Simply false to equate modest royalty payments with a "new authority to tax American citizens"
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Assertions that the Convention will create authority for an international organization to tax American citizens. The Convention does nothing of the kind. It does provide for payments on “commercial terms” to mine deep seabed minerals that do not belong to the United States. This is similar to payments to Indonesia or Chile for the ability to have access to resources in those countries. We would not remotely regard payments for such access as authority for taxation of American citizens by Indonesia or Chile. Moreover, unlike arrangements for minerals mining access in foreign countries, in the new deep seabed Authority United States firms will have assured access to mine, and the disposition of payments as well as the rules and regulations for such mining will be subject to a United States veto. Moreover, that veto is exercisable with respect to the distribution of revenues from firms of all other nations mining the deep seabed – thus effectively multiplying the ability of the United States to ensure that the distributions to states parties are put to a good use. Similarly, the Convention provides for minimal revenue sharing for oil and gas development in areas beyond the 200 mile economic zone. Such revenues, which would amount to an average of two to five percent over the life of a well, were an enormous bargain for the United States as payment in return for our obtaining sovereign rights over resources in an area of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles that is roughly equivalent to the size of California. That is, we retain ninety-five to ninety-eight percent of the value of the future resources in this area beyond the 200 mile economic zone placed under United States resource jurisdiction by the Convention. Indeed, the revenue sharing system adopted was drafted by a representative of an American oil company on our law of the sea industry advisory group and has been perfectly acceptable to the oil industry. And even beyond the great bargain that was the purchase of Alaska, in this case not a penny is due until seven years after production begins. Moreover, once again, the distribution of any such revenues to states parties, including revenues from this small royalty from all production beyond 200 miles from other nations, would be subject to a United States veto;
Opponents argue that by ratifying UNCLOS, the United Nations would be given the first opportunity to tax U.S. citizens. However, this is a misunderstanding of the royalties structure within UNCLOS. The International Seabed Authority requires royalty payments from all companies engaged in seabed mining in areas that do not belong to any country and are therefore under the management of the ISA. These payments are a small fraction of the revenue and similar to payments U.S. companies already pay around the world to governments for resource concessions.