Trump to Send High-Level Team to Push Exports at International Airshow

July 1, 2018 Updated: July 1, 2018

The White House will push the Trump administration’s “buy American” drive at the upcoming Farnborough International Airshow.

In April, President Donald Trump signed an executive order for the “buy American” and “hire American” initiative, which aims to create higher wages and employment for American workers.

Industry sources with knowledge of the event told Reuters that the White House is sending a top delegation who will look to boost exports of American weapons and aircraft. The official delegation would be the highest-ranking group to attend the air show in recent times and will be led by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Another official policy, named the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, will help loosen export rules on military equipment such as fighter jets or artillery. The State Department’s undersecretary for arms control and international security, Andrea Thompson, will attend, a U.S. Department of State official told Reuters.

Some companies that would benefit from the new policy include Boeing and top U.S. defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics.

In fiscal year 2016, the department authorized, licensed, and provided oversight for $42 billion in government-to-government sales and $112 billion in direct commercial sales, according to the official. For 2018, there will be more than $43.4 billion in sales to other governments just in the first seven months of 2018.

The July 16–22 air show will feature, among other programs, exhibitors showcasing advanced aerospace digital technologies, a showcase area for air cargo, forum discussions with world-class speakers, and the chance to network with 1,200 fellow industry professionals, government officials, and international delegations.

It won’t be the first time that the Trump administration has stepped up its presence at an air show. In February, the United States sent its diplomat responsible for foreign military sales to the Singapore Airshow to promote U.S.-made weapons.

The U.S. government has already pre-approved Belgium to buy 34 F-35s made by Lockheed Martin in a sale worth more than $6 billion. Belgium has yet to decide.


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