U.S. foreign aid could be used to offset any required transfers to states, eliminating any tax burden
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Payments are to be distributed by the ISBA to States Parties of UNCLOS in accordance with Article 82(4) on the basis of equitable criteria that take into account economic development factors. Of note, this distribution is distinct from the distribution of revenues generated from deep seabed mining operations under Part XI of the Convention. As a State Party to UNCLOS, the United States would have a permanent seat in the ISBA to ensure both kinds of distributions are made in ways acceptable to the United States—Section 3(15) of the Annex to the IA guarantees the United States a seat on the ISBA Council in perpetuity.28 Any ISBA decision regarding revenue sharing must be approved by the Council.29 Additionally, if distributions are made to a country that is already receiving U.S. foreign aid, the United States could offset aid to that country by the amount of distributions paid by the ISBA, in essence eliminating any increase financial burden to the American taxpayers.
Opponents of UNCLOS often point to the royalty payments required under Article 82 of the convention as a reason to reject ratifcation. However, on closer examination many of the criticisms of the revenue sharing agreeements do not hold up. The actual amount the U.S. would have to pay pales in comparison to the revenues that would be generated, a significant reason why industry represenatives have consistently been in favor of UNCLOS. Additionally, the concern that royalty payments would go towards anti-U.S. states and non-state actors could be mitigated if the U.S.