Saudi Arabia- one of the whooping importers of defence from US- will not face any obstruction in terms of trade with US as a consequence of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance from Saudi Consulate, affirmed President Donald Trump
Since 1950, the country has spent nearly $90 billion on arms from U.S. defense contractors, according to data compiled by the Pentagon. Last year alone, it spent nearly $5.5 billion.
President Donald Trump said he does not want to jeopardize a major arms sale deal to Saudi Arabia that he said was worth $110 billion, though defense experts have disputed that amount and have said it’s hard to calculate precisely how many jobs would be at stake. Speaking on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday, Trump said that he didn’t “want to hurt jobs” at contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
“I don’t want to lose an order like that,” he said.
Lockheed Martin, the largest defense firm in the world, has long counted Saudi Arabia as a key customer. Earlier this year, Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed’s chief executive officer, hosted bin Salman and gave him a tour of its satellite and missile defense production facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif.
“Saudi Arabia is one of the most lucrative foreign markets for our defense contractors,” said Todd Harrison, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They tend to buy high-end equipment. They have a lot of money to throw around, and they can make decisions on weapons purchases pretty quickly because they don’t have a lot of bureaucracy.”
Still, he said, the revenue from sales to Saudi Arabia “pales in comparison to the U.S. military. In no way is it going to sink U.S. companies if they can’t export to Saudi Arabia.”
Andrew Hunter, also a defense analysts at CSIS, said that many of the defense firms moved to grow their international business over the past decade in an effort to attempt to offset declines in U.S. spending.
Saudi Arabia is “one of the biggest players in the Middle East and is one of the two biggest growing markets for foreign military sales,” he said.
Last year, Lockheed announced that it had struck a $28 billion deal with Saudi Arabia to sell it an array of defense systems over the coming years. Boeing, meanwhile, signed an agreement with the country to help it build rotary-wing military aircraft in Saudi Arabia, which it said was expected to generate $22 billion in revenue and 6,000 jobs by 2030.
And Raytheon recently opened up a separate company to work directly with the Saudi government.
But often those deals don’t pan out as initially planned. Trump has said repeatedly that the arms deal with Saudi Arabia was worth $110 billion. But many of the deals were “memorandums of intent,” rather than signed contracts as The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has noted.
The deal amounts to “a wish list,” he noted. “The $100 billion figure is not real and unlikely to come to fruition – and even if it did, it represents sales far in the future.”