Direct Commercial Sales

Direct Commercial Sales At A Glance

Arms Sales $16,846,079,237 (2015)
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The Direct Commercial Sales program regulates U.S. companies' sales of U.S. defense articles and defense services on the U.S. Munitions List abroad.

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The State Department's Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) program regulates U.S. companies' sales of U.S. defense articles and defense services on the U.S. Munitions List abroad. Authorized under Sec. 2778 of U.S. Code, DCS is distinguished from the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, which manages government-to-government sales or transfers. Unlike FMS, direct commercial sales are negotiated directly between the foreign government and a U.S. company.  In the overwhelming majority of cases, a U.S. company wanting to export U.S. defense articles or defense services to a foreign country will require an export license or approval from the State Department. Importantly, Security Assistance Monitor data shows approved license agreements instead of actual deliveries of defense articles or services to a foreign country each year. The license agreements often last a few years. Direct commercial sales are subject to the same notification requirements as FMS. Foreign governments that have more experience in military procurement, and do not feel a need to have the U.S. government negotiate sales on their behalf, tend to choose DCS. DCS is usually a quicker way to transfer arms abroad and has less government oversight than FMS.  Each year, the State Department's Directorate for Defense Trade Controls releases a report detailing approved licenses and deliveries of defense articles and defense services under DCS for the previous year. 

Military vs. Economic Aid

Security Assistance Monitor tracks all available data about U.S. security and humanitarian & development assistance provided to this country. For a dollar amount breakdown of how much aid this country receives and which programs are supplying assistance, click "view data set." Note: This year's figures reflect the U.S. government's estimates of expected spending, and numbers for next year represent the administration's request to Congress.
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Security Assistance Monitor tracks all available data about the United States' training of this country's security forces. For information about how the number of security forces trained each year by the United States, including detailed information about the subject of the training, where that training takes place, and who is being trained, click "view data set."
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Arms Sales

Security Assistance Monitor tracks all available data about U.S. arms sales to this country. For detailed information on equipment, weapons and military services sold to this country, click "view data set." Note: This is not grant aid: these are items that governments purchase with their own funds.
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3/10/17 | Blog
State Department Proposed Firearms Sales Surpass $600 Million

The State Department requested Congress to approve over $662 million worth of commercial firearms sales to 36 countries in 2015-2016, including some countries that have come under scrutiny for their potential or alleged misuse of U.S. weapons.

2/13/17 | Fact Sheets
U.S. Proposed Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Since the start of Fiscal Year 2016 the United States has authorized at least $20.5 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This fact sheet provides an overview of each authorized sale.

9/7/16 | Fact Sheets
U.S. Arms Transfers to Saudi Arabia and the War in Yemen

The debate over the recent U.S. offer to sell M1A2 Abrams battle tanks to Saudi Arabia has raised the question of Saudi dependency on U.S. equipment for its defense needs in general and for the prosecution of its war in Yemen in particular. Saudi Arabia has requested up to 153 tanks, 20 of which...



9/14/15 | Policy Statements
Letter to the State Department on Reduced Oversight of Private Security Activities Abroad
On July 31, 2015, the Center for International Policy and the Washington Office on Latin America sent a letter to the State Department raising concerns about their proposed rule change to the definition of defense services as published on June 3, 2015. The letter describes some of the key U.S....
3/6/15 | News
Jordan Seeking 72 M31 Rocket Systems Made by Lockheed Martin
Jordan is seeking more U.S.-made rocket launchers built by Lockheed Martin Corp., the Pentagon announced Thursday.
1/8/15 | News
Turkey To Order 4 More F-35s, 5 More Chinooks
Turkey's top procurement panel decided Wednesday to order four more F-35 fighter jets and five more CH-47F Chinook heavy transport helicopters, the government announced.

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