An oil pumpjack in Russia. Photo: Yegor Aleyev\TASS via Getty Images

President Trump may have said out loud what's on the minds of people wondering about the prospects for a new international deal to pare back oil production: whether the U.S. could essentially join without a firm commitment.

Driving the news: On Monday evening, Trump said OPEC has not explicitly asked him to press U.S. oil companies to cut production, but added that U.S. output is slated to fall due to market forces as demand collapses.

  • "I think the cuts are automatic, if you're a believer in markets," Trump said at a White House briefing, adding companies are "already cutting" and "it's the market, it's supply and demand."

Why it matters: The comments suggest how the U.S. could offer de-facto participation in a deal, even though top-down mandates are not part of the U.S. market system.

  • The question could come to a head very soon, with the OPEC+ and G20 energy minister meetings scheduled for later this week.
  • Saudi Arabia and Russia may not commit to major cuts without action by the U.S., the world's largest producer.

What they're saying: "The G20 forum could provide space for a looser arrangement where explicit U.S. cuts are not necessarily required and market-led decreases in U.S. production can potentially be repackaged as a U.S. contribution," the Eurasia Group said in a note Monday.

  • A number of other analysts are thinking the same thing. “I think there is already an understanding between Saudi Arabia, Russia and the U.S.,” Citigroup analyst Ed Morse tells Bloomberg.
  • “The U.S. is a party to the agreement, in effect, because the price of oil is already reducing drilling activity to an extent that production will likely be down 1 million barrels a day by the end of the third quarter.”

Go deeper: Imagining a new energy normal after coronavirus

Go deeper

Senate to vote on Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 26

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Capitol on Oct. 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next Monday, Oct. 26, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this Thursday to advance Barrett's nomination to the full Senate floor. Democrats have acknowledged that there's nothing procedurally that they can do to stop Barrett's confirmation, which will take place just one week out from Election Day.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

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