US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is concerned the slow approval process for arms sales may be hurting the country’s defence industry.

Gates says slow procedural processes resulted in Iraq purchasing $100m of arms from China, for use by their police forces.

However, despite his concern he says the US has already delivered $600m worth of weapons to Iraq since January.

He says the US needs to improve its foreign military sales programme for all its customers.

“This is an issue that we have to look into and see what we an do in the United States to be more responsive and to be able to react more quickly to the requirements of our friends,” Gates says.

By staff writer