Washington—Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and William R. Keating, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment, today released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s withdrawal of the United States from the Open Skies Treaty:
“Yesterday, President Trump completed his reckless campaign to withdraw the United States from the Treaty on Open Skies. Once again, he has pulled our country out of a critical arms control agreement while ignoring repeated warnings from defense and security experts, Congress, and allies and partners about the dangers a withdrawal would pose for U.S. and allied security. A lame duck administration taking such reckless steps, knowing President-elect Biden supports Open Skies, is outrageous and solidifies what we all already know – that President Trump is attempting to burn down our critical institutions on his way out the door. In doing so, he not only jeopardized U.S. national security, but he blatantly ignored and deliberately broke the law.
“Section 1234 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which President Trump signed, required him to notify Congress 120 days in advance of announcing his intent to leave the treaty, which he never did. Although the path will not be easy, the incoming administration should begin the process of the United States’ rejoining Open Skies as soon as possible, or look for alternative methods to share the critical information that will be lost to the United States and to our allies as a result of this withdrawal. There remains strong bipartisan support within Congress for advancing our national security through effective arms control agreements, and we hope the Biden Administration will make repairing the damage Trump has done to these agreements a foreign policy priority when he takes office.”
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