ontario news watch

Canadian military-goods exports dropped last year as sales to Saudi Arabia fell

OTTAWA — The federal government reports 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 sent approximately $1.966 billion in controlled military goods 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. export destination of Canadian military exports, accounting for $1.311 billion or 67 per cent of non-U.S. military exports.

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 in 2020 consisted of ground vehicles and their components.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press