History of bilateral US-Mexico treaty shows that asserting rights to territory is not sufficient to reduce liability for companies
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Concededly, the opposing argument is correct, albeit from a functional perspective, that the US does not need to achieve the universal international recognition offered through the CLCS in order to commercially exploit the resources that lie in its ECS. For example, since the US-Mexico Treaty demarcated the areas of the ECS between all the other States with a vested interest, ostensibly, a CLCS submission would be unnecessary to achieve the level of “certainty” required for the multi-billion dollar investment needed to begin resource extraction in the Gulf of Mexico. However, such a jingoistic perspective is only true insofar as the industries involved are willing to risk commercial exploitation in the US ECS without the international legal title offered, since they could just get behind a strong US Navy to back up their claims. Currently though, no company is willing to take such a massive multi-billion dollar risk.86 The US-Mexico Treaty has only enabled the granting of oil and gas leases in the US ECS; no drilling has commenced in the US ECS located in the Gulf of Mexico, an area known as the “Western Gap."87 Bilateral treaties alone are insufficient for such a complex endeavor.88
Bilateral arrangements between states over ECS claims are not a viable alternative to the existing UNCLOS regime. The comprehensive international UNCLOS regime was proposed in the first place as a way of reducing the transaction costs of formulating all of these bilateral treaties. Additionally, they would have dubious legal validity, especially in regions like the Arctic where all other nations besides the U.S. have already ratified the treaty.