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Trump official slams cartels as lawmakers push anti-OPEC bill

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

(Reuters) - A senior on Friday said U.S. national security depends on affordable energy, and slammed cartels when asked whether would support a bill targeting the OPEC group's

"The is firmly committed to open, fair, and competitive markets for global trade," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We do not support market-distorting behavior, including cartels."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which includes the world's top crude exporter Saudi Arabia, says it is not a cartel but rather a group.

Trump has criticized the group for cutting supplies and urged it to produce more to lower global But he has also been careful to not take action on Saudi Arabia, a major buyer of U.S. weapons.

The on Thursday unanimously passed the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels, or NOPEC, bill, but it was uncertain whether it would get a vote from the full House.

The bill has appeared in in various forms over the last 20 years and today's are low compared to 2008, when the bill passed the House.

The senior official's comments were the furthest the has gone in commenting on the bill.

Last summer, OPEC cooperated with non-OPEC producer to boost output before Trump reimposed sanctions on from Iran, Saudi Arabia's archenemy. But OPEC's output fell in January by the largest amount in two years as its Gulf members over-delivered on a supply cutting plan to boost prices and amid the sanctions.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by and Jonathan Oatis)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 22:40 IST