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US: Senators bring back bill to stop OPEC ‘Price Fixing’

 |  July 18, 2018

US Senator Chuck Grassley (Republican – Iowa), along with a fellow Republican and two Democratic lawmakers, introduced legislation in the Senate that’s aimed at allowing the government to bring lawsuits against OPEC members for antitrust violations, reported Bloomberg.

Lawmakers in the other chamber of Congress, the House of Representatives, already introduced a version of the “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act,” or NOPEC, bill in May of this year. Congress has discussed various forms of NOPEC legislation since 2000, but both George W. Bush and Barack Obama threatened to use their veto power to halt it from becoming law. The risk for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is that US President Donald Trump may break with this precedent.

“It’s long past time to put an end to illegal price fixing by OPEC,” Grassley said in a statement. We are “committed to reducing our reliance on foreign oil, especially when it’s artificially and illegally priced. Our bill shows the OPEC members we will not tolerate their flagrant antitrust violations.”

The NOPEC legislation that Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and his colleagues introduced would amend the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. The other senators sponsoring it are Utah Republican Mike Lee and Democrats Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont. All four senators represent largely rural states, where oil prices, as reflected in the cost of gasoline, can have a big impact on local economies.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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