US could rely on reciprocal bilateral treaties as proposed in 1980 DSHMRA act as an alternative to UNCLOS
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In any case, it would have been quite simple to build an alternative to the LOST. In 1980 Congress passed the Deep Seabed Hard Minerals Act to provide interim protection for American miners until Congress ratified an acceptable LOST. The act could simply be amended to create a permanent process for recording seabed claims and resolving con- flicts. Such legislation could then be coordinated with that of the other leading industrialized states. In September 1982 Britain, France, Germany, and the United States signed the Reciprocating States Agreement to provide for arbitration of competing claims. Such an informal system could have been upgraded into a formal treaty, authorizing each nation to oversee its own companies’ activities and creating a mechanism for resolving conflicts. No international bureaucracy would have been necessary.
The United States can successfully pursue its national interests regarding its extended continental shelf by negotiating on a bilateral basis with nations with which it shares maritime borders to delimit and mutually recognize each other’s maritime and ECS boundaries.