U.S. involvement in UNCLOS critical to prevent it from being modified adversely to our interests
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Protecting American Interests: Because we are the main global maritime power, our interests demand that we consider the global effect of the Convention’s rules and their interpretations; there are a number of issues that are of greater concern to us than to most other countries. It is not prudent for us to sit idly by on the sidelines and rely on others to protect our global interests from the inside. For example, despite our close security relationship with most of its member states, there are disturbing signs that the European Community may try to shift the Convention’s balance in a sharply coastal direction in derogation of the freedom of navigation beyond the territorial sea and free transit of international straits.
As the pre-eminent global maritime power, the U.S. has significant interests in the global effect of the Convention’s rules and their interpretation with many issues that of greater concern to us than to most other countries (for example, preserving freedom of navigation rights). Our adversaries view this as a weakness they can exploit and are shaping the course of the convention in ways adverse to U.S. interests while the U.S. remains on the sidelines, unable to participate in the discussion as a non-party.