MOSCOW: US President Donald Trump says the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) is destroying itself, but he is also ready to impose tariffs on foreign oil if it is required to protect the US energy business.

“I’ve been against Opec all my life, because what is it? It’s illegal, you could call it a cartel, you could call it a monopoly, but it broke down very violently, so I don’t care about Opec, I couldn’t care less about Opec,” Trump said on Saturday, at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, adding “They are destroying themselves.”

Trump pointed out that Opec is to the advantage of Russia and Saudi Arabia and that, according to the latter, a deal could be made soon at a 10-million-barrel reduction, “or much more than that”.

Sputnik news agency quoted Trump as saying that he was confident in the US energy business.

“We are the number one producer in the world right now… I am a big believer in our great energy business, and we are going to take care of our energy business, and if I have to do tariffs on oil coming from the outside or if I have to do something to protect our thousands or tens of thousands of energy workers and our great companies that produce all these jobs I’ll do whatever I have to do,” the news agency quoted Trump as telling reporters. – Bernama