US officials report that major US arms makers like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are expressing concern that the backlash against Saudi Arabia, the largest purchaser of such arms, over the disappearance and apparent death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will end up costing them some very lucrative arms deals.
Saudi war crimes in Yemen had already led to repeated pushes in Congress to limit US arms sales, and at times, some sales were delayed by this. The addition of the Khashoggi affair has raised the possibility of the US cutting arms sales to them outright.
President Trump has argued against this course of action, saying it isn’t worth losing $110 billion in sales over one journalist who isn’t even a US citizen. Congress, however, may have other ideas.
Congress has the power to block any foreign military sales, and there is bipartisan support for that idea. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) even cautioned contractors not to push for any new deals with the Saudis right now, saying no approval votes could happen for awhile.
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