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Menendez Statement on Administration’s Loosening of Regulations to Export Drones

NEWARKSenator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Trump administration announced it would weaken the U.S. government’s arms export policy regarding a decades-old multilateral arms control arrangement. The move to undermine the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) will enable defense contractors to begin selling certain U.S. armed drones to countries of concern: 

"The Trump Administration has once again weakened international export controls on the export of lethal drones by this action.  It is important to appreciate that the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) originally adopted stringent export controls on exports of advanced drones at the urging of the United States. To disregard this policy now is likely to undermine the credibility and influence of the MTCR generally, which also coordinates international controls on the sale and spread of dangerous ballistic missiles and technology around the world.

“As we explore the repercussions of today’s announcement on our broader foreign policy goals and our national security interests, this reckless decision once again makes it more likely that we will export some of our most deadly weaponry to human rights abusers across the world. This is yet another reckless move by an Administration fixated with eliminating the international cooperation that has made the United States and other countries safer for decades.”