Canadian military goods exports drop in 2020

June 2, 2021

Published by the Canadian Press on June 1, 2021

The federal government reported Tuesday the value of Canadian military-goods exports fell last year as its sales to Saudi Arabia dropped.

Canada’s annual report on exports of military equipment says in 2020 it sold approximately $1.966 billion in controlled military goods to international buyers compared to $3.757 billion in 2019.

The report says this decrease in export value was largely attributed to the lower value of military exports to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia was the largest non-U. S. destination of Canadian military exports, accounting for $1.311 billion or 67 per cent of these sales.

Compared to 2019, the value of military exports to Saudi Arabia decreased by $1.553 billion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau froze approvals of new military export permits to Saudi Arabia, pending a review, following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.

The review was completed in April 2020, when the government said it had made significant improvements to a contract to sell Saudi Arabia light-armoured vehicles and would assess new export permit applications on a case-by-case basis.

Most of Canada’s military exports last year consisted of ground vehicles and their components.

In an emailed statement, peace-research group Project Ploughshares blasted Canada for continuing to do business with Saudi Arabia.

“As there is credible evidence that Saudi Arabia has breached the laws of war in Yemen, and has gone so far as to illicitly provide these vehicles to proxies in that conflict, Canada’s continued arms exports to Riyadh is a breach of domestic and international law,” it said.

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