Ratification of UNCLOS critical to protecting global trade and shipping industry
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The convention promotes the freedom of navigation and overflight by which international shipping and transportation fuel and supply the global economy. Some 90 percent of global trade tonnage, totaling over $6 trillion in value, including oil, iron ore, coal, grain, and other commodities, building materials, and manufactured goods, travels on and over the world’s oceans and seas each year.12 By guaranteeing merchant vessels and aircraft the right to navigate on, over, and through international straights, archipelagic waters, and coastal zones, the provisions of UNCLOS promote dynamic international trade.
At the same time, UNCLOS encourages international cooperation to enhance the safety and security of all ocean-going ships. Whether it involves lumber and winter wheat shipped from the Pacific Northwest to Japan; high-quality, low-cost goods from Singapore to Long Beach; or oil from the Persian Gulf to Europe; free, safe, and secure commercial navigation and flights provide great economic and security benefits to all of us. That is the key reason the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, shipping industry, aviation industry, and other international trade groups have called for immediate accession to the convention.