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Statement of Administration Policy: S.J. Res. 38 - Providing for Congressional Disapproval of the Proposed Export to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of Certain Defense Articles and Services

July 16, 2019

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House)
(Sen. Menendez, D-NJ, and seven cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes passage of S.J. Res. 38, a joint resolution disapproving the issuance of an export license for the proposed transfer of defense articles, defense services, and technical data to support the manufacture of the Aurora Fuzing System for the Paveway IV Precision Guided Bomb Program in regards to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The transfer of Paveway precision-guided capability to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia directly supports the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political and economic stability in the Middle East. Apart from negatively affecting our bilateral relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the joint resolution would hamper our ability to sustain and shape critical security cooperation activities and would significantly hinder the interoperability between our nations.

Additionally, the joint resolution would impact our partner's ability to deter and defend against Iranian military aggression. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia serves as a bulwark against Iran and its proxies' malign activities in the region. Its civilians and the thousands of United States citizens residing in Saudi Arabia continue to be threatened by attacks from the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, and suffered an attack last month that injured 26 civilians.

S.J. Res. 38 would send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at the very moment when threats to them are increasing.

The United States has taken a number of actions to help the Saudi military mitigate the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen, including training and advising the Saudi military to help them improve their targeting processes to minimize civilian casualties. Combined with this assistance, the provision of precision-guided munitions would further help the Saudis mitigate the risk of civilian casualties.

In addition to the joint resolution's adverse effects on our Middle East partner, it would also negatively affect our NATO Allies and the transatlantic defense industry. Actions such as these could, without further examination, have unintended consequences for defense procurement and interoperability with our partners, and could create an opportunity for exploitation by our adversaries.

If the President were presented with S.J. Res. 38, his advisors would recommend he veto it.

Donald J. Trump, Statement of Administration Policy: S.J. Res. 38 - Providing for Congressional Disapproval of the Proposed Export to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of Certain Defense Articles and Services Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/335303

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