President Trump announced on Friday that he would sign a global arms treaty, known as the Arms Trade Treaty, in the latest illustration of his aversion to international pacts and world governance.
"We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Freedom of Freedom," Trump said during a speech to the National Gun Association in Indianapolis. "I'm officially announcing today that the United States will take the effect of signing America out of this poorly-verified agreement."
The origin of the agreement, which sets out the international rules for the sale and transfer of everything, from small arms to large aircraft and ships, dates back to the administration of George W. Bush. It was agreed under the auspices of the United Nations and signed in 2013 under President Barack Obama, but has never been ratified by US lawmakers.
The deal seeks to prevent illegal weapons transfers that cause destructive conflicts, making it difficult to carry out the sale of weapons in opposition to the arms embargo. About 100 countries, including US allies in Europe, ratified the treaty, and more than 30 other countries signed, but did not ratify. The countries that avoided the agreement fully include Russia, North Korea and Syria.
Chris Cox, Institute for Legislative Action of the NRA, praised the decision in the statement, saying "it gave members of the NRA another reason to enthusiastically support his presidency."
The NRA and other opponents of the agreement argue that this is ineffective and, more importantly, constitutes a threat to Americans' rights in the second amendment, with potentially subpoenaing domestic weapons owned by internationally drawn up rules.
His supporters reject these claims and say the deal is ready to have no effect on US weapons laws.
After receiving a strong applause for not signing the contract, Trump said: "I am impressed. I did not know too much what you would know."
The White House declined to comment.
The move will contribute to earlier decisions that emphasize Trump's suspicion about international groups and agreements he says could violate US sovereignty.
After assuming office, Trump approved the US withdrawal decisions from the Paris Climate Agreement, the nuclear deal with Iran and the UNESCO educational and cultural body. His National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has campaigned for a challenge to the International Criminal Court.
The decisions were tested by US alliances and, as critics say, undermined the US influence abroad.
"This is another example of the Trump administration that brings back multilateral diplomacy," said Rachel Schochl, executive director of the Stimson Center, a think tank from Washington, who previously contributed to the drafting of the agreement.
"By not participating in ATT, the United States undermines global norms about arms trafficking," she said. "She tells other countries:" The United States could become less responsible, so why not? ""
Thomas Countryman, a former State Department official who was the lead negotiator for the Obama deal, said the treaty, if ratified, would not require any changes to US arms laws or rules.
"The decision to" sign off "the Arms Trade Treaty will be another wrong step from the Trump administration that threatens to make the world less secure, rather than be more secure," he said in a statement. "It is regrettable, but it is expected that this president opposes efforts to ask other countries to meet the high standards of US military export decisions."