April 27, 2019

US President Donald Trump has announced that his country will not abide by a UN treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade and will never ratify it.


  • History: The Treaty entered into force in 2014.

  • Objective: The Treaty seeks to regulate the international trade in conventional arms (from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships).

  • What it does?
    • It requires member countries to keep records of international transfers of weapons and to prohibit cross-border shipments that can be used in human rights violations or attacks on civilians.

    • It establishes common standards for the international trade of conventional weapons and seeks to reduce the illicit arms trade.

  • What it doesn’t?
    • The ATT does not place restrictions on the types or quantities of arms that may be bought, sold, or possessed by states.

    • It also does not impact a state’s domestic gun control laws or other firearm ownership policies.

  • Present status: While 130 countries originally signed the treaty, only 101 have ratified and joined it. India has not signed the treaty.

  • Arguments by Donald Trump:
    • He described the treaty as misguided and encroachment on US sovereignty.

    • he also that the US Senate never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty despite his predecessor Barack Obama having endorsed it.