The U.S. dominates global arms sales with a 40% share of weapons exports. Now the Biden administration sees an opportunity to permanently relegate Russia to second-tier status in that market–a market where Moscow traditionally has been a big player. Russia has been gradually losing ground over the last decade, and its Ukraine invasion has accelerated the erosion in sales. Compared with the 2013-2017 period, Russian exports were down 31% in 2018-2022. China was down by a more modest but still significant 23%. America, on the other hand, has been gaining market share, along with allies France, Italy and South Korea. But to keep U.S. arms exports competitive, Washington needs to make its export processes faster and more efficient. The administration has launched initiatives to do precisely that at the State Department and Defense Department. I have written a piece on reform of arms-export practices for Forbes here.
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