The United States would violate global trade rules and damage its credibility if it decides to subsidize steel, chemical and other manufacturers by restricting exports of liquefied natural gas after years of pressing other countries like China to drop restrictions on natural resource exports, experts said.

"It would be hypocritical and contrary to WTO rules for the United States to impose restraints on the export of LNG while permitting unfettered domestic consumption of natural gas," said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who recently wrote about the issue for the think tank.

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