Ratification of convention key to U.S. soft power leadership
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Additionally, ratification of the Convention will soften the United States’ image and signal much needed goodwill to the international community.110 It has been noted that “[a]nti-Americanism has increased in recent years, and the U.S.’ soft power—its ability to attract others by the legitimacy of U.S. policies and the values that underlie them—is in decline as a result.”111 Commitment to the Convention, which engages much of the international community, would be emphasized by U.S. ratification.112 It also allows other states to place their trust in the U.S. and thus its actions on the seas. This is essential for the United States to maintain its legitimacy and ultimate leverage in the international arena.113
U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would boost its leadership standing in a couple of ways. First, by acceeding to the treaty, the U.S. would immediately be able to participate in the discussion around the future of the treaty and participate in maritime forums that it had previously been locked out of. Secondly, by ratifying the treaty, the U.S. would improve its soft power by showing more of a willingness to cooperate multilaterally.