On Wednesday, May 23, 2012, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on the proposed Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). The hearing was chaired by Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), and the following proponents testified: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin E. Dempsey. Senate Republicans were denied even one witness at the hearing.
This 1980s-era treaty was enacted by the United Nations' redistributionist agenda as a means to bring order to the world's oceans by defining the rights of nations in regards to fishing, navigation, and seabed mining. LOST seeks to protect the wildlife of the sea as well as promote growth in the development of natural resources in the seabed. While these seem like noble objectives, signing the treaty would be detrimental to American sovereignty. LOST actually threatens the authority and independence which the U.S. has fought so hard to preserve. This is the reason why President Reagan did not sign the treaty back in 1982.
By ratifying LOST, the United States would give the United Nations the power to take American money and redistribute it to the rest of the world via the International Seabed Authority. Known as "Article 82A," this provision of LOST would take these monies from oil and gas development on the continental shelf beyond 200 miles, known as the "extended continental shelf." The money taken would be allocated to other countries that are a part of LOST. The Extended Continental Shelf Task Force has estimated it "may be worth billions, if not trillions of dollars." The nations who would receive this money, such as North Korea, Portugal, and Ukraine, would obtain it from the U.S. Treasury.
During Wednesday's hearing, Kerry stated that LOST would protect economic and strategic security interests. While doing this, the treaty would also provide a legal framework to lay and protect submarine cables which is the backbone of electronic commerce. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went on to highlight the opposition which she believes "is based on ideology, not facts." However, opposition to LOST is grounded in solid evidence. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) stated that LOST would have no economic benefit to the United States. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) also highlighted the serious danger of losing American sovereignty. He stated, "This document is 288 pages, but if we give up one scintilla of sovereignty that America has fought for, I can't vote for it." Panetta believes that by signing LOST, America would become a more secure and prosperous nation for generations to come.
During the hearing, Panetta said that LOST will provide the stable regime America needs to conduct global operations not only today, but also in the future. However, Sen. John Isakson (R-Georgia) highlighted that the cost would in fact be detrimental to American taxpayers and businesses. LOST would not provide any type of stable platform and would result in negative consequences and lawsuits against the nation.
In order to preserve its national sovereignty, the United States must not ratify LOST. While the Left argues the benefits of this treaty, Americans must realize that the negative outcomes far outweigh any "benefits" it could ever offer.
Take Action: Please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to oppose LOST.
Amy Clemenson is an intern with Concerned Women for America's Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program. Learn More.