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U.S. trade and energy policies have created a “double standard”, with Europe left paying higher prices for its natural gas, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.
France, the latest—and largest--country to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty, has switched from being a net exporter of energy last year, to being a net importer of energy this year, after problems with its nuclear fleet surfaced.
To compensate for its declining nuclear fleet and Russia’s complete halt of natural gas shipments into the country, France has turned to the United States for LNG—only Macron is unhappy with the price it’s paying.
U.S. natural gas exports to France increased 421% during the first eight months of 2022—but the value of that LNG increased by 1094% in August alone due to the higher prices of LNG.
“The North American economy is making choices for the sake of attractiveness, which I respect, but they create a double standard,” Macron explained at a Brussels news conference on Friday, with the United States enjoying low energy prices at home, while exporting at record prices.
“In addition, they allow state aid going to up to 80% on some sectors while it’s banned here -- you get a double standard. It comes down to the sincerity of transatlantic trade,” Macron added, after earlier in the week referring to both the United States and Norway as those who are reaping “the real superprofits,” in what Macron calls benefiting from “geopolitcal war unearned income.”
With ties already strained over the previously botched nuclear deal between France and the United States, Macron is scheduled to visit the United States in early December, and the subject of energy is likely to be a prime focus.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.