These Are the U.S. States Profiting From Donald Trump's Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia

Eleven U.S. states and Washington D.C. have exported more than $100 million of weapons to Saudi Arabia over the past four years, according to a new report released by the investigative site Bellingcat and based on U.S. government data.

The top exporters of weapons to Saudi Arabia among the U.S. states are North Carolina, Arizona, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New Mexico, Maryland, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, and New Hampshire. The largest exporter is North Carolina.

The report was based on census data for exported goods and there could be additional arms exports not included in this particular data set. The data is from 2015-2019, spanning the final days of the Obama administration into the Trump administration.

Lockheed Martin Protester Spray-Painted Date of Yemen School Bus Bombing on Weapon Maker’s Corporate Campus Header
Graffiti protesting Lockheed Martin's involvement in Saudi bombing of Yemen. Bryce Druzin

The information was released as Congress enters into a battle with the Trump administration over the passage of an emergency declaration that allows the administration to export an additional $8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates despite opposition from Congress.

On Wednesday, Senators questioned senior State Department official Clarke Cooper about the decision, calling into question whether there is truly an emergency and whether U.S weapons are being used to carry out war crimes as part of the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

"The administration is trying to abuse the law in order to sell weapons to supposed ally Saudi Arabia and the UAE. These are countries that are already using American-made weapons in a campaign in Yemen that resulted in innocent civilians being targeted and killed," David Cicilline, a Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island, said on Wednesday.

"The justification for this appalling action by the administration is a bogus emergency," he added.

The report by Bellingcat noted that parts of U.S. weapons were used in the Saudi attack on a school bus in Yemen that killed 40 children last year.

"Building on previous reporting by Bellingcat, identifying marks on U.S. bombs used in the Dahyan bus bombing which killed at least 40 children and 11 adults, revealed they were partially produced in Pennsylvania, the fifth largest exporter of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE," the report reads. "Parts found at incidents lead to manufacturers in Texas, showing that even small exporters can have an outsized role in possible human rights violations."

The Trump administration argues that Gulf allies need support to counter Iran's malign influence in the region. On Wednesday, the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels fired a missile from Yemen into an airport in Southwest Saudi Arabia, according to a spokesman from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Around 26 people were reportedly injured in the attack.