UAE says finalised purchase of F-35 jets, drones from US before Trump left office

The United Arab Emirates finalised the purchase of up to 50 F-35 jets and 18 drones from the US.
The United Arab Emirates finalised the purchase of up to 50 F-35 jets and 18 drones from the US.PHOTO: AFP

DUBAI (BLOOMBERG) - The United Arab Emirates finalised the purchase of up to 50 F-35 jets and 18 drones from the US before former President Donald Trump left office.

Letters of agreement were finalised on Tuesday (Jan 19), according to an emailed statement from the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Before his exit from the White House, Mr Trump issued an order exempting the UAE - which accounted for about a tenth of US aluminum imports last year - from 10 per cent tariffs his administration implemented in 2018.

The order instead placed quotas on the Gulf nation, saying imports would have to remain close to historical levels without meaningful increases, language similar to that used when quotas were placed on Canada last year.

The UAE normalised ties with Israel in August, a historic agreement that Mr Trump brokered and touted as one of his most important foreign-policy successes.