US Arms Sales Reach Record High

(REUTERS/Phil Noble)

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Robert Schmad Contributor
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The value of U.S. military equipment sold to foreign governments reached a record high in the 2023 fiscal year, according to the State Department.

Total military equipment transfers amounted to $238.4 billion in 2023, including equipment purchased by the U.S. government on behalf of other countries and goods sold directly to foreign governments by American defense companies, according to the State Department. The 2023 fiscal year’s figures represent a 16% increase in overall arms sales from 2022, with the increase particularly pronounced among sales facilitated by the United States government.

“Arms transfers and defense trade are important U.S. foreign policy tools with potential long-term implications for regional and global security,” according to the State Department. (RELATED: The US Is Shipping So Many Weapons To Ukraine, Defense Companies Can’t Keep Up, Top Navy Officers Warn)

Other countries are making large arms purchases amid several ongoing global conflicts.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues after nearly two years of conflict, Israel’s war with Hamas is unlikely to relent anytime soon and Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels’ attacks on global shipping have some anxious that a broader regional conflict could crop up.

$80.9 billion worth of equipment was purchased by foreign governments through the Foreign Military Sales system in the 2023 fiscal year, up from $51.9 billion in 2022.

The Foreign Military Sales system allows foreign governments to use the Department of Defense’s acquisition system to purchase goods and services related to defense, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Countries participating in the program pay for what they purchase through the system in addition to an administration fee.

Foreign nations purchased $157.5 billion directly from American firms during the 2023 fiscal year, up from $153.6 billion in 2022, according to the State Department.

Arms sales include billions to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Italy, India, Ukraine, Canada, Germany and Poland, among other countries, according to the State Department.

This photograph taken on June 13, 2022, shows the logo from US defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin on display at the Eurosatory international land and airland defence and security trade fair, in Villepinte, a northern suburb of Paris. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

The stock value of some large American defense contractors was largely stagnant during the 2023 fiscal year despite the increasing demand for American arms.

Lockheed Martin was worth $486.49 a share on Oct. 1, 2022, the beginning of the 2023 fiscal year, and ended the fiscal year at $453.24 a share. General Dynamics, meanwhile, began the fiscal year at $248.11 a share and closed it out at $259.67 a share.

The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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