It looks like President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip since entering office has already been deemed a success. The White House announced Saturday that the president signed a $110 billion arms deal with U.S. ally Saudi Arabia.
The agreement states that Saudi Arabia will buy massive amounts of military equipment from the U.S., while also employing American companies to build the equipment.
“That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States,” said Trump after signing the agreement. “Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praise the deal calling it a “historic moment in U.S.-Saudi relations.”
“The agreement, which is worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately, was hailed by the White House as “a significant expansion of…[the] security relationship” between the two countries,” writes CNBC. “Simultaneously, Saudi Arabia is in a broad-based push for economic reform, and as part of that effort signed a flurry of deals with private U.S. companies worth tens of billions of dollars.”
Not only will it create more U.S. jobs, but it will also create new highly skilled positions in Saudi Arabia.
Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor privy to the U.S.-Saudi accord said that it
“will directly contribute to [Saudi Arabia’s] Vision 2030 by opening the door for thousands of highly skilled jobs in new economic sectors.”
“At Lockheed Martin, we are proud to be part of this historic announcement that will strengthen the relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Marilyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin president in a statement. “We are especially proud of how our broad portfolio of advanced global security products and technologies will enhance national security in Saudi Arabia, strengthen the cause of peace in the region, and provide the foundation for job creation and economic prosperity in the U.S. and in the Kingdom.”
This deal will also foster efforts against radical Islamic terrorism.
“This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats, while also bolstering the Kingdom’s ability to contribute to counter terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations,” said the White House in a statement.
The president’s son-in-law was allegedly imperative to getting the deal done.
“Sensing that the cost might be a problem, several administration officials said, Mr. Kushner picked up the phone and called Marillyn A. Hewson — the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, which makes the radar system — and asked her whether she could cut the price. As his guests watched slack-jawed, Ms. Hewson told him she would look into it, officials said,” writes the New York Times. “Mr. Kushner’s personal intervention in the arms sale is further evidence of the Trump White House’s readiness to dispense with custom in favor of informal, hands-on deal making. It also offers a window into how the administration hopes to change America’s position in the Middle East, emphasizing hard power and haggling over traditional diplomacy.”
Author’s note: Trump previously said it was time to stop paying for the defense of other countries. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. both are benefiting from this deal. It’s a pretty nice order for our defense contractors and Saudi Arabia gets advance weaponry, while creating more jobs. It’s a win win.! (I”m
Editor’s note: Somee are questioning Trump’s ability to acheive a 3% GDP growth rate. Well, considerig it was an anemic 2% under Obama, and here is a a gross 0.5% I’d say he’s almost there! (I’m being a bit facetious, the number don’t quite add up that way because the deal will be over many years, but on the other hand, Trump is just getting started).