US Leaves Arms Trade Treaty, Raising Concerns over Worsening Human Rights Conditions in Latin America and Globally

On April 26th, President Trump signed an executive order meant to withdraw the United States from the UN Arms Trade Treaty, a 2013 treaty meant to set global standards for regulating transfers of conventional arms, from rifles to tanks and airplanes. He signed the executive order at a National Rifle Association speech, throwing his pen into the crowd afterwards to great applause and proclaiming that he was acting to protect America’s sovereignty and Second Amendment rights. Although President Trump’s speech to the NRA was obviously meant to be flashy and dramatic, this move has been a long time coming. In January, the administration told Congress that they intended to finalize rules to shuffle which agency oversees consumer gun exports and, in the process, to relax export regulations and oversight. This rule change placed the Department of Commerce, which has a far simpler process for approving international arms sales than does the State Department and which does…

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