On Independence Day, the U.S. State Department approved almost $7.5 billion in potential foreign military sales to five different countries, including $70 million for Stryker infantry carrier vehicles to Argentina, with work to be done at the General Dynamics Land Systems facility in Anniston.
Unlike international trade as a whole, trade in weapons has been vigorous in the face of the virus crisis.
The World Trade Organization estimates global trade was down 3 percent in the first quarter of 2020 and predicts 18.5 percent in the second quarter. Back in April, the WTO was forecasting a 13 percent to 32 percent decrease for the whole of 2020. Like the World Health Organization’s April prediction for Covid deaths, the numbers were unaccountably drastic, adopting the Imperial College of London’s prediction of 2.2 million U.S. Covid deaths.
But no one has lost money betting on the vigor of the weapons trade. The U.S. State Department cleared $67.9 billion in weapons in fiscal 2019, and the Fourth of July numbers bode another strong year.
The Alabama/Argentina share of the 2020 Independence Day sales was the smallest allocation but almost 10 percent of the total.
The U.S. has had strong military ties with Argentina through several administrations. In the twilight of the second Obama term, the U.S. announced an agreement for three new U.S. National Security Bases in Argentina, in part for conducting training operations not only for Argentina but for the rest of Latin America.
The Stryker infantry carrier vehicles General Dynamics is selling Argentina out of its facilities on the Anniston Army Depot provide protected transport of soldiers and, during dismounted assault, supporting fire for an infantry squad.
Other slices of the July 4th weapons pie were:
- Israel: the biggest slice, $3 billion for aviation fuel
- France: $2 billion for three Advanced Hawkeye aircraft
- Indonesia: $2 billion for eight MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft
- Lithuania: $380 million for six UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters