Will The Saudi $40B Infrastructure Gift Influence Trump?

It’s “Infrastructure Week” in Washington, and foreign powers are taking note.

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has promised to make $40 billion of its sovereign wealth fund available to the United States to bankroll part of the roughly $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements that Trump promised on the campaign trail.

The move is reminiscent of the KSA’s strategy amongst its allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as Morocco and Jordan. This GCC + 2 group of kingdoms is regularly showered with billions of dollars in gifts from its wealthiest members, earmarked for similar construction projects, allowing the most stable Arab countries to remain intimately connected through financial obligations. The monarchial structure of these countries allows the lead executive to accept the sizeable donations without much fuss from the public. It’s just the way things are done there, and citizens of those regions generally accept.

But using foreign funds, especially those from a country such as Saudi Arabia – which only garnered favorable reactions from 31 percent of Americans polled by Gallup in February 2017 – could be another political trap for Trump….continue reading

 

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