Trump Threatens Oil Tariffs

CBJ — U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on oil imports as a means of protecting American energy workers.

Oil prices have plummeted over the past year and it’s been made infinitely worse since Russia and Saudi Arabia began drilling more barrels per day in spite of the fact there is already an over-supply on the market.

“If I have to do tariffs on oil coming from outside or if I have to do something to protect our … tens of thousands of energy workers and our great companies that produce all these jobs, I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Trump said.

The U.S. became the world’s biggest oil producer over the last several years when it decided it wanted to be energy self-sufficient. America has always had enough of its own oil but in the past it preferred using imported oil, which was cheaper than producing domestically.  However, prices kept surging to the point a barrel of oil hit $115. That is when the U.S. started to expand its fracking opportunities.

Many American energy companies are heavily leveraged with some facing bankruptcies, or at the very least having many workers laid off.

However, limiting oil imports would put a crimp on petroleum refineries in the U.S., which depend on imports with not enough domestic crude to keep them all in business.

The United States imported more 1 million barrels per day of oil from Russia and Saudi Arabia combined in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

OPEC and Russia were to have met on April 6 to discuss a ceasefire and cut oil output.  The meeting has been delayed until April 9.