U.S. arms exports up 13 % over 2017 as Trump champions offers

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a information convention following Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections on the White Home in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. arms gross sales to overseas governments rose 13 % to $192.three billion within the yr ending Sept. 30, the State Division mentioned on Thursday, a results of looser restrictions on gross sales coupled with high-level efforts to shut offers.

President Donald Trump desires to make the USA, already dominant within the international weapons commerce, a fair greater arms service provider to the world, U.S. officers have mentioned, regardless of considerations amongst human rights and arms management advocates.

The most important U.S. arms contractors, who promote ships, tanks, airplanes, missiles and different items to overseas militaries, embody Boeing Co (BA.N), Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Raytheon Co (RTN.N), Common Dynamics Corp (GD.N) and Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N).

The rise got here partly as a result of the Trump administration rolled out a brand new “Purchase American” plan in April that relaxed restrictions on gross sales whereas encouraging U.S. officers to take an even bigger position in rising enterprise abroad for the U.S. weapons trade.

There are two main methods overseas governments buy arms from U.S. firms: direct industrial gross sales, negotiated between a authorities and an organization; and overseas navy gross sales, by which a overseas authorities works with the Pentagon on a possible deal. Each require approval by the U.S. authorities.

Business gross sales of U.S. navy gear to overseas governments rose 6.6 % from $128.1 billion to $136.6 billion within the fiscal yr, the State Division mentioned.

In October, the federal government mentioned U.S. overseas navy gross sales rose 33 % to $55.6 billion within the fiscal yr.

Mixed, the entire is a 13 % year-on-year enhance in weapons exports.

Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington D.C.; Modifying by Dan Grebler

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