Trump signs $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia

President Trump on Saturday signed a $110 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

The arms transaction is intended to bolster national security in Saudi Arabia as well as the country’s ability to combat terrorism. The White House says the agreement will provide fighter jets, tanks, radar, combat ships and anti-missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia and will create defense-related jobs in the U.S.

The defense cooperation agreements signed Saturday offer the Saudis $110 billion immediately and $350 billion of the next decade. In total, Trump signed eight letters of acceptance and one letter of intent said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. Also signed was a joint vision statement and private sector agreements.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other members of the administration accompanied Trump and Saudi King Salman at the signing ceremony, as Trump kicks off his first overseas trip that will also bring him to Israel and the Vatican. Trump will also meet with NATO leaders.

The deal has the added benefit of “reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations,” according to a White House official. “This package demonstrates, in the clearest terms possible, the United States’ commitment to our partnership with Saudi Arabia and our Gulf partners, while also expanding opportunities for American companies in the region, and supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. defense industrial base,” the White House official added.

Tillerson is expected to hold a joint press conference with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) in Riyadh.

Earlier this week it was reported that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, personally got involved in the dealmaking process, calling Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson while meeting with a Saudi delegation. He requested that Lockheed give the Saudis a better deal on the company’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system. Hewson reportedly said she would look into it.

This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner


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