July 17, 2012
Thirty-four Senators have signed a letter pledging to oppose the costly United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which would erode American sovereignty. This effectively ends the treaty’s chances for ratification in 2012, since under the Constitution, treaties must be approved by two thirds of Senators.
“The American people have responded to the educational efforts of Heritage and other institutions concerned about America’s interests in the world and have made clear that the U.S. Senate should not approve LOST,” Heritage Foundation senior vice president David Addington writes. He has more:
The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America have fought steadily for American sovereignty and American naval and maritime rights and against taxation of Americans by international organizations and giveaways of America’s resources to foreign countries.
Heritage Foundation expert Steven Groves has spent years pointing out the dangers of the agreement, commonly known as the Law of the Sea Treaty. He has pointed out that:
- LOST erodes American sovereignty over the extended continental shelf. Royalties generated by offshore operations–which could total hundreds of billions of dollars–would be handed over to international bureaucrats for redistribution.
- LOST is unnecessary to secure navigation rights for the U.S. Navy. “The U.S. can best protect its rights by maintaining a strong U.S. Navy, not by acceding to a deeply flawed multilateral treaty,” he explains.
- LOST is unnecessary to maintain control of offshore energy. Treaty proponents argue that ratifying LOST would give the U.S. valid claims to the extended continental shelf and its energy resources, including in the Arctic. Groves points out that the U.S. can achieve these same aims through bilateral agreements and other mechanisms.
- LOST would expose the U.S. to lawsuits about climate change. Groves warns that “accession to UNCLOS would unnecessarily expose the United States to baseless and opportunistic international lawsuits, including suits based on the theory of anthropogenic climate change.”
Groves, who is Bernard and Barbara Lomas Senior Research Fellow, also testified last month before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the treaty’s dangers.
What do you think? Have we seen the end of the Law of the Sea Treaty?