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Energy GAS 27 September, 2018 10:00 am   

A fly in Trump’s ointment in the UN

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, made statements about oil, Baltic Pipe and Nord Stream 2 beneficial to the interest of Poland and at least one that threatens them. Does the US announce a new isolationism? Should Trump’s words be taken seriously? – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.

Gas, oil, coal

At the United Nations address, US President Donald Trump reviewed international politics. He referred to the policies of individual states, including Poland.

– We believe strongly in energy security for us and our allies. We have become the largest producer of raw materials on earth. The United States is ready to export large amounts of oil, clean coal and natural gas – said Donald Trump at the United Nations. The declaration on hydrocarbon exports is not new and represents an opportunity for countries like Poland that are looking for alternative sources of supply. The condition for their launch remains the price, which so far only allowed spot contracts for the supply of gas and oil from the USA to Poland. This barrier may be overcome by the greater flexibility of US suppliers, on which however President Trump has limited influence. Declaration on “clean coal” of solid support for the decarbonisation supporters and the coalition coalition subsists in Poland, who also count on clean coal technologies as an alternative to the total exclusion of this raw material from the energy mix proposed by the European Commission.

Oil agreement

– As usual, the OPEC countries strip the rest of the world and I do not like it. I do not like it and nobody should like it. We defend many of these countries with no sense, and then they use the advantage over us using high oil prices. That’s not good. We want them to stop raising the price and lower it. From now on, they will have to contribute to military protection. We will not endure these high prices for longer – said Trump. He referred in this way to the oil agreement of OPEC + group, which assumes a coordinated reduction of oil production in order to raise its price on the stock exchange. The dispute over whether to keep the restriction is on the arena of OPEC itself. If it joins the reduction of Iranian oil exports in connection with the return of US sanctions in November, the price of the barrel may further increase, which will effect in more expensive gasoline in America and the dissatisfaction of Trump voters. In the long term, OPEC anticipates oversupply of oil, so Trump’s statement should be treated as an ad hoc intervention for internal policy purposes, if the words about military protection in the Middle East do not mean the withdrawal of some US forces from that region. It would be beneficial for Russia and China, which fill the emptiness of the Americans where possible. The statement about OPEC is beneficial for oil customers like Grupa Lotos and PKN Orlen, because the possible drop in oil prices as a result of US operations, if possible, will translate into better results of these companies and the Polish economy, which during the crisis of oil prices drew a bonus to GDP from cheap barrels. It is worth remembering that Trump has already threatened to drop an oil bomb in the past, i.e. release some American reserves in order to lower the price. It is not known whether the words from the UN are the announcement of such a firm move.

Baltic Pipe and Nord Stream 2

– Dependence on one supplier makes the nations vulnerable to blackmail and intimidation. Therefore, we congratulate European countries like Poland for the construction of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, thanks to which it will not depend on Russia in meeting the demand for raw materials. Germany will be totally dependent on Russian raw materials if they do not immediately change their course – the President of the United States warned. This is clearly in favor of Poland. Trump promotes the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline which the government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, said in the US on the occasion of the UN summit. The American president again criticized the Nord Stream 2 project, but – importantly – he refrained from publishing sanctions against the partners of the project.

The Monroe doctrine – a new isolationism?

– In the western hemisphere we are fully involved in activities that will allow us to avoid the invasion of foreign forces. This is the formal policy of our country since President Monroe. We reject the interference of other countries in this hemisphere and our internal affairs – said Trump. He referred in this way to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. It was announced by President James Monroe. It assumed the non-interference of Europe in American affairs in exchange for the lack of US interference in European affairs. It mainly concerned the policy of colonization. It was an offer of American isolation, only broken by intervention during the First World War. Did Trump propose to the world a new American isolationism? Such a declaration would deny the involvement of the US in the Nord Stream 2 dispute over oil prices.

Ointment

The US president spoke at the UN about the doctrine of patriotism. – We reject the ideology of globalism and accept the doctrine of patriotism – he said. – We will never give away the American sovereignty to some world bureaucracy – unselected and irresponsible.

The problem is that multilateral policy protects vulnerable countries, such as Poland through a protective umbrella: security in the case of NATO or regulatory in the case of the European Union. Trump’s statement on globalism is therefore unfavorable for Poland. In his opinion, the US has long paid for the activities of various international organizations and now they will stop agreeing. It is not known whether Trump’s words are consulted with the official position of the American administration. However, they are a breeding ground for opponents of multilateral politics, critics of the UN, the European Union, but also NATO, which the US president has already said once that it is too expensive.

Thus, Donald Trump’s statement is a fly in the ointment, which from the Polish point of view was the speech of the US President in the United Nations. It is worth carefully observing the next signals from Washington, which will help determine how many rhetoric these words were and how many actual declarations.



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