American defense companies sold $55.6 billion in weapons to foreign nations in fiscal 2018, a 33 percent jump from the year prior, according to the agency in charge of selling armaments to other countries.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the amount includes $47.7 billion from foreign military sales, $3.5 billion from the State Department’s foreign military financing program and $4.4 billion under the Defense Department.
Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, head of the DSCA, said Tuesday that he’s “very optimistic that this positive trajectory will continue.”
“Our partners know a good thing when they see one,” he told an audience at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.
The 2018 amount — based on sales agreed to between the U.S. and another country — is well above the nearly $42 billion in weapons sold in 2017 and the $33.6 billion in foreign sales in 2016.
Hooper attributed the jump to the Trump administration’s push for foreign sale policy reforms “to better align conventional arms transfers with national security and economic interests.”
Among those reforms is the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, updated in April, which makes it easier to sell weapons to other countries.
“These policy changes advance U.S. national security and foreign policy because they make FMS more attractive in a very competitive market,” Hooper said in a DSCA statement.