Decreased by 21% .. 138 billion dollars, the volume of US arms exports in 2021

The US State Department said that sales of military equipment to foreign governments fell 21% to about 138 billion dollars last fiscal year, as the administration of President Joe Biden turned from its predecessor’s approach of excessive sales of weapons.

On Wednesday, the ministry revealed military sales figures for the 2021 fiscal year, which ended on September 30.

Sales included AH-64 Apache helicopters worth $3.5 billion to Australia, and CH-53K helicopters worth $3.4 billion to Israel.

Total sales of US military equipment in the previous fiscal year amounted to $175 billion.

But the Biden administration has shifted away from selling offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia due to civilian casualties in Yemen, and plans to announce a new arms export policy, which it says focuses on human rights when evaluating arms sales.

The fall in 2021 follows exceptionally high sales of combat aircraft and guided missiles the final year of the administration of former President Donald Trump.

Major financial deals for 2020 included Japan’s purchase of 63 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, amounting to $23 billion of that year’s total.

There are two main ways in which foreign governments can purchase arms from US companies, the first are direct commercial sales negotiated between the government and the company, and the second are foreign military sales, where the foreign government usually contacts a Defense Department official at the US embassy in its capital.

Both methods require US government approval.

The US State Department said that direct military sales from American companies decreased by 17% to 103 billion dollars in fiscal year 2021 from 124 billion in fiscal year 2020, while sales that are arranged through the government decreased 31% to 34.8 billion in 2021 from 50.8 billion the previous year.

The Trump administration has launched a “Buy American” program that eased restrictions on military sales, while encouraging US officials to take a greater role in increasing the activity of the arms industry abroad.

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