American Ethane Co., an international exporter of liquid ethane, is expected to enter into a $26 billion contract with the Nanshan Group in China at a signing ceremony in Beijing on Thursday to be witnessed by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In June, AEC negotiated the $26 billion, 20-year agreement to deliver ethane gas from a terminal it's developing on the Texas Gulf Coast to a new ethylene plant in China to be built by the Nanshan Group.

New Orleans attorney John Houghtaling, CEO of American Ethane, said the economic value of the gas sale will exceed $26 billion with several billion dollars more of infrastructure being built in the U.S. and China, creating thousands of jobs in both countries. Construction of the terminal will be coordinated with infrastructure in China and is expected to start in early 2018 with completion by 2020.

Houghtaling also is managing partner and majority owner of Metairie-based Gauthier, Houghtaling LLP.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that U.S. and Chinese companies signed business deals the two sides valued at $9 billion in a ceremony attended by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. China's biggest online retailer said it pledged to buy $1.2 billion of American beef and pork but no other details of the 19 agreements signed Wednesday were released.