We are all familiar with President Trump's campaign promise to 'Make America Great Again.' President Trump ensured his followers of his intentions to minimize illegal immigration, inject the economy with jobs, revitalize domestic production, and putting the needs of the United States above all. But President Trump also promised to increase the size of the United States military, tacking on a proposed $52bn to the defense budget. Certainly we can assume that $52bn will span the procurement and production of new technologies, weapons, crafts, and human capital. Given the correlation between each of Trump's promises, could this mean we might see a rise in American arms exports?
Consider the following: the United States absolutely dominates the arms trade market. We sell weaponry to over one hundred countries. We have the best weapons. Not fake news.
Well, I'd venture to say if you couple President Trump's 'America First' strategy and the military budget increase, and maybe his flip-flop rhetoric on NATO and American intervention, some nations might be worried about their future. A decrease in global American military presence might cause some nations to begin bulk purchase of arms. In the middle east, for example, nations like Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia have more than tripled their arms imports. Scholarship credits the rise in arms imports to a fear of regional, and also global, instability.
Ultimately if the United States begins to produce more arms and simultaneously retreats from the global theater, it is likely we will see an increase in arms imports. Especially if select nations wish to maintain their ties to the U.S., importing our weapons is a wonderful way to ensure President Trump doesn't tweet about you. I can't see the U.S. ever abandoning NATO or its other military commitments - SecDef Mattis is too smart and probably too respected by Trump to allow unnecessary derailments. But in regards to NATO, can't say its a bad thing to ask Germany and France to pay their 2.0%... Poland does.