Trump's Saudi Oil Ban Is An 'Empty Threat'

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Donald Trump’s energy plan may not actually include independence from Saudi oil. According to Reuters analyst John Kemp, Trump’s promise to restrict Saudi oil imports is an “empty threat.”

“Trump is first and foremost a showman and impresario rather than a policy wonk,” Kemp wrote last week. “Much of what he said on the campaign trail was intended to mobilize support rather than provide a detailed program for government.”

Trump Didn’t Mean What He Said

Kemp pointed out that Trump supporter Peter Thiel said back in October that Trump wasn’t actually serious about a potential import ban on Saudi oil.

“At his heart, President-elect Trump will see the benefits and I think the oil industry will also be advising him accordingly that blocking trade in any product is not healthy,” Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said last week.

Earlier this year, Trump called for “complete American independence” from “our foes and the oil cartels.”

As of this summer, the United States was importing roughly 3.4 million barrels of OPEC oil per day.

Kemp speculates that oil majors like Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) would strongly resist new legislation restricting their sources of crude oil in the international market.

The United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NYSE: USO) is up 1.4 percent since Election Day.

Image Credit: By Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons