The Trump administration has informally greenlit a potential major arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new F-16 fighter jets, according to administration officials and others familiar with the matter.
The decision comes amid heightened tensions with China as a trade war wages on and a crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong draws US criticism. The new weaponry — the largest US sale to Taiwan in several years — could further erode ties, since Beijing views the self-governing island as part of China.
Congress was notified informally of the potential sale on Thursday, according to a senior administration official and others familiar with the matter. It’s expected to be reviewed and approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The deal is said to include 66 F-16 Fighting Falcon (V) jets which will be built by Lockheed Martin. The deal is said to be worth around $8 billion USD, which should have a positive impact on Lockheed Martin’s stock (LMT) which is up about 1% today after this was announced, it is currently trading at $377 per share.