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Tags: brian deese | joe biden | saudi arabia | gas prices | nec | oil production

NEC Director Deese Denies Biden's Going Begging to Saudi Arabia

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden (Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 19 June 2022 11:27 AM EDT

National Economic Council (NEC) Director Brian Deese Sunday denied that President Joe Biden is going hat-in-hand to Saudi Arabia concerning oil production, but said the trip has been planned to advance American interests.

"What's behind this is a very simple proposition, which is when it is U.S. interest for the president to engage with a foreign leader, he will do so," Deese said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." "We have significant interests, national security interests, in the region, as well as economic interests as well. He will vigorously represent American interests, while also vigorously representing American values."

Biden is traveling to the Middle East on a July 13-16 trip and will visit Israel and the adjacent West Bank, as well as Saudi Arabia.

Biden's visit with the Saudis has come under criticism because of the nation's record on human rights, which the president himself has condemned.

Deese on Sunday further discussed the work the administration is undergoing with the nation's oil companies, telling Fox News that prices can be lowered even while clean energy and climate goals are achieved.

"We are a net exporter of oil, but more important than that for the immediate term is what we can do to increase supply [which] came down precipitously during COVID," said Deese. "We want to see that come back and come back online. In the near term, the companies have a very powerful market incentive. Prices are high, and their profit and profit margins are high, and what we are encouraging is that they take those and put those profits to work to increase production."

But the administration remains "willing to listen and willing to be open" if there are "practical things" it can do.

Also on Sunday, Deese discussed the nation's overall economy, saying that even though polls are showing that Americans are feeling pessimistic, it is important to "recognize the unique strengths that are present," including the strong labor market and the lowest mortgage liquidations and credit card delinquencies that have been seen in years.

"Those are sources of strength unique to the American economy," he said. "We have a stronger and better position to tackle inflation than almost any other country around the world. The president has made very clear that fighting inflation and bringing down prices is his top economic priority.

Biden is also calling on Congress to pass legislation to accelerate the process and bring down prices, "without bringing down all the economic gains we've made," said Deese.

However, he wouldn't discuss negotiations that are going on, but said the administration is looking at "concrete measures to lower costs typical families are expecting," such as in Medicare and energy bills and working to reduce the deficit with "long-overdue tax reform."

"This is not just about enacting legislation, it's about giving some relief to families right now and sending a signal that not just the president and the Federal Reserve but the Congress recognize that fighting inflation needs to be the top priority."

Deese further said that a recession is "not inevitable," despite the numerous economists who believe it will happen.

"Eleven million job openings right now, which means there is a lot of incumbent strength in the labor market, that puts us in a good position," said Deese. "As we move through this transition, not only is recession not inevitable, but what we as policymakers can do is take steps to build on our unique strengths in the American economy and try to get to that stable and steady growth we all want to get to as quickly as possible."

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National Economic Council (NEC) Director Brian Deese Sunday denied that President Joe Biden is going hat-in-hand to Saudi Arabia concerning oil production, but said the trip has been planned to advance American interests.
brian deese, joe biden, saudi arabia, gas prices, nec, oil production
Sunday, 19 June 2022 11:27 AM
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