A report by Bloomberg News Agency indicated that the decline in the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia was not the result of the OPEC Plus decision to reduce oil production, in the midst of the ongoing war in Ukraine, but rather dates back to years.
the report He said that the change in the relationship between Washington and Riyadh was shaped over several years and across different levels, which are summarized by five axes:
The first axis: US imports of crude oil
Saudi Arabia has lost its edge as the most important oil exporter to the United States for years, as its shipments to America have dwindled compared to Canada, Mexico and Russia.
The second axis: arms sales
US arms sales figures to Saudi Arabia have fallen sharply due to the kingdom’s military intervention in Yemen and the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Proposed US arms sales to Saudi Arabia have decreased significantly in recent years, according to the charts included in the agency’s report.
The third axis: weapons and fuel
US imports of Saudi crude oil have almost automatically reduced proposed arms sales to the kingdom, which “reflects the country’s commercial and strategic importance,” Bloomberg says.
Saudi Arabia is the second largest oil producer in the world after the United States, it provides 11% of the total supply of crude oil in the world and can have a significant impact on prices through its membership in OPEC.
The United States, China and India are the three largest consumers of oil, as of 2019.
Fourth Axis: The Saudi Wallet
China is now Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner, and the kingdom has increased its trade with India.
In the Riyadh Future Investment Initiative, Saudi Arabia promoted domestic and international investments, which were partly funded by proceeds from selling oil at higher prices.
Fifth Axis: Saudi Investments
The stock market is one area in which Saudi Arabia has strengthened its relations with the United States.
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is one of the biggest supporters of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, trading nearly 35 million shares on the Twitter platform, prompting Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, to call for a review of Saudi interests in the company from Before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, following the fluctuation of their relationship.
These facts made the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia intend to chart a different course from previous decades, as it is now seeking to diversify its economy away from oil, which still constitutes about 75% of its exports.
“These calculations may lead the kingdom away from the United States and toward new partners,” the agency’s report says.
“They may act in ways that are less in line with the United States,” said Rachel Zimba, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.