Washington elites are once again pushing an obscure treaty, which if ratified, would have harmful effects on our economy and on American sovereignty. The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is ill-conceived, unworkable, and naïve. It must be defeated.
This is not, as one would think from the name, a simple treaty among nations which would ensure the safety and security of international commerce. This is a treaty which would subject U.S. and other nations' development of ocean resources to oversight, regulation, and even taxation. It is the UN on steroids.
LOST was originally proposed during the cold war era, and was rejected by President Ronald Reagan because he rightly objected to its redistributionist effects. After the fall of communism and the spread of free markets, the treaty lost momentum through much of the world. But now, pushed by Senator John Kerry, it is being revived.
LOST must not be ratified. Development of sea resources would be managed by an international bureaucracy unelected and unaccountable to the voters. That agency would be controlled by member countries, many of whom are not friends of the United States. Just as such a skewed voting arrangement currently allows Syria (which is massacring its citizens) to sit on the UN Human Rights Committee, the representation on the agency overseeing LOST would almost certainly be skewed towards third-world regimes hostile to America and free trade.
As Solicitor General, I fought for the sovereignty of Texas -- and America -- in Medellin v. Texas, in which the UN and 90 foreign nations tried to dictate to Texas how to run our justice system. Before the U.S. Supreme Court, we won 6-3, stopping that attack on U.S. sovereignty. But the attacks keep coming. For the security of trade, for the future of our economy, and--most critically--for the defense of our sovereignty, the Senate should reject LOST, and bury this treaty at sea once and for all.