Ratification of the convention is key to U.S. foreign policy objectives and leadership
As we have testified elsewhere, the most compelling reasons that support U.S. adherence to the Convention are rooted in restoring U.S. oceans leadership, protecting national interests and enhancing U.S. foreign policy. For example, if the convention is ratified, the United States will be in a stronger position to respond to illegal oceans claims such as the harassment of the USNS Bowditch survey vessel by the People's Republic of China (PRC). The United States will also be able to advance more rapidly with offshore oil and gas development beyond 200 nautical miles (approximately 15 percent of our continental shelf), require U.S. approval for the transfer of seabed revenues and reclaim the prime deep seabed mining sites it has abandoned. Further, adhering to the convention will finally give the United States an opportunity to officially declare its views as to the correct operation of convention provisions. This will end over a decade of self-imposed silence despite efforts by extremist opponents to roll back the gains achieved in the convention.
"The Senate should give immediate advice and consent to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: why the critics are wrong.
." Journal of International Affairs
. Vol. 59, No. 1 (Fall/Winter 2005) [ More (18 quotes) ]
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.