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Fact Sheet - President Donald J. Trump is Defending Our Sovereignty and Constitutional Rights From the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

April 26, 2019

"We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy." --President Donald J. Trump

PROTECTING AMERICA'S INTERESTS: President Donald J. Trump is putting America first and ensuring we are not bound by the United Nations (UN) misguided Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

  • Today, President Trump announced that he will never ratify the ATT and will ask the Senate to return it.
    • The ATT purports to set international standards for trade in conventional arms, including everything from firearms to military aircraft.
    • The previous Administration signed-on to the treaty in 2013, but it waited three years to ask the United States Senate to ratify it in the 11th hour of that Administration.
    • The ATT is being opened up for amendment in 2020 and there are potential proposals that the United States cannot support.
  • The ATT fails to truly address the problem of irresponsible arms transfers, while providing a platform for those who would seek to constrain our ability to sell arms to our allies and partners.
  • The President has made clear that he will never surrender American sovereignty and rights.

DEFENDING OUR SOVEREIGN RIGHTS: President Trump is protecting our country's sovereignty and standing up for our constitutional rights.

  • President Trump has pledged to defend America's sovereignty and always put America first and this decision follows through on that pledge.
    • The President has repeatedly acted to protect and preserve our sovereignty, including by taking strong action to head off possible investigation of United States military and intelligence personnel by the International Criminal Court.
  • There is a track record of the ATT being used by groups to try and overturn sovereign national decisions on arms exports.
    • For example, organizations sued the United Kingdom under the treaty to try and prevent a legal transfer of arms to Saudi Arabia.
  • By announcing the United States will not join the ATT, President Trump is ensuring this agreement will not become a platform to threaten Americans' Second Amendment rights.
  • The United States export controls have long been considered the gold standard for engaging in responsible arms trading and we will continue to use them under our own laws.
    • The ATT is simply not needed for the United States to engage in responsible arms trade.
    • America will continue to abide by United States laws that ensure our arms sales are implemented after careful legal and policy reviews.

A MISGUIDED AGREEMENT: The ATT fails to actually address the problem of irresponsible arms transfers.

  • The ATT will only constrain responsible countries while allowing the irresponsible arms trade to continue.
  • Currently, 63 countries are completely out of the agreement, including major arms exporters like Russia and China.
  • The ATT cannot achieve its chief objective of addressing irresponsible arms transfers if these major arms exporters are not subject to it at all.

Donald J. Trump, Fact Sheet - President Donald J. Trump is Defending Our Sovereignty and Constitutional Rights From the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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