When candidate Donald Trump promised to make America great again and to bring back prosperity to the country, some people thought that sound just spiffy.
The way Trump described the economy, prosperity sounded so simple. Make stuff in the US, buy that stuff, charge more for stuff that come from somewhere else. Easy peasy.
Reality, as is most often the case, is a lot more complicated.
Take the flow of oil and America’s energy independence, for example.
Back in the 1980s, the American oil company Citgo was sold to the government of Venezuela. That was fine until the past few years, when Venezuela’s economy pretty much crashed and it became desperate for cash.
This past December, Venezuela’s petroleum company offered 49.9 percent of the stock in Citgo to the Russian state petroleum company, Rosneft as collateral against a hefty loan. Rosneft was happy to agree.
Now, of course, Venezuela is probably not going to be able to repay the loan. The lender will be calling in his marks. That means all Russia needs to do is buy a few more stock shares, and they’ll be the majority stockholders in Citgo.
Citgo is a Venezuelan company, but it refines its oil here in the US. The US consumes about 800,000 barrels of Citgo oil every day.
This whole situation is apparently very concerning to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
A letter was sent on Monday by a Senate group headed by Marco Rubio (R-Fl) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). It went to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The letter read, in part:
We are extremely concerned that Rosneft’s control of a major US energy supplier could pose a grave threat to American energy security, impact the flow and price of gasoline for American consumers, and expose critical US infrastructure to national security threats.”
Isn’t it weird that this story, with significant implication for the US economy, hasn’t made the headlines in either print or electronic media?
I guess we won’t be totally saving the US economy and making everything great again just by making stuff here.
It would seem that global economics might just be a more complex story than candidate Trump made it seems back in his campaign days.
Who knew things could be so complicated?