US being excluded from international maritime policy￼ because it has failed to ratify UNCLOS
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The US is therefore increasingly not being allowed in the game because it mistakenly believes that its punched ticket from the last game is good for this one. Were the US to ratify UNCLOS 1982 it would be in the current global maritime game with no protest or recalcitrance from any other state on those grounds. It follows that US policy positions unrelated to ratification, as argued by the author, would have more wins and fewer losses with commensurate better understanding of how world trade works. For it is the good order of law which facilitates trade. And trade not ideology is the engine that powers the modern, interdependent world. As we are sure the author would agree, trade is more efficient when regulatory uncertainty is reduced. UNCLOS 1982, whatever its minor flaws may be, provides muchneeded order in ocean governance and management and removes many of the uncertainties that have existed since the Grotius-Selden debate almost three centuries ago. Indeed, as the author undoubtedly recognizes, the vast majority of global trade moves on the oceans. This is, without question, one of the principal reasons underlying the existence of UNCLOS 1982 and its predecessors. We ask and not rhetorically that if trade is not the fundamental basis for national security, then what is? Global trade will continue in the rest of the world with or without US participation. It will prosper for all states including the US with a predictable, global regulatory system such as UNCLOS 1982. It will suffer, however, when regulatory fragmentation through unilateral action of a state takes place.
"Commentary in Reply to “Is it Time for the United States to Join the Law of the Sea Convention”
." Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce
. Vol. 42, No. 1 (January 2011): 49-70. [ More (6 quotes) ]
U.S. failure to ratify UNCLOS raises fundamental questions regarding not only the future of legal regimes applicable to the world’s oceans, but also U.S. leadership in promoting international law and order.
Additionally, our partners lose confidence in the ability of the United States to make good on its word when we negotiate and sign treaties but don’t ultimately become party to them, especially as in the case of UNCLOS where the U.S. negotiated aggressively to win valuable concessions and won them.