According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Swedish arms research institute, US exports to the global arms market have increased by 37% in the last five years.
Rising exports from the United States, France, and Germany have been offset by a decline in Russian and Chinese exports.
Arms imports and exports have been high since the end of the Cold War, although the current trade epidemic's effects could change.
The Middle East saw the largest increase in arms imports during this period.
It would be premature to say whether there has been such a rapid increase in arms transfers over the past two decades, said a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) who compiled the data. The situation is about to end.
This epidemic may require some countries to rethink their imports in the coming years. Yet, even in 2020, when the epidemic was at its strongest, some countries had major arms deals.
SIPRI said international arms sales remained stable between 2016 and 2020 compared to the previous five years, meaning its trade volume did not change much.
Nearly half (47%) of US arms exports went to the Middle East. In comparison, Saudi Arabia alone accounted for 24% of total US arms exports.
The United States now supplies arms to 96 states, and its exports have grown significantly over the past five years.
France's large arms exports increased by 44%, while Germany's exports increased by 21%.
Both Israel and South Korea have grown significantly in their exports, even though both arms are relatively small players in exports.
Russia-China arms trade declines
Both Russia and China, the world's largest arms suppliers to sub-Saharan Africa, have seen a decline in arms exports.
Arms exports from Russia fell 22 percent, with most of its arms exports going to India, down 53 percent.
Although Russia has recently signed arms with many states and has been slowly gaining years in its export, there is stiff competition from the United States.
China, the world's fifth-largest arms exporter, saw its exports fall 7.8 percent.
Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Algeria have been major buyers of Chinese arms.