Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The United States has sold over $55 billion of weapons in the recently completed 2018 government fiscal year, a sharp year-on-year increase in the wake of President Donald Trump’s push to encourage sales.
That’s 33 percent more than fiscal year 2017, Trump’s first year in office, when the Pentagon contractors managed to sell almost $42 billion in weapons and military services around the globe, according to the latest report by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
According ding to the report, the Pentagon funded $4.42 billion of the 2018 foreign purchases while an additional $3.52 billion in arms sales was funded by the State Department. The buyers paid for the rest of the sales themselves.
The deals included the sales of a significant number of aircraft and equipment, including Boeing deals to sell surveillance aircraft in Asia and Europe.
American missile systems, such as Raytheon’s Patriot and Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), also received a boost in sales during this period.
The Trump White House has been actively pushing members of the NATO military alliances and other allies across the world to increase defense spending and investing in American military gear.
In a blatant attempt to force its own products upon others, Washington launched introduce a “Buy American” initiative that streamlined foreign sales and encouraged US officials abroad to facilitate sales.
Moreover, the Trump administration have been warning allies against purchasing rivaling technologies from other countries such as Russia and China.
Earlier this year, the protectionist behavior backfired after the US imposed sanctions on China for purchasing Russian weapons, including the advanced S-400 missile defense system.
In reaction, China postponed direct military talks with the US and warned of further “consequences” down the road.
The US also tried to force Turkey to stop buying the Russian missile defense system, arguing that it would hurt Ankara’s ties with the NATO.
Trump’s thirst for military sales became more apparent last week, when he said he would not throw away his $110 billion military deal with Saudi Arabia that he signed with the Kingdom last year over the mysterious disappearance of a dissident journalist, who has gone missing since entering the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on October 2.