Some GOP senators have recently “unloaded” on Saudi Arabian ambassador, demanding that the Middle East country cease weaponizing oil and threatening American businesses of being “out of business” over the Gulf country’s oil price race with Russia, Senator Ted Cruz said in an interview.
The conversation happened, according to Cruz, during a conference call with Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, which he described as “as candid a call, and direct a call, as I’ve ever had with a foreign leader.”
The Texan senator added: “We quite frankly unloaded on her.”
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude briefly dipped below $20 on Monday. Brent, the international benchmark, fell to its lowest price in nearly 18 years.
A price war on oil is recently fought between Saudi Arabia and Russia after the latter rejected the proposal during the OPEC+ emergency meeting last month to cut an additional 1.5 million barrels per day in oil production.
As a response to Russia’s rejection of the OPEC+ proposal, Saudi Arabia said that it would cut oil prices further and increase production by 12.3 million barrels per day when the current production cuts expire at the end of March. The result of this, according to analysts, is that American businesses that remain open will have to have a hard to recuperate, and the tanking prices will make it unprofitable for them.
Cruz said that during the online conference with the Suadi Arabian ambassador, the United States warned the Gulf nation that the White House would take action against SA if the “economic warfare” continues.
“We said. ‘Look, there are a whole series of steps we can take to escalate foreign policy pressure’ — and we outlined a number of them — ‘if you continue engaging in economic warfare against the United States, trying to drive down the price of oil in order to exploit this coronavirus crisis to drive a bunch of American producers out of business,'” he added.