Why Trump is Cozying up to Saudi Arabia

Trump’s fair deal tactics are numerous. 

Saudi Arabia has become the biggest fan of President Trump’s pro-fossil fuels energy plan. The US-Saudi joint energy strategy was posted on Trump’s Inauguration Day, outlining it in the “America First Energy Plan”. The plan outlines the need for supporting increased domestic energy development, while at the same time working with US’s Gulf allies to create a positive energy relationship as part of the counter-terrorism strategy. President Trump aims at making the oil-rich kingdom a key strategic ally for combating terrorism and energy security.

Through the deal, Trump completely reversed the course in favour of the Saudi royals. He accorded them a huge publicity promotion besides a highly sought-after U.S commitment to elevate and bolster bilateral relations. After the eight contentious years of Obama’s presidency, the Saudi hailed president Trump’s action as a “historical turning point” in US-Saudi relations. Trump’s policies have been appreciated for being realistic, and not being quite diametrically opposite to Obama’s policies. Energy experts in Washington were against Obama’s energy policies, including lifting sanctions on Iran’s oil exports which are stronger in the Gulf region.

The energy plan to collaborate with the Gulf’s chief oil producers calls for seeking “energy independence” from the Saudi Arabia led OPEC. In a geo-strategic move, Trump has enthralled Saudi with his policies, and it is widely agreed that, as long as Saudi does not nigh up to Iran, things would be smooth.  It is reported that the United States is less dependent on OPEC oil imports after it succeeded in tight oil and the increased picking of oil from the Canadian oil sands.

In the recent past, oil imports from the Saudi have declined substantially, while Canadian oil imports have risen to more than 3.5 times the oil imports from Saudi Arabia. Consuming 19 million barrels per day, the country imports about 1 million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia, and a bit from the OPEC member, Venezuela. In the same perspective, the Energy Information Administration reported that oil imports from Mexico have been on the rise. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Trump signed a joint statement pledging to bolster their cooperation on energy security, a secure and robust energy grid, and a resilient and strong energy infrastructure (the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline construction) targeted at enhancing energy efficiency in both US and Canada.

Remaining independent of OPEC provides an easy victory for the US Presidency in the current oil market. In addition, it depicts the new administration’s support to improved domestic energy production. The Trump administration has a good representation of Cabinet officials who are pleased with the Saudis. These include the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil and currently the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Having worked in the Saudi under various capacious, Mattis and Tillerson understand the region’s importance in the global energy market.

The fundamental reason behind Trump’s plan is improving the strategic relationship between the Saudis and U.S. This comes amid the relationship unrest experienced following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Iranian nuclear treaty, which was opposed by the Saudis. Saudis getting a better part of the bargain on fuel is not unexpected. Infact, it could be said that it is Trump’s working, focusing on US’s part of a fair deal.

 

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