Australia loves to export: wheat, beef, wool, coal, iron ore. All of them stable and reliably profitable commodities in times of peace and prosperity. But, as you may have noticed, the world has turned to shit. Apocalypse looms. And this little antipodean country has decided to take advantage. Malcolm Turnbull has today announced a strategy to make Australia one of the world’s foremost weapons exporters. Damn, we’re going to make so much money when Kim Jong-Un finally presses that button.
Australia’s new Defence Export Strategy focuses on us becoming one of the top ten global defence exporters within the next decade. It allocates $3.8 billion to a “Defence Export Facility” that will help finance the local manufacturing and sales of weapons, as well as an additional $20 million per year to develop and implement “strategic multi-year export campaigns.” In short, we’re going to be manufacturing and exporting a very large amount of stuff designed to kill people. As the press release proudly points out, the Turnbull government has already invested $200 billion in the Australian Defence Force, so this is actually still chump change.
So other than through gaining bragging rights, how will Australians benefit from our new status as arms exporters? Supposedly, the answer is employment. As a statement from Defence Minister Christopher Pyne explains:
“This strategy is about job creation. It will give Australian defence companies the support they need to grow, invest and deliver defence capability. It will make Australian defence exports among the best in the world.”
Given we’re currently more known for importing weapons than exporting them—Australia is the fifth biggest arms importer in the world—quite a few jobs will presumably be created in order to pull this thing off. The biggest weapon manufacturers are currently the United States, Russia, China, and France—in that order. The tenth largest, aka the country we’re apparently going to edge out, is Israel.