U.S. would have more flexibility to negotiate other unacceptable treaty provisions after it has resolved its hypocrisy on UNCLOS
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Efforts to renegotiate other unacceptable treaties would receive a boost when an important argument now used by other nations against such renegotiation with us is removed. This argument now used against us, for example, in the currently unacceptable International Criminal Court setting, is: “[W]hy renegotiate with the United States when the LOS renegotiation shows the U.S. won’t accept the Convention even if you renegotiate with them and meet all their concerns?” Let me emphasize this point. The United States will be severely damaged in its international engagement if other nations believe that we will not adhere to agreements, whether they are in our interest or not. And this is particularly true after other nations accommodate the United States in all that it asks in a renegotiation and then see United States inaction toward the renegotiated agreement. If we are to maintain our negotiating leverage we must demonstrate that we distinguish between good and bad international agreements and that we accept the good while rejecting the bad; finally
U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would boost its leadership standing in a couple of ways. First, by acceeding to the treaty, the U.S. would immediately be able to participate in the discussion around the future of the treaty and participate in maritime forums that it had previously been locked out of. Secondly, by ratifying the treaty, the U.S. would improve its soft power by showing more of a willingness to cooperate multilaterally.