CRS: US Led Global Conventional Arms Trade in 2015

A new report from the Congressional Research Service says the U.S. continued to lead the world in global conventional armaments trade during 2015 as overall weapons orders decreased to $79.8 billion in 2015 from $89 billion in 2014.

The report titled “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015” also revealed that the U.S. government’s global weapons agreements values increased to $40.2 billion in 2015 from $36.1 billion in 2014, the Federation of American Scientists said Dec. 21.

U.S. ranked first in worldwide arms transfer agreements in 2015 with $40.2 billion, or 50.3 percent, while France ranked second with $15.3 billion or 19.16 percent, according to the report.

Global weapons transfer agreements with developing nations constituted 80.9 percent of such agreements from 2012 through 2015 — an increase from 80.4 percent during 2008 through 2011.

In 2015, the value of arms trade agreements with developing countries reached $65.2 billion while arms deliveries were at $33.6 billion.

U.S. and Russia ranked either first or second in arms transfer agreements with developing nations from 2012-2015 with the former obtaining approximately 33.4 percent or $86 billion of such agreements and the latter making $48.6 billion or 18.9 percent.

U.S. ranked first in arms deliveries to developing nations in 2015 at 35.4 percent or $11.9 billion, while Russia and France tied for the second spot at $6.2 billion or 18.5 percent each.

Qatar ended 2015 as the top weapons purchaser among developing nations at $17.5 billion in total arms transfer agreement values as Egypt ranked second at $11.9 billion and Saudi Arabia placed third with $8.6 billion.

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