US President Donald Trump has accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) of “monopoly” and raising oil prices on Wednesday.
“The OPEC monopoly must remember that the price of gasoline is rising and they are doing little to help. Instead, prices are rising at a time when the United States defends many of its members for a little $. a two-way street, REDUCE PRICES NOW!” Trump wrote in his Twitter account.
The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2018
It is not the first time that OPEC has been criticized by Trump in recent weeks. With November’s legislative elections approaching, increases in gasoline prices may create an election problem for the Republican president.
On Saturday, Trump said on Twitter that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase its oil output to offset “turmoil and dysfunction” in Venezuela and Iran.
“I just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that because of the turmoil in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, perhaps as much as 2 million barrels a day, to make up the difference … Prices on high! He agreed!” said the president.
Saudi Arabia, however, later denied Trump’s version.
“Leaving aside the fact that Saudi Arabia does not have the capacity to strengthen its production, this demand could be inferred as an order for the kingdom to leave OPEC,” said Iranian representative Hossein Kazempour Ardebili as quoted by the Shana news agency.
The president of the United States is also pressuring his European allies to stop buying oil from Iran.
Two weeks ago, OPEC countries and other major oil producers that participated in the Vienna cut-off agreement in 2016 agreed to increase oil production to 1 million barrels per day, the agreement’s excess volume of compliance.
OPEC countries and other major oil producers reached an agreement at the end of 2016 to reduce oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day compared to October 2016. The agreement, aimed at boosting fuel prices fossil, has been extended twice and is expected to last until the end of this year.