United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 01, 2022
As declared by the Congress in the Arms Control and Disarmament Act [22 U.S.C. 2551 et seq.], an ultimate goal of the United States continues to be a world which is free from the scourge of war and the dangers and burdens of armaments; in which the use of force has been subordinated to the rule of law; and in which international adjustments to a changing world are achieved peacefully. In furtherance of that goal, it remains the policy of the United States to encourage regional arms control and disarmament agreements and to discourage arms races.
The Congress recognizes, however, that the United States and other free and independent countries continue to have valid requirements for effective and mutually beneficial defense relationships in order to maintain and foster the environment of international peace and security essential to social, economic, and political progress. Because of the growing cost and complexity of defense equipment, it is increasingly difficult and uneconomic for any country, particularly a developing country, to fill all of its legitimate defense requirements from its own design and production base. The need for international defense cooperation among the United States and those friendly countries to which it is allied by mutual defense treaties is especially important, since the effectiveness of their armed forces to act in concert to deter or defeat aggression is directly related to the operational compatibility of their defense equipment.
Accordingly, it remains the policy of the United States to facilitate the common defense by entering into international arrangements with friendly countries which further the objective of applying agreed resources of each country to programs and projects of cooperative exchange of data, research, development, production, procurement, and logistics support to achieve specific national defense requirements and objectives of mutual concern. To this end, this chapter authorizes sales by the United States Government to friendly countries having sufficient wealth to maintain and equip their own military forces at adequate strength, or to assume progressively larger shares of the costs thereof, without undue burden to their economies, in accordance with the restraints and control measures specified herein and in furtherance of the security objectives of the United States and of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
It is the sense of the Congress that all such sales be approved only when they are consistent with the foreign policy interests of the United States, the purposes of the foreign assistance program of the United States as embodied in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended [22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.], the extent and character of the military requirement, and the economic and financial capability of the recipient country, with particular regard being given, where appropriate, to proper balance among such sales, grant military assistance, and economic assistance as well as to the impact of the sales on programs of social and economic development and on existing or incipient arms races.
It shall be the policy of the United States to exert leadership in the world community to bring about arrangements for reducing the international trade in implements of war and to lessen the danger of outbreak of regional conflict and the burdens of armaments. United States programs for or procedures governing the export, sale, and grant of defense articles and defense services to foreign countries and international organizations shall be administered in a manner which will carry out this policy.
It is the sense of the Congress that the President should seek to initiate multilateral discussions for the purpose of reaching agreements among the principal arms suppliers and arms purchasers and other countries with respect to the control of the international trade in armaments. It is further the sense of Congress that the President should work actively with all nations to check and control the international sale and distribution of conventional weapons of death and destruction and to encourage regional arms control arrangements. In furtherance of this policy, the President should undertake a concerted effort to convene an international conference of major arms-supplying and arms-purchasing nations which shall consider measures to limit conventional arms transfers in the interest of international peace and stability.
It is the sense of the Congress that the aggregate value of defense articles and defense services—
(1) which are sold under section 2761 or section 2762 of this title; or
(2) which are licensed or approved for export under section 2778 of this title to, for the use, or for benefit of the armed forces, police, intelligence, or other internal security forces of a foreign country or international organization under a commercial sales contract;
in any fiscal year should not exceed current levels.
It is the sense of the Congress that the President maintain adherence to a policy of restraint in conventional arms transfers and that, in implementing this policy worldwide, a balanced approach should be taken and full regard given to the security interests of the United States in all regions of the world and that particular attention should be paid to controlling the flow of conventional arms to the nations of the developing world. To this end, the President is encouraged to continue discussions with other arms suppliers in order to restrain the flow of conventional arms to less developed countries.