Oil execs press Trump on trade, regulations

Oil execs press Trump on trade, regulations
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE and Vice President Pence on Thursday met with oil company executives, who pressed the president on their trade policy priorities and cheered him for big moves on taxes and regulations.

The meeting was organized by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil industry’s top lobby, and included its president, Jack Gerard, as well as 13 executives from leading oil companies who sit on the group’s board, the White House said.

“The president met with members of the American Petroleum Institute to discuss the important role natural resources play in our energy sector,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

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The event at the White House happened during a two-day meeting with the API leaders, who stayed at and met at the Trump International Hotel, owned by Trump and run by his son, Donald Jr.

Politico first reported on the meetings late Wednesday.

“API executives highlighted a host of the industry’s priority issues, including the importance of trade policies that recognize the integrated nature of North American and global markets,” API spokesman Eric Wohlschlegel said in a statement.

“In particular, they discussed the industry’s desire to continue working with the Administration on necessary investment protections that advance the industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy, national security and reliable energy for American consumers,” Wohlschlegel continued.

While the oil sector has cheered Trump's deregulatory and pro-fossil fuel agenda, API has joined the rest of big business in their concerns over Trump’s trade policy, including his recent announcement of massive tariffs on most steel and aluminum imports.

The oil industry expects that the tariffs will hurt pipeline construction, as well as other processes that require a lot of metal, like drilling.

“The actions taken today are inconsistent with the administration’s goal of continuing the energy renaissance and building world class infrastructure,” Gerard said earlier this month when Trump announced the tariffs. “The U.S. oil and natural gas industry, in particular, relies on specialty steel for many of its projects that most U.S. steelmakers don’t supply.”

Oil companies are also worried that as Trump works to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, he might seek to weaken or eliminate provisions for investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), a process by which companies can directly challenge a nation’s policy as a violation of the pact.

Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerChinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead Trump says no discussion of extending deadline in Chinese trade talks MORE, Trump’s trade representative, has reportedly sought to allow the United States to opt out of the ISDS process.