1994 agreement still retains mandatory payments to the ISA that could then be redistributed to unfriendly nations
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ISA fees have been lowered, but companies will continue to owe a $250,000 application fee and some, as yet undetermined, level of royalties and profit sharing. (The "system of payments," intones the compromise text, shall be "fair both to the contractor and to the Authority," whatever that means. Fees "shall be within the range of those prevailing in respect of land-based mining of the same or similar minerals," even though seabed production is more expensive, riskier, and occurs in territory beyond any nation's jurisdiction.18 The revised LOST establishes a new "economic assistance fund" to aid land-based minerals producers.19 Surplus funds will still be distributed "taking into particular consideration the interests and needs of the developing States and peoples who have not attained full independence or other self-governing status"--such as the Palestine Liberation Organization.20 Theoretically, America could block inappropriate payments--at least as long as it was a member of the Finance Committee--but over time the United States would come under enormous pressure to be "flexible" and "reasonable."