Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has arrived in the United States to conduct a tour to strengthen not only business ties but also political ties with the US.
This is the Crown Prince’s second visit to the US. It begins with a stop at the White House for a meeting with US President Donald Trump. Trump has been working since his inauguration to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.“
Saudi Arabia was the first foreign country Trump visited after taking office, traveling to the kingdom in May and signing memorandums and agreements for defense spending that totaled about $110 billion,” according to Bloomberg.
The US and Saudi Arabia have been allies for 75 years, according to the Brookings Institute. During that time, they have worked “closely together” and have also at times been “estranged,” said Brookings.
Forbes said that the two leaders will most likely be discussing a reinstatement of sanctions against Iran; Saudi’s protracted war in Yemen; and the kingdom’s wish to buy at least one additional nuclear power plant and what role the US government will play in allowing a company like GE to construct it.“
Other issues that may come up would include the disagreement between Qatar on one hand and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt on the other as well as the U.S. decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem,” said Forbes.
Bloomberg also said that the Crown Prince will be meeting top executives to discuss business deals. He is on schedule to meet the heads of Apple Inc., Google, and:
• Executives from the film industry
• Oil Services Companies
Fulfilling one of his campaign promises, US President Donald Trump will uncover his plan for rebuilding the country’s infrastructure this week. The plan will cost US taxpayers $1.5 trillion, but is heavily dependent on state and local funding sources.
The plan will centerpiece a $200 billion pledge from the federal government which will be used to leverage money from cities and state budgets which will earmark them to roads, highways, ports, airports and more.
“Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and — where appropriate — tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit,” Trump said at last month’s State of the Union address.
Trump has said many times that the deteriorating roads and highways are holding the country back from faster expansion of the economy. Some lawmakers and others say that this issue should have been dealt with last year and Trump’s first big push in Congress, instead of the health care issue. Infrastructure is a bipartisan issue that would have helped create a more unified Congress.
The plan was previewed by administration officials as containing two key components: funding for new investments which will help speed up repairs on crumbling roads and airports; and a more efficient way for projects to get the permits they need, so projects can get underway faster. The officials added that the $200 million will come from cuts in other programs.
US stealth fighters arrived in South Korea to launch what is being billed as the “largest US-South Korean aerial drill in history,” set to begin on Monday. The drill, dubbed “Vigilant Ace” aggravated the already explosive nature of the US-North Korean non-relationship, prompting a message from North Korean foreign ministry verging on the hysterical, which said that the US has “nuclear war mania” and that President Donald Trump is “begging for nuclear war.”
The weekend saw several announcements issued from North Korea. The dictatorship’s foreign ministry read a statement on state television that said that the US president and his administration are “begging for nuclear war” by engaging in what is an “extremely dangerous nuclear gamble,” according to CNN.
The foreign ministry also said that if nuclear war did emerge on the Korean peninsula and the rest of the world, that the US would be “fully responsible” because of its “reckless nuclear war mania.”
Later North Korean state TV said in a commentary that the joint US-South Korea joint air exercises are a “dangerous provocation” which will “push the region “to the brink of a nuclear war,” also reported by CNN.
HR McMaster, the White House national security advisor, agrees that tension in the region are rising, and the chances for a nuclear war are also growing.
“I think it’s increasing every day, which means that we are in a race, really, we are in a race to be able to solve this problem,” McMaster said in a conference in California.
McMaster added that he believes North Korea is the “greatest immediate threat to the United States” at the moment.
Close to 200 lawmakers have filed suit alleging that President Donald Trump is violating what is called the emoluments clause of the US Constitution. The suit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia early on Wednesday, June 14.
The plaintiffs argue that they have standing to sue the President since the clause states that only Congress has the ability to approve payments and gifts the president receives.
“The framers gave Congress a unique role, a unique right and responsibility,” said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut one of the organizers of the lawsuit.
Before taking office Trump bequeathed control of his assets to his two grown sons and a senior executive, but he did not divest from his holdings in any way. Therefore, there is a real possibility that he will gain financial benefit from the profits of the Trump Organization, and that will include foreign governments.
This third such suit also states that no one can discover the full extent to which the Trump Organization benefits from these payments since the president has never released his tax returns.
The first of the two previous lawsuits over the emoluments clause was only a few days after Trump’s inauguration in January; filed by a liberal-funded government watchdog group. Two co-plaintiffs joined the suit later; a restaurant group and two individuals in the hotel industry. The second suit was filed earlier this week by two Democratic lawyers with a similar claim.
The Justice Department and Trump stated that these are baseless lawsuits: the clause does not include normal business transactions such as hotel payments or real estate deals.
Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers said that together with Blumenthal they organized “greatest number of congressional plaintiffs on any lawsuit against a president.” He added that they’re taking the action “not out of any sense of pleasure or partisanship but because President Trump has left us with no other option.”
President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will be moving the United States away from strict compliance with the Paris climate change accords shocked many in the business community, not just green activists. Some of the country’s most respected business leaders were strong in their condemnation of Trump’s decision.
These leaders are not tree-huggers in disguise. Yes, many do see climate change for what it is, a threat to the future well-being of the entire planet, whether you live in Paris or Pittsburgh. But it is not this threat, which is many years in the future, that is rallying businessmen against Trump’s position on the Paris accords. It is pure and simple economics.
The majority of businessmen, not just in the United States, but around the world, agree that taking a realistic view on climate change and developing technologies and other problem solving methods are actually economic stimulants.
On May 10, with the (misplaced) hope that they could influence the President, 30 CEOs took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, publishing an open letter to Trump whose opening sentence says, “We are writing to express our strong support for the U.S. remaining in the Paris Climate Agreement.”
The letter was signed by the CEOs of the following major US companies:
Bank of America Corp.
Campbell Soup Company
The Coca-Cola Company
The Dow Chemical Company
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase
Newell Brands Inc.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Procter & Gamble Company
The Walt Disney Company
This is just the list of companies that participated in the WSJ ad. There are more companies that agree with their position, including the CEO of Exxon.
Only two other major carbon producing countries refrained from signing the Paris Accord, Nicaragua and Syria. As one commentator put it:
“The U.S. cannot lead the world in any dimension if it abdicates responsibility and leadership for the greatest challenge facing humanity.”