By Carey L. Biron InterPress Service
June 15, 2012
WASHINGTON, Jun 15 2012 (IPS) - The United States is set to far surpass previous records for defense sales this year, according to U.S. officials."Despite the global economic strain, demand for U.S. defense products and services is stronger than ever," Andrew J. Shapiro, an assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department, said on Thursday. He confirmed that the U.S., long the world's largest weapons exporter, has already seen more than 50 billion dollars in government-to-government military sales this fiscal year. "This represents at least a 20-billion-dollar increase over fiscal year 2011, and we still have more than a quarter of the fiscal year left," Shapiro said, speaking with reporters. The current fiscal year will end in September.
"To put this in context, fiscal year 2011 was a record-setting year at just over 30 billion. This fiscal year
will be at least 70 percent greater." This gets to the need for a strong Arms Trade Treaty."
While the Obama administration officially supportspassage of the ATT - a turnaround from the era of George
W. Bush - the letter highlights the need for the ATT to cover small-scale ammunition, which the United States
currently opposes.A recent report by Oxfam International, an advocacy group, warns that if the ATT that does not control ammunition, a 4.3-billion-dollar per year sector, the treaty "will not achieve its purposes.
|Source: Richard F. Grimmett, CRS Report for Congress; Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010 , September 22, 2011
Notes: Percentages are rounded; Each country shown as follows: