CEO of Cheniere, which does nat gas business in China, says he’d hate to see a trade war

  • Cheniere Energy CEO Jack Fusco believes the company's deal with China is just the beginning of a long-term relationship.
  • He says as an American, he would hate to see any type of a long-term trade war with any of his customers or counterparties.

Cheniere Energy CEO Jack Fusco told CNBC on Tuesday that he'd hate to see a trade war, but he doesn't expect President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs to really hurt the company's bottom line.

Trump announced last week that the U.S. will enact tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

"We're just wrapping up a $30 billion construction effort. So we don't think it's going to have a meaningful impact on our business," Fusco said in an interview on "Power Lunch" from IHS Markit's CERAWeek conference in Houston.

"Just as an American though, I would hate to see any type of a long-term trade war with any of our customers or counterparties," he added.

In February, Cheniere Energy announced it had signed the first-ever long-term deal between an American natural gas exporter and a Chinese state-owned energy company.

Fusco told CNBC on Tuesday that the company has spent the past year and half working with China on its air-quality issues and has multiple contracts in place.

"We believe it's just the beginning of a long-term relationship and we're trying to help both countries have a better relationship," he said.

China is the fastest-growing market for LNG, a super-cooled form of the fuel that allows it to be shipped overseas in liquid form. The country, which has notoriously bad air quality, is trying to reduce its use of coal.

"In China, we saw a 50 percent year-over-year increase in LNG demand," Fusco said. "We're providing a very competitive, affordable, reliable opportunity for them to get to a cleaner burning fuel source."

Cheniere also just sent its first LNG shipment to India.

— CNBC's Tom DiChristopher contributed to this report.

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