>> President Donald Trump intends to drive a government wide effort to open new foreign markets to US made weapons and military equipment. Sources tell Reuters that Trump intends to sign a quote, national security decision directive, and a quote, arms transfer initiative in February, to add language that sharpens the State Department's focus on advocating the economic benefits of an arm sale.
Reuters' Mike Stone.>> A lot of partners in NATO, outside of NATO, and US allies around the world. They have always been hungry to get their hands on some of the equipment that the US arms makers make. This would increase the number of jobs in the United States.
It would increase the amount of exports that the United States has, therefore decreasing the export deficit that the United States is currently running.>> The plan will ease export rules and order US military attaches and diplomats around the world to act as a veritable sales force for these companies.
Even though the US is already the world's biggest arms exporter. The country exported nearly $42 billion worth of weaponry to foreign buyers in 2017.>> So, someone at the State Department, someone at the Pentagon, someone evaluating a potential for military sale, is going to not only have to take into account the human rights record of the country that they will be selling into, but also whether or not that sale will be good for.
Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, many of the largest and most prolific arms makers in the United States of America.>> Officials and industry executives point to China's drone sales to United Arab Emirates in Jordan as examples of how regulation have chocked US exports. And while efforts to expand arms exports are not new, Trump's language will go further than President Obama's 2014 policy, that sought to quote, promote US sales to make it easier to work with allies.