US Arms Sales Shifting from Middle East to Europe

U.S. arms sales offers to the Middle East totaled $78.8 billion in 2018 which is down from $102 billion in offers during the Obama administration peak in 2010.

There was a sharp shift in the regional breakdown in U.S. arms offers between 2017 and 2018. Europe and Eurasia was the top recipient region in 2018, with 54.8% of all U.S. arms offers, up from 29.5% in 2017. Offers to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) dropped from 36.6% in 2017 to 21.9% in 2018.

The top five recipients of U.S. arms offers in 2018 were Italy ($11.4 billion), the United Kingdom ($7.3 billion), Japan ($7.2 billion), Belgium ($6.6 billion), and Saudi Arabia ($4.5 billion).

The top five arms exporters, based on deals of $500 million or more, were Lockheed Martin, which was involved in deals worth $25 billion; Boeing, $7.1 billion in deals; Raytheon, $5.5 billion in deals; Northrop Grumman had one deal worth $2.5 billion; and BAE , which had a $1.3 billion deal.

There was a sharp change in the types of weapons offered for sale in 2018 versus 2017. In 2017 the top category was bombs and missiles, accounting for 52.9% of the value of all offers that year, followed by aircraft and aircraft engines at 33.3%. In 2018 the categories flipped in importance, with aircraft and engines accounting for 60% of sales, while bombs and missiles came in it at a 27% share. The surge in aircraft sales in 2018 was driven by major deals for export of F-35 aircraft and components to European allies – over $17 billion to Italy, Belgium Norway combined.

SOURCES- Trends in Major U.S. Arms Sales in 2018: The Trump Record – Rhetoric Versus Reality – Center for International Policy

Written By Brian Wang,

4 thoughts on “US Arms Sales Shifting from Middle East to Europe”

  1. Look on the list, germany is now 6. 2017 not on the list. They build up, but you can not double the defense budget in one year.

  2. Two unrelated things. One is a category of trade, the other is US Defense. Not rational to belittle a substantial export from the #2 exporting country in the world.

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