On May 20, 2017, US president Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud ceremonially entered an arms agreement. The White House praised it for “supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the United States.” More than a year later, facing pressure to cancel the ten year defense plan with Saudi Arabia, Trump is on the defensive.
The president has steadily inflated the number of jobs created by the deal in his public statements. On the heels of his visit to the kingdom last year, Trump increased the jobs figure to “hundreds of thousands of jobs.” Most recently he has claimed scrapping the deal would endanger over 1 million American jobs.
His claims now exceed the entire workforce of the defense industry manufacturers.
Trump’s latest figure doesn’t add up. The Aerospace Industries Association’s own estimates peg the entire industry at 842,900 jobs with 354,000 manufacturing jobs tied directly to defense and national security spending in 2017—far less than “over a million jobs.”