The expert points out that one element has been decisive in the US decline: the cancellations of purchases from India and Venezuela, two of its main client. According to the report, the purchase of arms in the Latin American country, which was the largest importer in South America between 2009 and 2013, decreased by 83% due to the crisis.
for years a very important client of the US, one of the few buyers of its guns in Latin America. Now, with the economic crisis there, hyperinflation, and the political situation, many contracts have been postponed or canceled, and this has negatively influenced US gun trader exports,” he considers.
Why is the US the main gun trader market?
For decades, the United States has conquered the sale of arms worldwide, although contradictorily, the price of its products is many times the highest.
According to Fleurant, its success is due to the fact that Washington has designed a complex gun sales strategy that includes training, security guarantees, training, high technology, and support in case of conflicts.
Hence, many countries prefer to buy these weapons rather than test them in other markets, such as China or Russia, where they could be found at a lower cost .
“US guns trader, while more expensive, come with a number of guarantees that make them more attractive to many importers,” he says.
The specialist believes that there are also other geopolitical issues: the countries that make up regional blocs, such as NATO, prefer to entrust their weapons and technology to an allied country and not to a potential enemy,
“There is also the fact that it is strategic in these regional alliances to have a technology that is common to all countries,” he adds.
The F-35 fighters were the ones that reported the highest income to the United States.
During the government of Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, the White House deployed a broad maneuver to promote the signing of international arms agreements, which according to the think tank Center for International Policy, was the largest in history after World War II. World War .
Since becoming president, Donald Trump has consolidated that policy.
Last year, in an interview with CNN, Republican Senator Marco Rubio considered that behind this strategy in arms sales, the United States also saw a possibility of influencing potential conflicts.
“Arms sales are important, not just for the money, but also because they provide an influence on their future behavior. They will need our spare parts, our training…and those are things we can use to influence their behavior,” he said.
What kind of weapons were the best sellers?
Fleurant points out that there are several complex weapons that have dominated the international market in the last five years, including:
The F-35 fighter, fifth generation combat aircraft
Where were most of the weapons exported to?
According to the report, several countries in Asia and Oceania (including India, Australia, China, South Korea and Vietnam as the main regional buyers) received 40% of total global arms imports between 2014 and 2018.
Meanwhile, Middle Eastern countries represented 35% of the global total in that period.
Saudi Arabia became the leader in arms purchases worldwide, for 12% of the total compared to 4.3% in the previous five-year period, and the United States was its main market.
This fact has been called into question after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and also due to the denunciations of alleged war crimes committed by the aviation of the Arab country in the Yemen conflict.
Trump, who chose Saudi lands as his first destination for a foreign visit as head of state, declined to impose sanctions on him after Khashoggi’s death, considering that such a decision could mean that Riyadh would open up to the Russian or Chinese arms market.
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