U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has joined 30 of his Senate colleagues in signing a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stating their opposition to ratification of the United Nations' Law of the Sea treaty. The letter is spearheaded by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
The treaty, an international agreement governing the use of the world's oceans, would compromise the United States' sovereignty by subjecting American navigational rights to an international body that is indifferent, and sometimes opposed, to American interests.
In addition, the treaty would compel the United States to transfer billions of dollars in royalties from oil and gas development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf to the International Seabed Authority, an unaccountable, multinational organization which would disburse these funds to foreign entities - including many that are openly hostile to the United States.
The full text of the senators' letter is below.
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. Leader,
We understand that Chairman Kerry has renewed his efforts to pursue Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We are writing to let you know that we believe this Convention reflects political, economic, and ideological assumptions which are inconsistent with American values and sovereignty.
By its current terms, the Law of the Sea Convention encompasses economic and technology interests in the deep sea, redistribution of wealth from developed to undeveloped nations, freedom of navigation in the deep sea and exclusive economic zones which may impact maritime security, and environmental regulation over virtually all sources of pollution.
To effect the treaty's broad regime of governance, we are particularly concerned that United States sovereignty could be subjugated in many areas to a supranational government that is chartered by the United Nations under the 1982 Convention. Further, we are troubled that compulsory dispute resolution could pertain to public and private activities including law enforcement, maritime security, business operations, and nonmilitary activities performed aboard military vessels.
If this treaty comes to the floor, we will oppose its ratification.