GAO: U.S. Foreign Military Sales Program needs better controls

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Thomas Melito, director of International Affairs & Trade at the Government Accountability Office, discusses the influx of money into the Defense Department from equipment sales, and how the fund’s size could negatively impact competitiveness.


The U.S. Foreign Military Sales Program acts as a mediator between American defense contractors and allies wishing to purchase military hardware. A recent Government Accountability Office report says that while the fund containing money from these sales is ten times as big as it was in the mid-2000s, it might not be for the right reasons.

 

“Trust funds should be calibrated to their needs. The trust funds have triggers to make sure they don’t go too low, but they currently lack triggers to make sure they don’t go too high,” said Thomas Melito, director of International Affairs & Trade at GAO. “Why do we care about that? These are fees we are charging our foreign partners. Part of this is to make sure our sales are competitive with other people selling to the same partners. If the fees are too high, that would potentially make us uncompetitive.”