US has long-standing policy to claim development rights within its EEZ
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However, pursuant to long-standing law and policy the United States already enjoys and exercises full jurisdiction and control over its ECS. In addition to the 1945 Truman Proclamation, in which President Harry S. Truman declared that the United States “regards the natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf beneath the high seas but contiguous to the coasts of the United States as appertaining to the United States, subject to its jurisdiction and control,” in 1953 Congress passed the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which defined the outer continental shelf as “all submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters...and of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the United States and are subject to its jurisdiction and control.”
After the adoption of UNCLOS in 1982, the U.S. affirmed its jurisdiction over its entire continental shelf, including the ECS. Specifically, in November 1987 a U.S. government interagency group issued a policy statement declaring its intent to delimit the U.S. ECS in conformity with Article 76 of UNCLOS (which provides a formula for measuring the extent of a coastal state’s ECS). That statement read, in pertinent part, “The United States has exercised and shall continue to exercise jurisdiction over its continental shelf in accordance with and to the full extent permitted by international law as reflected in Article 76, paragraphs (1), (2) and (3).”
The U.S. can exercise its rights under the 1958 Convention on the High Seas to assert that it is permitted to mine and navigate in its Extended Continental Shelf. Ratifying UNCLOS would constrict the ability of the U.S. to respond to challenges to these rights by forcing all further negotiation to occur through the CLCS.