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Arms Export Control Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-329, tit II, §212(a)(1), 90 Stat. 744, codified as amended at 22 U.S.C. § 2778.


The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA) gives the President of the United States the authority to control the import and export of defense articles and defense services. It requires governments that receive weapons from the United States to use them for legitimate self-defense. Consideration is given as to whether the exports "would contribute to an arms race, aid in the development of weapons of mass destruction, support international terrorism, increase the possibility of outbreak or escalation of conflict, or prejudice the development of bilateral or multilateral arms control or nonproliferation agreements or other arrangements."

The Act also places certain restrictions on American arms traders and manufacturers, prohibiting them from the sale of certain sensitive technologies to certain parties and requiring thorough documentation of such trades to trusted parties.

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