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Trump renews his criticism of OPEC for 'too high' oil prices

President Donald Trump speaks during an event on tax policy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 12, 2018. Bloomberg photo by Al Drago

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump took fresh aim at the OPEC oil cartel on Wednesday, June 13.

"Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!" the president wrote on Twitter.

His tweet comes in advance of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia planned for June 22 in Vienna to discuss easing supply caps that have been in place since the beginning of 2017.

In April, Trump also blasted OPEC on Twitter, accusing the group of "artificially" raising oil prices.

"Looks like OPEC is at it again," Trump said in an April 20 tweet. "With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!"

Shortly after Trump's tweet on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., took to Twitter to respond.

"Glad you noticed. We wrote you last month asking for action," Schumer said, including a copy of a letter in which he and three other Democratic senators called on Trump "to use all of your authority" to pressure OPEC to increase world oil supplies.

In the letter, the senators said a run-up in oil prices is "effectively a tax on every American family's discretionary budget" since the price of oil directly affects the price of gasoline.

OPEC is a group of 14 nations that seeks to coordinate oil production and greatly influence oil prices.

U.S. ally Saudi Arabia remains OPEC's most powerful member - with enough production capacity to manipulate global supplies. Unity within OPEC has been strained, as some members such as Iran have pumped greater supply into the market.

Since early in 2017, however, OPEC has coordinated with Russia, another oil-exporting country that is not an OPEC member, to try to regulate global supplies.

Trump's latest tweet on OPEC came shortly after he returned to the White House from a summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. After landing Wednesday morning, Trump fired off tweets on various subjects, including the summit.

 

Story by John Wagner. Wagner is a national reporter who leads The Post's new breaking political news team. He previously covered the Trump White House. During the 2016 presidential election, he focused on the Democratic campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. He also chronicled Maryland government for more than a decade.
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