The Treaty proposes to create a new global governance institution that would regulate American citizens and businesses, but which would not be accountable politically to the American people. Some of the Law of the Sea Treaty's proponents pay little attention to constitutional concerns about democratic legislative processes and principles of self-government, but I believe the American people take seriously threats to these foundations of our nation.
The Treaty creates a United Nations-style body called the "International Seabed Authority." "The Authority," as UN bureaucrats call it in Orwellian shorthand, would be involved in all commercial activity such as mining and oil and gas production in international waters. It is to this entity that the United States, pursuant to the Treaty's Article 82, would be required to transfer a significant share of all royalties generated by American companies royalties that would otherwise go to the U.S. Treasury for the benefit of the American people.
Over time, hundreds of billions of dollars could flow through the "Authority" with little oversight. The United States could not control how those revenues are spent. Under the Treaty, the Authority is empowered to redistribute these so-called "international royalties" to developing and landlocked nations with no role in exploring or extracting those resources. It would constitute a massive form of global welfare, courtesy of the American taxpayer. It would be as if fishermen who exerted themselves to catch fish on the high seas were required, on the principle that those fish belonged to all people everywhere, to give a share of their take to countries that had nothing to do with their costly, dangerous and arduous efforts.