The U.S. President Donald Trump slammed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for high crude oil prices again, blaming high gasoline prices in the U.S. indirectly on the cartel as the mid-term elections loom.
"We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!" Trump wrote in his Twitter account.
The U.S. has been an long-term ally of Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter, in addition to Gulf countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait -- all OPEC members.
Yet, as crude oil prices in global market keep gasoline prices in the U.S. high, Trump is trying to lower fuel prices before the congressional elections in November.
The President aims to keep his Republican Party in control of the Congress, which would otherwise hinder his ability and influence in the Senate and the House of Representatives when the White House proposes a legislation.
However, this is not Trump's first strike against OPEC.
In his 2011 book, Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, he wrote: "We can start by suing OPEC for violating antitrust laws." And, in his 1987 book, Trump: The Art of the Deal, he wrote, "There was just one problem: OPEC. Almost immediately, oil prices started going through the roof, which devastated the airlines."
During an interview with CNN's Larry King in 2009 in the middle of the financial crisis, Trump said: "When the economy starts getting better, you will have an OPEC problem. They'll just start raising the price of oil again and destroy the economy ... as soon as the world comes back, OPEC will raise its ugly head and destroy it again."
High oil prices, on the other hand, help American oil companies' finances and investments. Each barrel sold at a higher price means the possibility of more revenue and investment for companies and greater ability to raise output.
Higher output and revenue means the gradual decline in U.S. dependence on foreign oil, further contributions to the American economy and employment, and more tax revenue for the federal government.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York