“No, I’m not going to ask them. I’m going to ask— all the Gulf States are meeting,” Biden said during a press conference ahead of the trip.
“I’ve indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not to the Saudis particularly. And I think, I hope, we see them in their own interest concluding that makes sense to do,”
Biden has struggled to maintain the relationships that Trump built in the region during his presidency. However, Biden has had little choice but to continue the legacy Trump built through the Abraham Accords.
This isn’t the first time that Biden has begged the Middle East to increase production while hindering domestic drilling. He sent a similar call last August as his administration predicted the current rise in gas prices.
“Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery,” wrote National Security adviser Jake Sullivan in August 2021, when Biden was also cancelling permits at that time. “The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.”
Soaring gas prices are having a ripple effect as US inflation hits 40-year-highs. That’s forcing small businesses to strain workers while cutting salaries, or risk falling behind on their rent. Small business network Alignable reported that 35% of small businesses couldn’t pay their rent in June.