The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) could sink America. That's a fect that Ronald Reagan recognized a generation ago.
When President Reagan opposed LOST, it was primarily due to one major factor: An International Seabed Authority (ISA) was created that would redistribute America's royalty wealth from our natural resources and limit our sovereign decisions about activities on the deep seabed. Just imagine the United Nations for all the world's waterways.
Through this international governing body, the U.S. would have one vote among 162 participating nations ranging from China to the Congo to Croatia, adhering to the 320-article treaty. The ISA's website describes itself as "an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea..."
Many of the participating nations don't even have a coastline or any navy to speak of.
Thankfully, LOST is expected to see no action in the Senate — where constitutionally, all treaties are required to receive a two-thirds majority vote for ratification — until after the November election. The Democratically-controlled Senate, led by Democrat Harry Reid, seems to have been rebuffed by a group of 34 Senators, who've expressed their opposition to the treaty based on these facts:
• LOST is not necessary. Through customary international practice, the U.S. has navigation rights and freedoms that must be observed by other nations.
• The ISA, located in Jamaica, is staffed with those drawing tax-free salaries for an assembly, a council, commissions and various committees, all funded by member nations.
• The ISA has total jurisdiction over the ocean floor with its rich supply of oil, natural gas and other resources.
• Despite claims the U.S. would have "veto power," the treaty's design limits the application of that power.
• The ISA would have the authority to levy international taxes with funds used, as the treaty asserts, for "the benefit of mankind as a whole."
The idea that 70 percent of the earth's surface could fall under the rule of nations that do not support democratic freedoms and human rights is of deep concern.
Let's hope that November's election stocks the Senate with prudent lawmakers who are willing to remain steadfast regarding America's right to determine what maritime policies are in our best economic, strategic and national security interests.
The last thing the United States needs is a global bureaucracy dictated by 161 other nations — including our enemies — deciding what can and cannot be done in the waters off our coasts.