U.S. under greater risk of being subjected to environmental lawsuits by remaining outside of the treaty than by becoming a party to UNCLOS
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Finally, as I have noted previously, those who are rightly concerned about international litigation against the United States should be much more concerned about subjecting the United States and U.S. businesses to international claims if the United States were to try to claim the resources on its extended continental shelf or on the deep seabed without becoming party to the Law of the Sea Convention. In my view, the risk of environmental litigation against the United States if it joins the Convention is low. The risk of international litigation against the United States if it were unilaterally to claim the resources on its extended continental shelf or on the deep seabed, without becoming party to the Convention, is much higher.
Opponents argue that UNCLOS's provisions calling for states to reduce pollution through "best practicable means" could be used as a "backdoor" to force environmental treaties on the U.S. However, legal scholars and State Department officials have concluded that the convention only binds the United States to act in accordance with its own laws or appropriately ratified international agreements and cannot be used as a “back door” to compel enforcement of international agreements the Senate has not ratified.