US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says he would consider stopping American oil purchases from Saudi Arabia unless the Saudi government provide troops to fight the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.
Trump made the comment on Friday during a lengthy foreign policy interview published by the New York Times newspaper on Saturday and came in response to a question about whether, if elected president, he would halt oil purchases from US allies unless they provided on-the-ground forces against Daesh.
Trump has previously said the United States should be reimbursed by the countries it provides protection, especially those with vast resources such as Saudi Arabia, a top oil exporter.
"And yet, without us, Saudi Arabia wouldn't exist for very long," Trump told the Times. "We’re not being reimbursed for the kind of tremendous service that we’re performing by protecting various countries. Now Saudi Arabia’s one of them."
The billionaire businessman told the Times he was willing to rethink traditional U.S alliances should he become president.
Trump also said he may launch a war against China in order to show Beijing that he is serious about the issue of trade deficit. He said he could impose tariffs of 45 percent on Chinese exports to the US “if they don’t behave.”
Trump has maintained that the United States must develop a strategy to narrow the massive trade gap with China and bring back manufacturing jobs from China to America.
Trump, who has never held elected office, is leading the Republican presidential race despite the fact that his campaign has been marked by controversial statements.