United States to lower foreign arms sales surcharge


The U.S. government will reduce its administrative surcharge on foreign arms sales to 3.2 percent from 3.5 percent from June as part of a broader bid to make U.S. weapons more competitive internationally, a top U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday.

U.S. Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, announced the change during an interview at the ILA Berlin Air Show, where Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and U.S. companies are showcasing helicopters, fighter jets and other military equipment.
“This rate reduction will immediately reduce the cost of new business for our international partners,” said Hooper, whose agency facilitates all foreign military sales. “We think this rate reduction will allow the U.S. to become more competitive in the global defense market.”

The U.S. government assessed the surcharge on the full value of all government-to-government foreign arms sales to cover its administrative costs, and avoid any charge to U.S. taxpayers for such transactions.

The move comes days after the Trump administration announced an overhaul of U.S. arms export policy aimed at expanding sales to allies, saying it would bolster the American defense industry and create jobs at home.