Jun 30, 2018

Trump: Saudis agree to large oil production hike

President Trump and King Salman at the 2017 Arabic Islamic American Summit. Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump said on Twitter Saturday morning that King Salman of Saudi Arabia has agreed to increase its oil production by as much as 2 million barrels per day "because of the turmoil and disfunction in Iran and Venezuela."

The big picture, from Axios' Ben Geman: A number of analysts have pointed out that, by publicly pressing OPEC for higher production in recent weeks and months, Trump could be seeking to gain politically from a production-increase that the cartel and Russia were slated to make anyway, because the market has tightened considerably. Elevated oil prices — and hence, higher gasoline prices than in recent years — could be politically perilous for Republicans in an election year.

Yes, but: If what Trump says is accurate, and Salman did agree to the 2 million barrels, it would be a surprising development because it goes well beyond the production hike that OPEC and Russia agreed to during careful negotiations in Vienna, which concluded June 23. Pumping that much would also erode Saudi Arabia's spare production capacity.

  • Saudi Arabia released a statement on President Trump and King Salman's phone call, saying they "stressed the need to make efforts to maintain the stability of oil markets, the growth of the global economy, and the efforts of producing countries to compensate for any potential shortage of supplies."
  • No specific promise was made to Trump, a Saudi official told the WSJ.

Go deeper with Ben on Trump's pyrrhic OPEC outcome.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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