President Donald Trump on Friday officially announced the withdrawal of the United States from a global arms treaty, also known as the Arms Trade Treaty that set rules for sales and transfers of small arms, missile launchers and warships.
Addressing the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Indianapolis, The Washington Post quoted Trump as saying, “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.”
“I’m officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treaty,” President Trump added.
Speaking before a crowd, Trump signed a document urging Senators to return the Obama-era pact to the White House.
The treaty, which came into being during the former George W. Bush administration, was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations and signed in 2013 under former President Barack Obama but was ratified by the U.S. lawmakers.
The treaty seeks to prevent illicit arms transfers that fuels conflicts, making it harder to conduct weapon sales in violation of arms embargoes.
Nearly 100 countries, including the U.S. allies in Europe, have ratified the treaty while more than 30 others have signed but not ratified. Countries that have shunned the treaty entirely include Russia, North Korea and Syria, The Washington Post reported.
While the NRA argues that the treaty is ineffective and poses a threat to Americans’ Second Amendment rights by potentially subjecting domestic gun ownership to internationally drafted rules.
After taking office, Trump has revoked the United States’ participation in Paris climate accord, the nuclear deal with Iran and the UN educational and cultural body UNESCO.
Meanwhile, the allied countries, including the European nations, who had worked with the Obama administration to pull the treaty together, appeared to be taken aback by the decision.
(With ANI inputs)