(Article written on 5/23/17)
President Donald Trump is currently on his first foreign trip as the U.S. President.
The trip is to last nine days, and President Trump is expected to visit several countries in the Middle East and Europe, including Israel, Rome, and Brussels.
Thus far, he has been to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
In Saudi Arabia, he negotiated a nearly $110 billion arms deal. The arms deal includes the sale of artillery, tanks, ships, and helicopters, missiles, and radar systems.
President Trump’s chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, said that this deal represented “A lot of money. Big dollars. Big dollars.”
Helping Saudi Arabia is in America’s favor according to President Trump because he needs their assistance in combatting Islamic extremists and the expansion of their ideology.
Additionally, Saudi Arabia is expected to invest $40 billion in U.S. infrastructure. President Trump plans to improve investments in U.S. infrastructure by $1 trillion, so Saudi Arabian aid is valuable.
These arms from the deal will likely be used by Saudi Arabia in the conflict in Yemen.
Within the two years of fighting in Yemen, 18 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, three million civilians have been displaced, and the country is on the brink of starvation.
Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said, “There’s a humanitarian aspect that tends to be ignored. This is something that will come back to bite the Saudis as well, and by implication the Americans, because we’re the ones providing the bombs and bullets.”
This arms deal is to strengthen the U.S.-Saudi Arabian alliance, too. Under President Obama, America was seen as leaning more towards Iran, a Saudi Arabian rival, after the Iranian nuclear deal in 2015.
According to TIME, this deal represents hope for Saudi Arabians in foreign diplomacy, and the Trump Administration views the deal as beneficial for the U.S. economy despite reported concerns of humanitarian trade-offs.