U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would put tariffs on imports of crude oil or take other measures if he has to protect energy workers from the oil price crash.
“If I have to do tariffs on oil coming from outside or if I have to do something to protect our … tens of thousands of energy workers and our great companies that produce all these jobs, I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Trump told reporters in a briefing about the coronavirus outbreak.
Oil prices have crashed as the pandemic crushes demand and as Russia and Saudi Arabia boost output in a war over market share. After meeting with executives from big oil companies on Friday, Trump said he was not thinking of imposing tariffs at the moment, but it was a tool that could be used.
Reporting by Jeff Mason and Makini Brice; writing by Timothy Gardner