The sale of global arms dropped slightly last year to $80bn from 2014’s $89bn, according to a new congressional study, with the US maintaining its position as the world’s dominant supplier.
But at $40bn the US market share of weapons sales amounted to about half of all arms agreements in 2015, and more than double the orders recorded by France, its nearest rival with $15bn in sales. The US and France both grew their market shares, by around $4bn and $9bn respectively.
Russia recorded a slight decline in arms orders, dropping to $11.1bn in sales from its $11.2bn total in 2014, while China reached $6bn, double the previous year’s estimates.
The latest figures were released last week by the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and are considered one of the most reliable measures of the global arms trade.
US arms exports in 2016 looks set to remain broadly in line with the previous year’s sales. ...
The report’s findings conform to a study released in November that found that the Obama administration has approved more than $278bn in foreign arms sales in its eight years, more than double the total of the Bush administration, which approved $128.6bn.