President Trump announced that the U.S would not abide by a UN treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade, calling it “misguided” and an encroachment on US sovereignty. The US Senate never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty after former president Barack Obama endorsed it. Trump said he was revoking his predecessor’s signature.”We will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone,” Trump said in a speech to the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis. “We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom,” he said, referring to the constitutional right to bear arms. After Trump signed the order, he threw his pen into the crowd.
“We’re taking our signature back,” Trump said to thousands of cheering attendees, many wearing red hats emblazoned with the Republican president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
The NRA has long opposed the treaty which regulates the $US70 billion ($A99 billion) business in conventional arms and seeks to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers. The lobbying group argues it would undermine domestic gun rights, a view the Obama administration rejected. Trump added that the United Nations will soon receive formal notice of the withdrawal. The NRA spent $US30.3 million in support of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a group that tracks campaign spending. The 193-nation UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the treaty in April 2013 and the US, the world’s No.1 arms exporter, voted in favour of it despite fierce opposition from the NRA. So far 101 countries have formally joined the treaty. Another 29, including the United States, have signed it, but not yet formally joined. Trump was joined on his trip to Indianapolis by White House national security adviser John Bolton, an advocate of withdrawing the US from international treaties out of concern they might undermine American authority. The U.S. has been one of the biggest financial backers of the ATT, with the organization’s latest financial figures showing that the U.S. overall contribution of $387,334 was only narrowly surpassed by Japan’s $387,500.