Chamber of Commerce supports U.S. accession to UNCLOS because that is the best and only way for U.S. to secure valuable access rights and protect critical freedoms
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We support joining the Convention because it is in our national interest--both in our national security and our economic interests. The Chamber has a long and proud history of supporting America's national security interests including playing an instrumental role in mobilizing America's industrial might to fight and win World Wars I and II. It is in this tradition that we support approving the Law of the Sea Treaty.
Becoming a party to the Treaty benefits the U.S. economically by providing American companies the legal certainty and stability they need to hire and invest. Companies will be hesitant to take on the investment risk and cost to explore and develop the resources of the sea--particularly on the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS)--without the legal certainty and stability accession to LOS provides. The benefits of joining cut across many important industries including telecommunications, mining, shipping, and oil and natural gas.
LOS will continue to form the basis of maritime law with or without our accession. Our national interests are best protected by being an active participant in this process. Joining the Convention will provide the United States a critical voice on maritime issues--from mineral claims in the Arctic to how International Seabed Authority (ISA) funds are distributed.
Many opponents present a false option to LOS that does not exist: that the United States can enjoy the benefits of LOS without joining it. In reality, only by joining can the U.S. reap the full economic and national security benefits of the Convention. Like any agreement, LOS isn't perfect. But its benefits far outweigh the costs of continuing to stand on the sidelines. The Chamber and the business community do not fear adverse rulings under the Convention so much as we fear being left behind by our global competitors.
Contrary to some opponents' claims, joining the treaty promotes American sovereignty. LOS strengthens our sovereignty by codifying our property claims in the Arctic and on our ECS. Remaining outside of the Convention undercuts our sovereignty by not allowing us to advance and protect our property claims through the process utilized by every other major global power. the chamber's support for the law of the sea convention.
There is a strong economic, military, and strategic case to be made for U.S. ratification of UNCLOS. Economically, the U.S. would benefit by attaining new protections for its vital maritime industries while opening up new industries and vast amounts of terroritory. The military case is just as strong with the overwhelming consensus of military leaders advocating for ratification as a way to ensure the freedom of navigation rights the U.S. depends on. Finally, ratification of UNCLOS would help the U.S.