“The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!” Trump said, adding that countries in the Middle East would not be “safe for very long” without protection from the United States.
“The reality is the market is tight because Iranian sanctions are forcing countries to find alternatives,” said Ben Cook, portfolio manager at BP Capital Fund Advisors.
In his latest attack, Trump slammed OPEC as a “monopoly.” Yet OPEC is considered an international cartel, not a true monopoly, because it does not have exclusive control of oil.
The milestone was made possible in large part by higher oil prices, which allowed America’s shale oil producers to ramp up output.
In any case, it’s clear the oil market has caught Trump in an awkward spot between his pro-business instincts and his populist tendencies.
Pro-business Trump has been slashing environmental regulations and pushing for American energy “dominance” — an outcome that requires higher prices.
“Midterm elections are coming up and high oil prices are bad PR for the party heading into the election,” said Cook.
Trump’s latest attack on OPEC accurately highlighted the American military presence in the Middle East.