Monday, October 11, 2004

Bush Signs Fewest International Treaties in last 20 years

Presidential Comparisons Show U.S. Taking Step Back From Treaty System

MINNEAPOLIS - October 6 - President George W. Bush has signed the fewest international treaties of any U.S. President since Ronald Reagan in his first term, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). President Bush also took the unprecedented step of trying to nullify the U.S. signature from an international treaty (the International Criminal Court).

The summary of the Presidential administrations dating back to 1887 looked at 549 multilateral treaties relevant to the United States and tracks ratifications as well as signatures. Over the past 117 years, the U.S. has ratified 157 of these treaties. Ratifications, which are legally binding need two-thirds approval by the Senate. Signatures, which are given by the head of state or a senior administration official, are not legally binding but do reflect a country's willingness to cooperate with the treaty.

Currently, President Bush has signed six international treaties and eight have been ratified during his term. While President Reagan only signed five treaties his first term, he signed another nine his second term. In addition, a total of 20 treaties were ratified during Reagan's two terms, giving even President Reagan a far better record than President George W. Bush in supporting the treaty system. The analysis of U.S. involvement in the international treaty system, broken down by president, can be viewed at:

"We are seeing a clear retreat from the international system by President Bush," said Patricia Jurewicz, Director of IATP's Global Cooperation Project and author of the analysis. "When we face so many difficult global challenges, from terrorism to AIDs to famine to climate change, it is perplexing that this administration has taken a step back from the international community."

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