"WASHINGTON — On Sunday, thanks to a consortium of investigative journalists, the public learned that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross never fully divested himself of ownership in a big global shipping company — one with ties to Russia’s rulers — when he joined President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
But new reporting by NBC News shows that Ross’ potential conflicts of interest go even further. The shipping company’s own documents suggest that Ross’ company may benefit from an important initiative that he has led as commerce secretary: securing a trade agreement with China to increase U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The shipping company in which Ross' financial partnerships still have a 31 percent stake, Navigator Holdings, exports a different energy product, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). But Navigator’s own statements, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, say that when there’s a global expansion in LNG production facilities, that benefits the trade in LPG. That in turn could help Navigator’s bottom line, and thus Ross himself."