President Obama’s Asia tour brings renewed focus to his Asia Pivot. Territorial disputes and regional tensions may not be helping diplomacy in the Asia Pacific, but they are benefiting U.S. military contractors. Sales agreements with countries in the region rose to almost 14 billion dollars in fiscal 2012.
The United States Arms Sales in AsiaPresident Obama's Asia tour brings renewed focus to his "Asia Pivot." Territorial disputes and regional tensions may not be helping diplomacy in the Asia Pacific, but they are benefiting U-S military contractors. Sales agreements with countries in the region rose to almost 14 billion dollars in fiscal 2012. CCTV's Jessica Stone reports.
With the donation of this American frigate last August, the Philippines added to its biggest military expansion in decades. The Philippines spent 15 million dollars upgrading the 46-year-old Hamilton class cutter. The nation’s president immediately promised to send it on patrols in the South China Sea, near territories under dispute with China. Across the Asia Pacific, conflicting territorial claims and Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions have initiated a regional arms race. China has announced a defense budget hike of 12 percent in 2014.
Japan has pledged to increase its defense budget by nearly three percent.
American military contractors like Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and Boeing stand to benefit.
Lockheed makes the F-35 which Japan has selected to be its next fighter in a contract valued at more than 5 billion dollars. The Republic of Korea is expected to close a deal for the jets this year worth even more-and Singapore has expressed interest, too.
Despite China’s repeated protests against US F-16 sales to Taiwan, Lockheed Martin has received a 1.85 billion dollar contract to upgrade the fleet with new radar and electronic warfare suites.
But even as U.S. military equipment makers are selling hardware to the region, there is new competition. The Republic of Korea recently sold fighter jets to Indonesia and the Philippines. And just this month, Japan formally ended its ban on weapons export.
Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme talks about what countries are most likely to ramp up their arms purchases from the U.S.