This chapter is a review of our empirical knowledge regarding arms trade offsets. Extant evidence suggests that offset arrangements do not yield net benefits for a country’s economic development. As a general rule arms trade offset deals are more costly than off-the-shelf arms purchases, create little by way of new or sustainable employment, do not appear to contribute in any substantive way to general economic development, and with very few exceptions do not result in significant technology transfers, not even within the military sector. As of 2009, the United States and the European Union have taken official government positions against offset deals. Nonetheless, arms trade offsets are a flourishing practice.
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