President Trump is in the middle of his first foreign overseas trip as President. He started off the trip stopping in Saudi Arabia where he received a very warm welcome. The President made headlines after a billion dollars arms deal was made and making a speech that denounced radical Islamic terrorism. The deal will mean American hired and American bought products. Now that the trip is underway their appears to be even more deals that are being dealt that brings more business to the United States.
Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, has just announced they will be partaking in a partnership with Saudi Arabia and their sovereign wealth fund. Saudi Arabia will be investing $40 billion into the American owned company whose infrastructure projects are primarily in the United States. The Blackstone Group was co-founded by one of the President’s supporter Stephen Schwarzman.
They entered into a non binding agreement with the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to start the initiative with one another. Saudi Arabia’s PIF has placed a $20 billion down payment on the project in a show of good faith. The remaining $20 billion will come from other investors in Saudi Arabia. The non binding nature of the agreement means that their is not yet a formal structure in place for the fund and specific aspects of the agreement are still being discussed.
PIF managing director Yasir al-Rumayyan said the following in a statement showing good faith,
“This potential investment reflects our positive views around the ambitious infrastructure initiatives being undertaken in the United States as announced by President Trump.”
Blackstone president Hamilton James noted a similar sentiment,
“This will create well-paying American jobs and will lay the foundation for stronger long-term economic growth.”
This is good news in light of what President Trump has been able to accomplish after only a few days in Saudi Arabia. The arms deal that he was able to negotiate totals $110 billion and was agreed upon by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The deal indicates the President’s willingness to maintain a good relationship with the Kingdom in the hopes of continuing to have a good ally in the Middle East to aid in combatting radical Islamic terrorism.
It has been rumored that the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was critical in negotiating the arms deal after he reportedly personally called Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and asked her if she was willing to cut the price significantly for the sophisticated missile detection system. The discount would specifically be towards Lockheed’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
The company said they were,
“proud to be part of this historic announcement that will strengthen the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia.”
The White House said,
“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 counterterrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the US military to conduct those operations.”
It is very clear that the deal the President and his administration were able to negotiate had a domino affect for other companies as well. As seen by Blackstone Group. The President made it clear during his campaign he would make it a priority to encourage and facilitate American hired and American bought initiatives. This is clearly what he has done. He has fulfilled one of his greatest promises from the campaign trail.