Saudi Arabia warns Trump on blocking oil imports

Environment correspondent Pilita Clark writes:

Saudi Arabia has warned Donald Trump that the incoming US president will risk the health of his country’s economy if he acts on his election promises to block oil imports.

In a sign of the difficulties Mr Trump faces over his campaign pledges to create “complete American energy independence” from “our foes and the oil cartels”, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister pointedly reminded the president-elect that the US “benefits more than anybody else from global free trade”, adding, “energy is the lifeblood of the global economy”.

“At his heart President-elect Trump will see the benefits and I think the oil industry will also be advising him accordingly that blocking trade in any product is not healthy,” Khalid al-Falih, who is also chairman of Aramco, the state-run oil company, told the Financial Times in Marrakesh, where he is leading Saudi Arabia’s delegation in UN climate talks.

Mr Falih, whose kingdom is the world’s largest exporter of crude, said that, although the US imported millions of barrels of oil, it had also “benefited hugely” from being able to freely sell “significant amounts” of exported products.

In a sign of the difficulties Mr Trump faces over his campaign pledges to create “complete American energy independence” from “our foes and the oil cartels”, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister pointedly reminded the president-elect that the US “benefits more than anybody else from global free trade”, adding, “energy is the lifeblood of the global economy”.

“At his heart President-elect Trump will see the benefits and I think the oil industry will also be advising him accordingly that blocking trade in any product is not healthy,” Khalid al-Falih, who is also chairman of Aramco, the state-run oil company, told the Financial Times in Marrakesh, where he is leading Saudi Arabia’s delegation in UN climate talks.

Mr Falih, whose kingdom is the world’s largest exporter of crude, said that, although the US imported millions of barrels of oil, it had also “benefited hugely” from being able to freely sell “significant amounts” of exported products.

So achieving energy independence is supposed to be bad for America?