The United States can successfully pursue its national interests regarding its extended continental shelf by negotiating on a bilateral basis with nations with which it shares maritime borders to delimit and mutually recognize each other’s maritime and ECS boundaries.
- US could rely on reciprocal bilateral treaties as proposed in 1980 DSHMRA act as an alternative to UNCLOS
- US can resolve territorial disputes with each nation bilaterally without being party to UNCLOS
- US actively surveying extended continental shelf and can negotiate bilateral agreements with nations regarding boundaries outside UNCLOS framework
- US can negotiate bilateral agreements with nations that share maritime borders to delimit ECS borders outside of UNCLOS framework
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Bilateral arrangements between states over ECS claims are not a viable alternative to the existing UNCLOS regime. The comprehensive international UNCLOS regime was proposed in the first place as a way of reducing the transaction costs of formulating all of these bilateral treaties. Additionally, they would have dubious legal validity, especially in regions like the Arctic where all other nations besides the U.S. have already ratified the treaty.
- US attempts at bilateral diplomacy only complicating disputes, should agree to international framework of UNCLOS
- Bilateral treaties are not a sufficient substitute for UNCLOS regime in settling Arctic disputes
- Bilateral agreements over seabed jurisdiction would be abrogated by UNCLOS framework
- Joint ventures with signatory nations not an acceptable alternative because U.S. companies would be bound by treaty without accruing its benefits
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