12 September 2017

News Story: US Senate panel bucks Trump to back Foreign Military Financing

Sen. Lindsey Graham
(Image: Wiki Commons)
By: Joe Gould

WASHINGTON — A recent U.S. Senate report dismisses the Trump administration’s plans to kill U.S. subsidies for foreign allies to buy American-made weapons and replace the subsidies with a loans program.

The move came in a Senate Appropriations subcommittee report, which accompanied its version of the State Department spending bill. The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee is led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is among lawmakers who have said transforming the Foreign Military Financing program would be detrimental to national security and the U.S. defense sector.

“The Committee does not support transitioning FMF assistance from grants to loans, as proposed in the President’s budget request,” the report reads. “The Committee notes that prior to the submission of the [president’s budget] no study was conducted on the impact of the proposal to the U.S. national security interest or the security and stability of allies and partners, including the loss of influence through increased arms sales by [China] and Russia to FMF grant recipients.”

Foreign Military Financing has largely taken the role of a grant given to U.S. allies to allow them to buy defense equipment. With the exception of Israel, all countries that receive FMF have to spend it on goods made in the United States, a boost for the domestic defense industry.

Read the full story at DefenseNews