Saudi Arabia's heavy investment into lobbying is about to pay dividend as Donald Trump visits the Kingdom on his first foreign trip as US President.
Numerous multi-billion dollar deals are expected to be signed off as Trump landed in Riyadh on Saturday (20 May), with some already sealed, but at what price has the additional trade come?
According to analysis by The Intercept's Lee Fang, Saudi Arabia has more than quadrupled the amount of lobbyists it hires in Washington going from 25 in 2015 to 145 individuals contracted now.
In that same period, its lobbying expenses were over $18m (£13.81m) which dwarfs the amount spent by other big spenders. Google, for example, hired 74 registered lobbyists in 2017 and spent $7m during the last two years, reported Fang.
Among the deals expected to be finalised during Trump's visit is a $110bn arms deal involving Lockheed Martin that is believed to include planes, ships and precision-guided missiles. The deal also has provisions for Saudi Arabia to spend another $200bn on weapons over the next decade.
The national oil giant Saudi Aramco announced on Saturday that it expects to sign $50bn of deals with US companies as it looks to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy off of oil exports.
"We expect the deals signed today to provide a boost to bilateral trade between both countries," chief executive Amin Nasser said, reported Reuters.
He added that 16 agreements with 11 companies would be signed, which will include memorandums of understanding for joint ventures.
One of the memorandums of understanding signed is with technology and engineering firm GE, formerly General Electric, which is also expected to cash in on bilateral trade.
In a statement on Saturday, it announced that it had signed $7bn of deals with Saudi Aramco, and $15bn of deals with Saudi firms in total.
In a past life, Trump said he would not sign deals with Saudi Arabia in a controversial tweet about Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi Royal family and chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company.
The deals were signed off as Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud took part in a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court.