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Yellen says OPEC oil production cuts bad for global economy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen added her voice to the members of the Biden administration sounding off against the recent oil production cuts announced by the group OPEC+.

Yellen said the move by OPEC+ to cut oil production was “unhelpful and unwise” for the global economy, particularly emerging markets already struggling with high energy prices, according to the Financial Times.

The Biden administration has been loudly critical of the decision by the oil cartel which took the step in defiance of US pressure to keep global oil prices down. 

“I think OPEC’s decision is unhelpful and unwise — it’s uncertain what impact it will end up having, but certainly, it’s something that, to me, did not seem appropriate, under the circumstances we face,” said Yellen in a phone interview with the Financial Times. “We’re very worried about developing countries and the problems they face.”

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen holds a news conference after a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, U.S. December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst / Reuters Photos)

Ministers from OPEC+ on Wednesday said they would cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day in a move that is expected to raise oil prices globally.

The OPEC decision came as the White House pushed top oil producers like Saudi Arabia — which leads the international oil cartel — not to make drastic cuts to oil production as gas prices remain high.

OPEC Logo

A 3D-printed oil pump jack is seen in front of the OPEC logo in this illustration. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

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White House officials have said they would launch consultations with Congress about possible reactions. 

President Biden talked about rising gas prices in Maryland

President Biden speaks at the Volvo Group Powertrain Operations facility in Hagerstown, Maryland. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez / AP Newsroom)

The president has been focused for a lot of time on exploring all available options to try to bring [oil prices] down,” she added. 

The IMF and World Bank hold annual meetings in Washington next week.

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Yellen may hear from counterparts around the world on concern about the value of the dollar, which has appreciated strongly as the Federal Reserve has aggressively increased interest rates. 

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