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China’s Latest Power Move: Sanctions on Lockheed Martin and Other U.S. Defense Giants

June 21, 2024
China Sanctions Lockhead Martin

In a move that’s stirring the geopolitical pot, China has slapped sanctions on several major U.S. defense companies, including Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. This development adds another layer to the already complex relationship between the world’s two largest economies. But what does this mean, and why should you care? Let’s break it down.

(Featured Image Courtesy of

What’s Going On?

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the sanctions in response to continued U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. These sales are a point of contention because China views Taiwan as a breakaway province, while the U.S. maintains that its military support is crucial for Taiwan’s defense. The sanctions target not only the companies but also their senior executives, prohibiting them from entering China and freezing any assets they might have there​ (Aviación Online)​​ (The Defense Post)​.

The Companies in the Crosshairs

Among the sanctioned entities are:

  • Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control
  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
  • Raytheon Missile Systems
  • General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems

These companies play a pivotal role in the U.S. defense infrastructure, supplying advanced military technology and systems globally. The sanctions also extend to several high-ranking executives, further escalating the stakes​ (The Defense Post)​​ (Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines)​.

Why Now?

China’s decision comes amidst heightened tensions following the U.S. military’s recent actions, including the downing of what it described as a Chinese spy balloon. The sanctions are part of a broader pattern of retaliatory measures between the two nations, reflecting a deepening strategic rivalry​ (RegTech Times)​​ (WashEx)​.

The Broader Implications

While the immediate economic impact on these defense giants might be limited due to their minimal direct exposure to the Chinese market, the sanctions carry significant symbolic weight. They highlight China’s willingness to leverage its economic tools to counter U.S. policies it deems threatening to its sovereignty and national security​ (Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines)​.

What It Means for You

For the average reader, especially those interested in finance and global markets, this development is a reminder of how geopolitical tensions can influence market stability and investment climates. Defense stocks might see fluctuations as investors react to the news, and broader market sentiment could be affected by the ongoing U.S.-China rivalry. Pay close attention to the defense sector ETFs in the coming weeks.

Overview of Aerospace & Defense ETFs

Here’s a handy overview of some prominent ETFs you might want to check out:

TickerFund NameIssuerAUMExpense Ratio3-Mo TRSegment
PPAInvesco Aerospace & Defense ETFInvesco$3.32B0.58%4.88%Equity: U.S. Aerospace & Defense
XARSPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETFState Street Global Advisors$2.11B0.35%3.27%Equity: U.S. Aerospace & Defense
SHLDGlobal X Defense Tech ETFMirae Asset Global Investments Co., Ltd.$250.18M0.50%3.62%Equity: Global Aerospace & Defense
MISLFirst Trust Indxx Aerospace & Defense ETFAJM Ventures LLC$66.11M0.60%7.13%Equity: U.S. Aerospace & Defense
GCADGabelli Commercial Aerospace And Defense ETFGAMCO Investors, Inc.0.00%5.57%Equity: U.S. Aerospace & Defense
DFENDirexion Daily Aerospace & Defense Bull 3X SharesDirexion0.97%10.57%Leveraged Equity: U.S. Aerospace & Defense
ITAIShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETFBlackrock0.40%4.73%Equity: U.S. Aerospace & Defense

Key Takeaways:

  • PPA and XAR are the big players with AUM in the billions, offering relatively lower expense ratios and decent returns.
  • SHLD provides exposure to global aerospace and defense, which might appeal to those looking for a more diversified international portfolio.
  • MISL stands out with a higher 3-month total return, indicating strong recent performance.
  • GCAD and DFEN offer unique opportunities, with GCAD having no expense ratio listed, and DFEN being a leveraged fund aiming for higher short-term gains.
  • ITA, managed by Blackrock, also provides a solid option with a competitive expense ratio and steady returns.

Keeping an Eye on the Future

This situation is dynamic, and further retaliatory actions from either side could impact global trade and economic policies. Keep an eye on defense stocks over the next couple of weeks as we see ripples from retaliations and posturing on both sides. While they may not see large changes directly the effects of geopolitical news will show up in options on ETFs like PPA (Invesco Aerospace & Defence ETF) and XAR ( SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defence ETF) so there may be opportunities for the prepared.

Stay tuned for more updates as this story unfolds, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest insights on global finance and market trends. Have thoughts on this? Drop a comment below—we’d love to hear from you!


By breaking down complex geopolitical events and linking them to their broader implications, we aim to provide you with clear, actionable insights. Stay informed, stay engaged, and let’s navigate these turbulent times together!

Remember this is not Specific Financial Advice for you! I’m not your financial advisor and you should always do your own due diligence before making any investment decisions.