Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

You can smell teargas in the streets as oil industry squabbles

By       Message Vijay Prashad       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/6/18

Author 59593
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

From Asia Times

From flickr.com: G20 Leaders {MID-333205}
G20 Leaders
(Image by G20 Argentina)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Last week, two important meetings took place: in Buenos Aires, of the Group of Twenty, and in Vienna, of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil producers.

The two meetings did not produce any resolution to the major economic challenges in the world. But they did soothe the nerves of financial markets.

At the G20, the United States and China dialed down the temperature over trade but did not settle the long-term grievances each side has against the other. At the OPEC+ meeting, Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to cut production and raise the price of oil despite pressure from the US and others to keep oil prices low.

- Advertisement -

At neither meeting did the major powers find solutions to their problems. They are all caught in mazes from which there are no easy exits. But what calmed the world of finance was that the geopolitical tension between the major powers seemed to have lessened.

What impact this reduced tension has for the world's people, however, is not clear.

Trade

The "trade war" engineered by US President Donald Trump against China began with tariffs and ended with a damp squib. At the G20, Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the tariffs that would have gone up to 25% on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports would no longer be applied. China, for its part, said it would import more goods from the United States.

- Advertisement -

No specifics were announced, which is why the tensions over even this agreement spilled over on to Twitter (courtesy of Trump's hyperbole) and into more sober statements from the Chinese government.

The more fundamental questions of intellectual property and currency valuation remain unsolved. The United States accuses China of theft of the intellectual property of US firms, but the Chinese counter -- as they have in the arbitration panels of the World Trade Organization -- that they merely draw from technology transferred as a result of commercial agreements freely made by companies eager to use Chinese labor.

It will be impossible to resolve these two problems, since the two sides do not see the issues in the same way. Their worldviews regarding intellectual property and currency valuation are utterly alien to each other. If the United States believes that China is unfairly valuing its currency, the Chinese point to the unfair advantage that the dollar has over every currency in the world, since it is used as one of the major global currencies for facilitation of trade and for the storage of wealth.

Oil

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman offered each other a friendly hand slap at the G20. Everyone seemed happy to see MBS, despite the clear evidence of his role in the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But the real agreements between Russia and Saudi Arabia were not directly made in Buenos Aires. They were made more quietly in Vienna at the OPEC+ meeting.

At Buenos Aires, Putin said, "Yes, we have an agreement to prolong our accords." He was referring to the deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia since 2016 to manage oil prices to their mutual benefit. That deal notwithstanding, Saudi Arabia has continued to pump itself into trouble -- flooding the market with oil, driving prices down and depleting its own treasury as a result. Now Russia is eager to see oil production cut and oil prices rise. Trapped by sanctions and by low oil prices, Russia has plunged into internal economic difficulties.

- Advertisement -

The real issue was how much each country inside and outside OPEC should pump. That is why Putin said, "There is no final deal on volumes."

In fact, even after the deal has begun to emerge, there is no final deal. Saudi Arabia has not been a good partner here. It has pumped outside the numbers over the course of the past few years, largely under pressure from the United States.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT His most recent book, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World, won the Muzaffar (more...)
 

Vijay Prashad Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The South gathers in Tehran

The American Experiment Has Failed in Afghanistan

Why the Trump Administration Could Be America's Last

For All His Bluster, Trump is Powerless Against NATO Allies -- Here's Why

The World's Largest Humanitarian Crisis Is Basically Being Blacked Out by Western Media

Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis

Comments Image Post Article Comment

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
Connect with Facebook     Connect with Twitter            Register with Facebook     Register with Twitter

Comment:   

You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 
Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

No comments  Post Comment

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment