US arms sales stand unaffected by pandemic
The pandemic has not affected the sale of arms and military equipment by the US. From January to July, it approved 43 contracts amounting to 70% of its total arms sales in 2019. Fifteen of these were approved in July, including a contract for the sale of various military vessels, machine guns, bombs and ammunition to the Philippines. From March 30 to May 28, it approved arms sale contracts amounting to approximately $7.5 billion.
Last year, the US earned a revenue of nearly $70 billion through the sale of war planes and other military equipment to 28 countries. These countries include Saudi Arabia which is notorious for its brutal crimes against humanity, particularly in its attacks against Yemen. The highest arms sales by the US in Asia were recorded in India, Taiwan, and other countries challenging China’s claim to territories in the South China Sea.
To manufacture more weapons and broaden its market, Pres. Donald Trump successively withdrew from various treaties which ban the use of highly destructive weapons and war equipment. He first withdrew from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty which contributed significantly to destroying nuclear weapons across the globe. Simultaneously, Trump announced his plan to allocate $46 billion to boost the nuclear arsenal of the US in 2021. Trump also earlier withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, Outer Skies Treaty, New START Treaty and Missile Technology Control Regime—treaties which regulate the manufacturing and stockpiling and test trials of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
Last January, Trump also cancelled a policy which prohibits the manufacturing, stockpiling, and use of anti-personnel (victim-activated) landmines outside the South Korea peninsula. This is a violation to the Mine Ban Treaty which was signed by 164 countries in Ottawa, Canada in 1997.