LIMA — The Joint System Manufacturing Center may start producing Abrams tanks for Taiwan if a foreign military sale proposed by the Trump administration proceeds.
The U.S. State Department recently approved a proposed $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan, which includes 108 Abrams tanks that would be produced by the JSMC in Lima and Anniston Army Depot in Alabama.
The sale will proceed pending a 30-day Congressional notification period.
U.S. Sen. Robert Portman applauded the proposed sale this month as “good news” for the JSMC and Taiwan, calling the deal an “important signal of our support for Taiwan.”
“Keeping the Abrams production line thriving will help JSMC continue to meet the needs of our troops both at home and around the globe,” he said in a prepared statement after the State Department approved the proposed sale.
General Dynamic Land Systems currently produces tanks and combat vehicles at the JSMC for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel.
The proposed sale to Taiwan has angered Chinese officials.
China last Friday announced its intent to impose sanctions on any U.S. firm involved in the deal, according to The Associated Press. Taiwan later defended the proposal, citing the growing military threat from China.
Taiwan split from China during a civil war in 1949, but the mainland still considers the self-governing island as part of its territory. The U.S., which recognized Beijing as the government of China in 1979, does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but U.S. law requires that it provide Taiwan with sufficient defense equipment and services for self-defense.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.