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Born in 1946, Donald Trump graduated with a B.A. from Wharton School of Business in 1968 and assumed control of his family's real estate organization in 1971. He has also owned a large number of other businesses over the years. After several previous runs, Trump was elected President of the United States in 2016 and inaugurated in 2017.
Arms Trade Treaty
Trump explicitly opposes ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty. He has publicly rejected the treaty and withdrawn his official support from it.
Speech at the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2019
“There is no circumstance under which the United States will allow international actors to trample on the rights of our citizens, including the right to self-defense. That is why this year I announced that we will never ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which would threaten the liberties of law-abiding American citizens. The United States will always uphold our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. We will always uphold our Second Amendment.”
Speech at NRA/ILA Leadership Forum, April 26, 2019
"Under my administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone. We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom. And that is why my administration will never ratify the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty."
Arms Sales to Saudi Coalition
Trump explicitly opposes ending arms sales and military support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. On an initial trip to the Kingdom in May 2017, he claimed to have brokered arms deals worth $110 billion. Since then, he has vigorously defended the supply of weapons to the Saudis and other states, including by vetoing efforts to block certain sales and more broadly on limiting U.S. military engagement in Yemen via War Powers Resolutions. He has expressed the view that the sales help protect Americans living in the Middle East, strengthen Saudi Arabia's defenses, deter Iranian influence, support the security of the U.S. and its allies, benefit the defense industry, and shorten the war in Yemen by making it easier for the Saudi-led coalition to win.
Message accompanying the veto of S.J. Res. 36, which would have blocked licenses to export laser-guided bomb components to Saudi Arabia, July 24, 2019.
"The United States is providing the licenses that the joint resolution seeks to prohibit for many reasons. First and foremost, it is our solemn duty to protect the safety of the more than 80,000 United States citizens who reside in Saudi Arabia and who are imperiled by Houthi attacks from Yemen. The Houthis, supported by Iran, have attacked civilian and military facilities using missiles, armed drones, and explosive boats, including in areas frequented by United States citizens, such as the airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Second, the joint resolution would degrade Saudi Arabia’s military preparedness and ability to protect its sovereignty, directly affecting its ability to defend United States military personnel hosted there. Third, Saudi Arabia is a bulwark against the malign activities of Iran and its proxies in the region, and the licenses the joint resolution would prohibit enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend against these threats.
In addition, S.J. Res. 36 would negatively affect our NATO Allies and the transatlantic defense industry. It could, for example, produce unintended consequences for defense procurement and interoperability with and between our partners. It could also create diplomatic and security opportunities for our adversaries to exploit.
Finally, by restricting the ability of our partners to produce and purchase precision-guided munitions, S.J. Res. 36 would likely prolong the conflict in Yemen and deepen the suffering it causes. By undermining bilateral relationships of the United States and impeding our ability to support key partners at a critical time, the joint resolution would harm — not help — efforts to end the conflict in Yemen. And without precision-guided munitions, more — not fewer — civilians are likely to become casualties of the conflict."
Remarks before working breakfast with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, June 28, 2019
"We’ve had some meetings on trade and economic development and on the military, of course. And the meetings have been really terrific. As you know, Saudi Arabia is a purchaser of American products and especially of America military equipment. We make the best in the world, by far. And we appreciate that they do. They create — at least a million jobs are created by the purchases made by Saudi Arabia."
Statement issued November 20, 2018
"After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!"
Remarks at defense roundtable, October 20, 2018
"I know it sounds easy and it sounds good, and a lot people have said, “Oh, let’s just not sell them a $110-billion order.” I guess you take it a step further, “Let’s not sell them $450 billion,” which is the largest order in the history of our country. I went there to get that order. Saudi Arabia was my first stop. And everyone thought that was unusual. But I said, I want to order — “I want you to order a tremendous amount of stuff.” Right? Everything. Your stuff and everybody’s stuff. And Wilbur [Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross] was there. They ordered $450 billion. There’s never been anything like it, or close.The last thing I want to do is say we’re not going to supply you with that, and therefore we’re going to cut — I guess, if you add the whole thing up, because just for the military was 600,000 jobs. So now if you’re talking about — that was $110 billion — you know, you’re talking about over a million jobs. You know, I’d rather keep the million jobs, and I’d rather find another solution."
Firearms Export Oversight
Trump explicitly opposes retention of State Department oversight of select firearms exports. Although there are no recorded comments from him on the issue, his administration proposed the changes, which are based on Presidential authority (see Federal Register and resource page).
Mine Ban Treaty
Trump explicitly opposes the Obama-era landmine policy that restricted the use of landmines and sought to join the Mine Ban Treaty. On January 31, the Trump administration issued a new policy allowing for expanded use of landmines.
Statement, White House, January 31, 2020
"As part of President Donald J. Trump’s steadfast commitment to ensuring our forces are able to defend against any and all threats, the President has canceled the Obama Administration’s policy to prohibit United States military forces from employing anti-personnel landmines outside of the Korean Peninsula. The Department of Defense has determined that restrictions imposed on American forces by the Obama Administration’s policy could place them at a severe disadvantage during a conflict against our adversaries. The President is unwilling to accept this risk to our troops.The Department of Defense is issuing a new landmine policy. This policy will authorize Combatant Commanders, in exceptional circumstances, to employ advanced, non-persistent landmines specifically designed to reduce unintended harm to civilians and partner forces."