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A new twist in oil trade: Alaska-Japan, Mexico-US

The United States and Japan will discuss a plan to exchange Alaskan oil for Japan-bound Mexican crude to save on the high cost of transporting North Slope oil to the East Coast and reduce Japan's reliance on its Mideast suppliers, officials announced.

the White House agreed to the plan after apparently gathering enough congressional support to amend the 1977 Export Control Act. The act monitors natural resource exports like oil, the export of which could harm US oil interests, because the country already imports 40 percent of its oil.

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