A memo from the US State Department has noted that Iraqi government officials have warned a pair of major, pending deals with General Electric, worth billions of dollars, are potentially at risk because of President Trump’s travel ban, imposed under an executive order on Friday.
GE already has substantial contracts in Iraq worth in excess of a billion dollars, but Iraqi officials have said the new, bigger deals might be reconsidered because the ban called into question the reliability of the large, American company as a reliable partner during the visa ban.
It is unclear from the second and third-hand reports whether this is the Iraqi government attempting to play hardball over the ban, or if it simply reflects the problems of Iraqi personnel being wholly banned from American soil as an obstacle to the deal’s practicality.
Finding non-US alternatives to General Electric would be no small task for Iraq, and while some analysts are expecting that they will ultimately back down on present deals, it may also convince Iraq that they definitely need an alternative from another country for future such opportunities, and cannot simply rely on the US.
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