Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mixed Signs for Foreign Military Sales Under Trump

Mixed Signs for Foreign Military Sales Under Trump: Foreign military sales (FMS) are a critical foreign policy tool, one used to bind partners to America while bolstering interoperability on US systems — and providing a boost to domestic industry.

The administration of US President Barack Obama has made good use of FMS, setting records for foreign weapons sales in 2015 and coming close in 2016. But as President-elect Donald Trump’s administration spins up, the future of US sales abroad is unclear.

As with everything related to the Trump administration at this point, there is little hard evidence to go by. But analysts are watching closely for signs of what might come. In particular, there is concern that two areas of strong sales — the Gulf region and Europe — could be impacted by either the policies of the next administration or the statements of the next president.

Analyst Byron Callan, of Capital Alpha Partners, wrote to investors the day after the election, noting some of Trump’s campaign positions could impact foreign weapon sales.