*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - September 9, 2009: The United States expanded its role as the world's leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, The New York Times reported late Sept. 7. Citing a new congressional study, the newspaper said the United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion last year, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar. The figure marked a significant increase from U.S. arms sales of $25.4 billion the year before, the paper noted. Italy was a distant second, with $3.7 billion in worldwide weapons sales in 2008, while Russia was third with $3.5 billion in arms sales last year - down considerably from the $10.8 billion in weapons deals signed by Moscow in 2007, the report pointed out. The growth in weapons sales by the United States last year was particularly noticeable against worldwide trends, The Times said. The value of global arms sales in 2008 was $55.2 billion, a drop of 7.6 percent from 2007 and the lowest total for international weapons agreements since 2005, according to the report. The increase in American weapons sales around the world "was attributable not only to major new orders from clients in the Near East and in Asia, but also to the continuation of significant equipment and support services contracts with a broad-based number of U.S. clients globally," the paper quotes the study produced by the Congressional Research Service.