API Chief Economist, John Felmy, has said that the final US trade report for last year demonstrates the power of US oil and natural gas production to drive economic gains, a trend that could accelerate under free trade policies. From 2013 – 2014, imports fell by US$35.6 billion while exports rose by US$8.1 billion among petroleum and petroleum products.
Felmy said, “the US energy revolution has transformed our trade balance, both in terms of driving down imports and driving up exports. We’re importing less oil than at any time in nearly 30 years, consumers are saving billions on energy, and tens of thousands of US workers have jobs producing petroleum and petroleum products for export. Growth in the US oil and natural gas industry served as the central pillar of US strength in the international market last year, helping to offset categories of trade where US businesses got lost.
“Unfortunately, there’s a limit to how much we can grow as an energy superpower if US oil and natural gas producers aren’t able to access the global market. We have every reason to protect and accelerate America’s growth by lifting outdated export restrictions. Our competitors overseas recognise that energy exports are a source of economic strength, and they are working to protect their market share. For the US to grow as an energy leader, policymakers must embrace free trade, accelerate permits to export to export LNG, and lift 1970s restrictions on crude oil.
“Study after study shows that free trade in crude oil will mean more jobs, downward pressure on fuel costs, and could reduce the power that foreign supplies have over our allies overseas. If we act now, these benefits could be just the beginning.”
Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd