U.S. sovereignty has more to gain than lose from ratification of UNCLOS
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Many of these arguments have been put into perspective, however, by the actual history and operation of UNCLOS. Instead of posing a threat to national sovereignty, U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would actually enlarge U.S. power by providing a permanent seat on the ISA,58 and would be ―the greatest expansion of U.S. resource jurisdiction in the history of the nation.59 A permanent seat on the ISA would give the United States a strategic advantage, namely a ―greater ability to defeat amendments that are not in the U.S. interest, by blocking consensus or voting against such amendments.60
Concerns about abuse of power by the ISA are similarly unfounded, as the ISA operates independently from the U.N.61 and is comparable to other specialized U.N. organizations, many of which the U.S. already endorses. Further, the navigational protections for American ships on the high seas would enhance, not diminish, U.S. sovereignty.62 Some UNCLOS proponents also argue that claims to U.S. sovereignty are overstated in the context of a shared resource like the world‘s oceans.63 Finally, due to the inevitability of international reliance on UNCLOS to form international maritime law and regulate maritime disputes, the United States will suffer a huge loss of power if it fails to accede to the treaty.64
The sovereignty costs associated with the Convention are grossly overstated primarily because many of these costs have already been accepted by the United States. In addition, the U.S. stands to gain sovereignty over 4.1 million square miles of territory by acceeding to the treaty.