Technology & Trade

Trump’s Withdrawal from Arms Trade Treaty Could Reduce US Exports

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In a fiery speech at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association on Friday, President Trump announced that the United States would “unsign” the Arms Trade Treaty, or ATT. This decision is a mistake, not only because it undermines the United States’ important role in multilateral diplomacy on issues crucial to national and international security, but because it harms U.S. defense industry interests as well.

Adopted by the United Nations in 2013 and in force since the following year, the ATT is historic: it is the first legally binding international agreement to regulate the global trade in conventional arms by establishing common international standards for member countries to incorporate into their national transfer control systems. The ATT now has 101 states parties and an additional 34 signatories, including the United States, which signed but did not formally ratify the treaty.

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