US signs landmark treaty to regulate global arms trading
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United States, the world's largest arms dealer, has joined more than 90 other nations in signing a treaty that regulates global arms trading, but there is strong resistance in the Senate, which must ratify it.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who signed the Arms Trade Treaty on Wednesday, said it was a "significant step" in keeping the world safe and preventing terrorists and others from obtaining conventional weapons.
The Obama administration's move is seen as critical to the treaty's success. The US was the 91st country to sign, but the treaty will not take effect until 50 nations have ratified it. Only four had ratified the treaty as of Wednesday. Many of the world's other top arms exporters have yet to sign and opposition in the Senate means US ratification will be difficult.
"This is about reducing the risks of international transfers of conventional arms that will be used to carry out the world's worst crimes," Mr Kerry said. He said it would require other countries to put in place the same arms exports restrictions that the US already has in force.