Some countries, like South Korea, are stocking up on American-made arms due to their security situation. Iraq is doing the same thing, as U.S. troops have mostly withdrawn from the country except for a few thousand recently deployed advisers that are stationed to help government forces fight ISIS. Regardless, American arms sales rose 35 percent, or $10 billion, from last year (via the Hill):
Despite a stagnant international weapons market and increased competition among suppliers, American foreign weapons receipts rose from $26.7 billion to $36.2 billion last year.
The study, first reported Friday by the New York Times, attributed the windfall in part to multibillion-dollar contracts with South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are among the top purchasers of American firearms.
The U.S. was the top firearms exporter in 2014, making up more than 50 percent of the market, followed by Russia, who had roughly $5.5 billion in sales. Sweden was third with roughly $5.5 billion in sales, followed by France with $4.4 billion and China with $2.2 billion.
Amid escalating tensions with nuclear-armed North Korea, South Korea was the world’s top firearms purchaser last year with contracts exceeding $7.7 billion, more than $7 billion of which was from U.S. contracts.
The publication added that the global arms market would likely not grow due to “the weakened state of the global economy.”