US arms sales to other countries soared by almost $10 billion last year even as the global weapons market remained flat, according to a new congressional report.
American weapons revenue reached to $36.2 billion in 2014, up 35 percent from $26.7 billion the year before, the New York Times reported on Friday.
The boost in foreign arms sales was spurred by multibillion-dollar agreements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, making the United States the single largest weapons supplier around the world last year.
The US was followed by Russia, Sweden and France as other major providers of arms in the world. China was at the fifth place with $2.2 billion in arms sales.
The study was conducted by the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and was delivered to Congress earlier this week.
South Korea, a key American ally that has ongoing tensions with North Korea, became the world’s top firearms purchaser last year, with $7.8 billion in purchases. About $7 billion of South Korea’s arms contracts were made with the US.
Iraq followed South Korea, completing $7.3 billion in arms contracts.
In mid-November, the US State Department approved the sale of $1.29 billion worth of bombs and ammunition to Saudi Arabia.
This deal is the latest in a string of major arms contracts totaling $20.8 billion since the kingdom launched its military aggression against Yemen in March 2015.
The congressional report found that total global arms sales rose slightly last year to $71.8 billion. That means the US controlled slightly more than half of the global market.
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