UNDER THE TRUMP administration, the U.S. government and weapons manufacturers are making a killing through arms sales to other countries. A report released by the Security Assistance Monitor documented that more than $80 billion worth of arm sales notifications were sent to Congress in 2017.
The massive arms sales during President Donald Trump’s first year in office amounted to $5.7 billion more than the Obama administration proposed during its final year in 2016. Barack Obama’s banner year for sales, 2010, saw $102 billion worth of government-to-government sales proposed.
The U.S. was responsible for 34 percent of the entire world’s arms exports from 2013 to 2017.
Owing to the spate of large sales under both administrations, the U.S. has maintained its role as the biggest arms exporter in the world. In a report released on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, an international institute researching conflict and armaments, the U.S. was responsible for 34 percent of the entire world’s arms exports from 2013 to 2017. Russia follows with 22 percent of the world’s exports.
All the while, U.S. arms manufacturing corporations have been raking in tremendous amounts of cash. Stocks for Lockheed Martin – ranked first for arm sales in 2016 by SIPRI – have been steadily on the rise since 2013. Stocks for the Boeing Company, which ranks second, have also been on the rise since 2013, but rose at an accelerated pace in 2017.
The report from the Security Assistance Monitor, a program of the Center for International Policy that tracks and analyzes U.S. security assistance programs worldwide, notes another difference between the Obama and Trump administration sale proposals: the types of equipment offered to foreign governments. The most significant sale offers under the Obama administration were for military aircraft, while in the first year of the Trump administration, missile and bomb sales dominated.
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