At least one kind of free trade is working out for the US—since the country ended a ban that blocked exports of crude oil to most countries, global sales have popped despite low prices.
In May of this year, the US exported more than one million barrels of crude oil every day, which is a record. It’s also far less than the biggest exporter Saudi Arabia, which delivers more than seven million barrels to the global markets daily.
The US ended exports in 1975, in response to the energy crisis and the embargo imposed by a then-young Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with an exception for Canada. The goal was to keep gasoline prices in the US as low as possible. But, by 2012, the arrival of the so-called fracking boom and commensurate increase in domestic production of oil and natural gas made the US the largest producer of fossil fuels …