The US government is setting up to deal OPEC the death blow. Legislation that aims to prevent OPEC from working with other countries to coordinate production and controlling oil prices in the process, has just passed the House Judiciary Committee. The question now is how much support will this bill get from President Donald Trump. Despite opposing attacks directly on OPEC, note they are called “NOPEC” bills, he has verbally lambasted OPEC recently as a questionable entity.
The US government is weighing in now. The Trump Administration is saying that it does “not support market distorting behavior, including cartels.” This was according to Reuters reports on CNBC, 8 February, 2019.
The US is now putting together legislation that aims to prevent the 14-nation OPEC from coordinating production and influencing oil prices. This bill is now moving forward and advancing on Capitol Hill. One senior member, according to sources, of the Trump White House is getting behind this bill and giving it strong support. Trump will likely weigh in at a later date.
Bills were presented by both Democrats and Republicans in the past, these laws would allow the US Justice Department to sue oil producers for antitrust violations by stripping foreign actors of sovereign immunity protections. Clearly the OPEC members are now a direct competitor of the United States – have a look at our previous articles discussing the US oil industry and the massive boost it was getting from shale production.
More on this topic in the future.