The United States' permanent seat on ISA does not amount for much without veto power
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Proponents of U.S. membership in UNCLOS claim that, if the United States joins the convention, it will have the power to prevent adverse decisions against U.S. companies because the U.S. will hold a permanent seat on the Council.67 Yet a permanent seat is of questionable utility because the United States would have only one vote on the Council, and none of the aforementioned decisions requires consensus.68 For example, the Council may deny an application for an exploration license submitted by a U.S. company, even over the recommendation of the Legal and Technical Commission, if two-thirds of the Council objects to the application.69
Granting an international organization the power to restrict and regulate U.S. access to polymetallic nodules and sulfides, cobalt-rich crusts, and rare earths will not advance U.S. national interests. Joining UNCLOS, however, would do just that by placing the interests and operations of U.S. mining companies at the discretion and control of the Authority and the Council.