Merkel moves to open up Germany to US gas imports after Trump's push: report

Merkel moves to open up Germany to US gas imports after Trump's push: report
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making a move to open up Germany's market to U.S. gas companies, following a lobbying push from President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Merkel told a group of lawmakers over breakfast in October that her government will co-finance a $576 million liquified natural gas (LNG) shipping terminal in northern Germany, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the meeting.

The project had been stalled for years, but Trump has lobbied hard for Europe to increase LNG purchases from the U.S. while reducing their reliance on Russia.

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Germany gets most of its gas from Russia, and American efforts to open its market to U.S. companies has stalled due to lack of government support.

Merkel told lawmakers that the decision to co-finance the LNG terminal was "strategic" and could pay off in the long term, people familiar with the meeting told the Journal.

A German government spokesman told the Journal that the move was made because of Germany's economic interests, not U.S. pressure.

Less than a week after the reported Merkel meeting with lawmakers, an international consortium filed its first official bid for government financing for a terminal in a town near Hamburg.

Merkel said in her conversation with lawmakers that the government support for the terminal will likely have to continue for the long term and that the terminal will likely not break even for at least 10 years.

“We’re creating jobs and we’re also deepening the trans-Atlantic relationship," Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, told the Journal. "The U.S. is totally committed to bringing U.S. LNG to Europe and to Germany."