in the US.

US exports of crude oil to China reached more than 18 million barrels in March, up from more than 15 million in January, according to the US Energy Information Agency. At the current price of around $75 a barrel, that translates to about $1 billion a month.

When the Trump administration last week announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, China immediately retaliated by imposing equal tariffs on US products worth $50 billion, including oil.

Harvey sees the current situation as tit-for-tat posturing and positioning by both sides. He warned that continuous posturing can result in real damage to both sides.

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