Saudi Arabia reportedly leading economic attack against U.S., Biden admin

September 15, 2023
Ben Marquis

Despite Saudi Arabia being a putative ally of the United States, President Joe Biden has on several occasions spoken harsh and provocative words against that oil-rich Middle Eastern nation and its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Now it appears that the Saudi Kingdom is preparing to launch a major attack against Biden's U.S., albeit not militarily but economically, according to a Breitbart report.

In fact, in some respects, that economic attack is already underway and will almost certainly get worse in the coming months and years -- that is, unless substantial political and policy changes are made by the U.S.

Saudi Crown Prince vowed "major economic consequences" against Biden

The Washington Post reported in June on the discovery of a classified document amid the broader Discord leak of Pentagon papers that the Saudi crown prince, known as MBS, had privately threatened to exact "major economic consequences" against the U.S. because of President Biden.

Biden had personally blamed MBS for the 2018 murder of Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, pledged during his 2020 campaign to transform Saudi Arabia into an international "pariah," and threatened "consequences" of his own in 2022 after the Kingdom reduced its daily oil production output.

All of that and more reportedly led MBS to threaten that he "will not deal with the U.S. administration anymore" and promise to impose "major economic consequences for Washington," according to a leaked classified document.

Saudis joining BRICS, moving away from use of "petrodollar" for oil trades

Of course, in public, the Biden administration downplayed or outright denied the document and played up the supposedly still-close relationship between the U.S. and Saudi governments, per the Post's report.

Yet, in other developments outside the administration's control, it increasingly appears that the promised "major economic consequences" for the U.S. from MBS are already underway.

In August, China's Global Times reported that Saudi Arabia, along with five other nations -- Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates -- are set to join the BRICS economic coalition next year. BRICS is a counterweight to the West's G7 economic group and includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The sizeable expansion of BRICS, especially including major oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia, will undoubtedly hasten the already-ongoing international decoupling of the so-called "petrodollar," or the use of the U.S. dollar by all nations to buy and sell oil globally, by instead making trades using local currencies.

"If you take into account the other trading blocs in which each of the current five BRICS countries are members, as well as the countries that are willing to join BRICS, it is enough to build an independent transnational monetary system," a Shanghai-based oil industry insider told the Global Times. "It means that more international oil trade can break the stranglehold of the petrodollar by using local currency settlement."

Reduced oil production drives up prices

Perhaps more pressing than the eventual displacement of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency, at least in terms of President Biden and his political future, is Saudi Arabia's voluntary cut of oil production that has helped drive up the price per barrel of oil at the same time that Biden is demanding increased production and lower prices, according to a recent report from Reuters.

The Saudi Kingdom and other nations in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC+, first began to jointly reduce oil production in October 2022, then further reduced production in April to a level that will extend through the end of 2024. On top of those cuts, the Saudis have also reduced production by an additional 1 million barrels per day, at least through the end of 2023.

Those continued cuts and reduced global supply will inevitably drive up the price of oil and gas, which when paired with the transition away from the U.S. dollar in international oil trading, will indeed cause substantial economic damage to the U.S. and Biden's political future as president.

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