U.S. Foreign Arms Sales Skyrocket by 35%

Sunday, December 27, 2015
South Korea paid billions for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Strike Fighter jets (photo: Wikipedia)

U.S. defense contractors had a banner year in 2014, with sales to other nations jumping 35% over the year before, according to a congressional study.


Foreign sales increased from $26.7 billion in 2013 to $36.2 billion last year, despite increased competition for a market that hasn’t gotten much bigger. “A number of weapons-exporting nations are focusing not only on the clients with which they have held historic competitive advantages due to well-established military-support relationships, but also on potential new clients in countries and regions where they have not been traditional arms suppliers,” the report’s author, Catherine A. Theohary, wrote for the Congressional Research Service.


South Korea was the top arms buyer in the world last year, with $7.8 billion in purchases, according to The New York Times. The bulk of those contracts, more than $7 billion worth, were with U.S. companies. Iraq was next on the list with $7.3 billion in purchases as it rebuilds its military.


The United States is the biggest provider of arms in the world, controlling a bit more than 50% of the global arms export market. Russia is the next biggest arms supplier, with $10.2 billion, off a little from its 2013 total of $10.3 billion. Sweden, which supplies fighter planes to such countries as Brazil, was third at $5.5 billion in arms exports.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

U.S. Foreign Arms Deals Increased Nearly $10 Billion in 2014 (by Nicholas Fandos, New York Times)

U.S. Foreign Weapons Agreements Rose Almost $10 Billion in 2014 (Sputnik News)

U.S. Dominates Weapons Export Market as Profits Grow with Sales to the Middle East (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Obama Steps Up Foreign Weapons Sales, Overwhelming Other Arms Makers (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

U.S. Now Controls More than Half of World Arms Sales (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov) 


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