Rep. Kelly Response to State Department Announcement that US ‘will sign’ Arms Trade Treaty

May 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement yesterday expressing disappointment with the announcement by Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman that the United States will sign the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

“Today’s announcement is deeply disappointing and equally disturbing. Despite the ATT’s clear threats to our country’s sovereignty and Constitutional rights, the Obama administration appears ready to throw America’s official support behind it. This should not happen. As the leader of the free world, the United States has more at stake with the ATT’s entry into force than any other nation. Our role in upholding global democracy and stability is unparalleled. Forcing America onto equal footing with those who actively seek to undermine these things is simply mindless – and dangerous. As I’ve said before, when it comes to affecting the actions of the world’s actors, the ATT would only be used to prevent the good from doing good while doing nothing to stop the bad from doing bad. For the sake of our strength abroad and freedom at home, in every way possible, Congress must meet its duty and not let our country latch on to this fundamentally flawed treaty.”

NOTE: Rep. Kelly is a national leader of the movement to oppose the ATT. On March 15, 2013, he introduced H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution to oppose the treaty, which currently has 142 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate. On April 23, 2013, he submitted a bipartisan letter to the House Committee on Appropriations urging the body to deny funding for the implementation of the ATT.

On June 3, 2013, the ATT opens for national signatures and will enter into force for its signatories 90 days after the 50th nation-state has ratified the treaty. In order to take domestic effect, the ATT must be signed by the president, receive the advice and consent of the Senate, and be the subject of implementing legislation by the Congress.