- US President Donald Trump announced that the US is withdrawing its signature from an international treaty intended to regulate the multi-billion dollar arms trade.
- Trump made the announcement to a cheering crowd at the National Rifle Association, which has lobbied against the treaty.
- Trump said the treaty could harm American sovereignty and signed a letter telling Congress to halt the ratification of the treaty before tossing his pen into the crowd.
- The UN said the treaty, which 101 countries have ratified, is the “only global instrument aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the international arms trade.”
US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the US is withdrawing from a United Nations treaty that regulates the multi-billion dollar arms trade.
Trump told a cheering National Rifle Association in Indianapolis on Friday that the Arms Trade Treaty, with regulates the international weapons trade, was “badly misguided” and said that the US was withdrawing its signature.
The US signed the treaty in 2013 under then-President Barack Obama, but never ratified it. The treaty has been ratified by by 101 countries,according to The Associated Press.
Members of the NRA, which have long opposed the treaty, cheered at Trump’s announcement, which he made while imploring gun-owners to vote for him during the 2020 presidential election.
In front of thousands, Trump signed a letter telling Congress to halt the ratification of the treaty and then tossed his pen into the crowd.
Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, welcomed the move, The Guardianreported, saying that “Barack Obama and John Kerry tried to force us to accept international gun control under the power of the UN, but Donald Trump has said: ‘Not on my watch.’”
Trump said that the treaty would threaten the second amendment.
“My administration will never ratify the UN arms trade treaty,” he said. “We’re taking our signature back. The United Nationswill soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty.”
Trump said that the US “We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your second amendment freedom.”
“I’m officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treaty.”
On Twitter, Trump said that the move would protect “American sovereignty.”
“Under my Administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone. We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedoms. And that is why my Administration will never ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty.”pic.twitter.com/j1xnuUdX1x
— The White House (@WhiteHouse)April 26, 2019
In response, the UN said that the treaty is “a landmark achievement in the efforts to ensure responsibility in international arms transfers,” The Associated Press reported.
A spokeswoman said that the treaty “is the only global instrument aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the international arms trade.”
Sen. Bob Menendez, the most senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations committee,condemned Trump’s move as “yet another myopic decision that jeopardizes US security based on false premises and fear-mongering.”
“While Americans from all walks of life have come to painfully understand the threat posed by not doing enough to prevent weapons from ending up in the wrong hands, it is disturbing to see this administration turn back the clock on the little progress we have made to prevent illicit arms transfers,” he said in a statement.