Congressional Digest

International Debates Archives October 2013 No. 7 Vol. 11
Arms Trade Treaty

Arms Trade Treaty

Regulating the International Trade of Conventional Weapons

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The global sale of conventional weapons systems — everything from tanks, warships, and fighter jets to small firearms — is big business. In 2011, arms transfer agreements between nations worldwide totaled $85.3 billion.

The United States is by far the largest exporter of arms, delivering $16.2 billion in 2011, or 36.5 percent of the world total. Although the United States makes efforts to ensure that its arms sales do not end up in the wrong hands, such as with terrorists or parties that engage in war crimes, there is no international regime to regulate the international transfer of arms. This has created …

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