Trump means business: $380bn deals signed in Riyadh

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Saudi King Salman and US President Donald Trump take part in a signing ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh Saturday. (AFP)
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King Salman and US President Donald Trump sign the “Saudi-US Joint Strategic Vision Declaration” in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 21 May 2017
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Trump means business: $380bn deals signed in Riyadh

RIYADH: Saudi-US deals worth at least $380 billion were struck on Saturday during the historic visit to Riyadh by US President Donald Trump, officials said. 

King Salman and Trump held high-level talks in the Saudi capital, where they co-signed the Saudi-US “Joint Strategic Vision Declaration,” as a series of defense, business and technology deals were agreed in the Saudi capital.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that Trump’s visit marks “the beginning of a turning point” in relations with the Arab world.

Speaking at a press conference held with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in Riyadh on Saturday, Al-Jubeir said that the strategic partnership agreement by King Salman and Trump would develop into a strong strategic partnership.

“The two countries have signed a series of agreements, both by private, commercial entities and inter-governmental, including on investment and infrastructure,” said Al-Jubeir.

“The value of the deals exceeds $380 billion; they will be executed over the next 10 years and will provide many opportunities both for the Kingdom and for the United States.”

Tillerson said that over 20 licenses were issued to large US companies helping direct investment between the two countries, which will result in the creation of thousands of jobs for Americans, an increase the purchase of US goods, equipment and technologies, and also benefit Saudi Arabia.

Defense played a key element in the myriad deals announced in Riyadh on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia and the US signed arms deals worth approximately $110 billion, the White House announced on Saturday.

Several other multi-billion-dollar deals were sealed at the inaugural Saudi-US CEO Forum, also held on Saturday.

They included a landmark $6 billion defense and armament agreement under a “letter of intent” to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin Black Hawk helicopters.

The agreement, which was revealed during the forum, is expected to support around 450 jobs in the Kingdom.

“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 Marillyn A. Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“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 US and in the Kingdom. The agreements will directly contribute to His Majesty’s Vision 2030 by opening the door for thousands of highly skilled jobs in new economic sectors.”

Energy — one of Saudi Arabia’s strongest sectors — witnessed a number of announcements with a combined $22 billion worth of new deals signed during the forum by Saudi and American executives in the oil and gas industry.

A major funding boost for the largest oil refinery in the US was among a number of announcements in refining and petrochemicals signed on Saturday at the forum.

Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said: “Today we are investing in long-term job creation and the future of the refining industry in the United States, and we are delivering on Vision 2030 to expand the US-Saudi partnership.

“The message is clear: the longstanding bonds between our two countries are reinforced by both the value and scale of today’s agreement.”

Following his participation in the forum, Nasser also announced several agreements with suppliers including Jacobs, Honeywell and McDermott.


Stocks slide as Wall Street fears worsening US-China trade spat

Updated 18 June 2018
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Stocks slide as Wall Street fears worsening US-China trade spat

NEW YORK: Wall Street was sharply lower at the open on Monday as the spiraling trade dispute between Beijing and Washington weighed on global stocks.
China on Friday vowed to slap tariffs on up to $50 billion in US imports, including crude oil, retaliating like-for-like against US tariffs on Chinese goods announced the same day by President Donald Trump.
Ten minutes into the day’s trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was about a full percentage point down at 24,841.95, putting the index on track for a five-day losing streak.
Meanwhile the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq had both fallen 0.8 percent to 2,758.57 and 7,681.37 respectively.
Aircraft giant Boeing was down 0.7 percent and heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar had slumped 1.7 percent. Both are Dow components seen as exposed to foreign trade.
Patrick O’Hare of Briefing.com said trade worries had in recent days tended to spark lower opens, with stocks recovering somewhat during the day as investors gained their footing, as happened Friday.
However, Friday saw additional buying as many stock options expired that day, providing support that the markets would likely do without on Monday.
Perhaps “today is the market’s true self following a weekend of reflection on some clearly negative trade headlines,” he wrote.
Oil prices were holding steady in New York following China’s tariff decision and ahead of Friday’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is due to address market supply.
US media giant Disney had fallen 1.5 percent after analysts downgraded the company to “sell” on fears that a bidding war it is fighting with Comcast for the assets of 21st Century Fox would leave Disney in a lose-lose situation: pay too much or fail to capture needed new business.
Shares in Chinese e-retailer JD.Com jumped 2.3% following news that Google parent Alphabet had invested $550 million in the company.