Price of oil

Trump urges Asian nations to protect Strait of Hormuz oil tanker traffic

President Trump complained via Twitter on Monday that Asian nations heavily reliant on oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz weren’t doing enough to safeguard tanker traffic.

"[W]hy are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey."

Why it matters: It’s the latest wrinkle in the escalating tensions with Iran around the Strait of Hormuz — presumably what Trump meant when he cited nations’ reliance on the "Straight."

Expert Voices

Strait of Hormuz tensions underscore oil market’s global scope

Ships in the strait of Hormuz
Ships in the Strait of Hormuz. Photo: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump has claimed that turmoil in the Strait of Hormuz matters less than in decades past, now that U.S. oil production continues to grow while imports fall — a view that does not reflect the global nature of today’s oil market.

The big picture: Middle East tensions have heightened following multiple attacks against oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, a 2-mile shipping channel exiting the Persian Gulf through which about one-fifth of the world’s oil passes each day. Even though the majority of those shipments are bound for Asia, the interconnectedness of the global oil market means demand surges or supply disruptions in any region affect oil prices worldwide.