Signing on to international agreements is an exercise of U.S. sovereignty, not an abrogation
Arguments against the convention are, in a way; a denigration of law; they seem to indicate that any international agreement is an unwelcome infringement of U.S. sovereignty, when the contrary is the case. President George Washington regarded the Jay Treaty with Great Britain as the most important achievement of his administration. No one would accept a loss of U.S. sovereignty. At the same time, one of the most important sovereign rights is the legal ability of states to enter into agreements, just as individual citizens in the United States have the right to agree to contracts with one another. In fact, it is only children and the mentally incompetent who have no right to contract. To deny the U.S. government the right to enter into agreements with other nations would deprive it of one of its most fundamental rights, leaving it with few options short of expending the lives of its armed forces to establish and enforce national rights. It should also be understood that under the U.S. Constitution, freedom of action cannot be lost through international agreements. One widely-accepted precept of U.S. foreign policy is that a subsequent act of Congress can override a prior international agreement. Further, critics fail to mention that because of its sovereignty, the United States is free to withdraw from 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) ]
The sovereignty costs associated with the Convention are grossly overstated primarily because many of these costs have already been accepted by the United States. In addition, the U.S. stands to gain sovereignty over 4.1 million square miles of territory by acceeding to the treaty.