As President Donald Trump arrived in Italy Friday to meet with the world’s most powerful leaders during a two-day G7 summit, he said on Twitter that his nine-day trip throughout Europe and the Middle East had, so far, been economically rewarding for the United States.
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Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2017
While it was unclear what specific savings and jobs the president was referencing, his first foreign trip has taken him to Rome, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Brussels. The president struck a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis on Saturday, which propelled defense stocks Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) higher on increased growth prospects. As Saudi Arabia looks to diversify its economy away from a heavy reliance on oil production, the Kingdom was also expected to commit to investments worth hundreds of billions in private U.S. companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.
On Thursday, during a NATO summit, the president urged member nations to increase their defense spending in order to ease an unfair burden being placed on U.S. taxpayers. The U.S. far outspends every other country in the alliance on national security and while no deals have been publicly announced, any defense spending pledges made in private would be considered an economic victory for the U.S. president.
In addition to requesting higher payments— G7 countries Germany, France and Canada do not currently meet the 2 percent-of-GDP spending threshold— President Trump rallied support in the global fight against terror, which he said will be a hot topic again during the meeting Friday.
The G7 summit is taking place in Sicily and includes leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. Trump said Friday on Twitter that he intended to discuss economic growth, terrorism and global security, among other issues. Russia is also likely to be another big topic of conversation, as global tensions continue to flare following situations like the use of chemical weapons in Syria.