Trump, Singapore PM Lee praise Boeing deal with Singapore Airlines

By Ed Adamczyk and Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Oct. 23, 2017 at 3:00 PM
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Oct. 23 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong on Monday praised a Boeing-Singapore International Airlines deal that the U.S. leader said will create 70,000 U.S. jobs.

The two leaders gave a joint statement after meeting in the Oval Office.

Trump and Lee witnessed a signing ceremony between the two companies for a deal announced in February. Boeing sold 39 new 777-9 and 787-10 wide-body planes to the airline.

"It's a win-win for both sides," Lee said during his statement in the Rose Garden. "It will further modernize SIA's fleet and also support many American jobs."

Trump praised Singapore for it's "fair and reciprocal trade" with the United States. He added, though, that the "partnership extends far beyond economic trade."

"The U.S. and Singapore share a profound belief in a society built on a foundation of law," Trump said, adding that Singapore was the first Southeast Asian country to oppose the Islamic State.

Trump also praised Lee's "unwavering commitment" to oppose threats from North Korea.

"We strongly oppose the nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as it affects the peace and stability of the region," Lee said, adding that Singapore condemn's North Korea's "dangerous provocations."

Analysts said Lee's visit to the United States was part of a geopolitical balancing act -- between a need to encourage Trump to stay engaged in Asia after U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year, and avoiding angering China.

Lee recently visited Beijing after he sided with the United States in condemning China's aggressive policies in the South China Sea.

Lee and Trump did not answer questions from reporters.

Earlier, during their Oval Office meeting, Trump told reporters he was "very, very close" to announcing his pick to replace Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve.

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