NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 17, 2005

President Bush should follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and refuse to sign the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), says Investor's Business Daily.

LOST was a bad idea when President Reagan refused to sign it in 1982 and actually fired the State Department staff members who helped negotiate it. It was drafted at the behest of Soviet bloc and Third World dictators interested in a scheme to weaken U.S. power while transferring wealth to the developing world, says IBD.

Moreover, LOST would do to our maritime activities -- military and economic -- what the International Criminal Court (ICC) would have done to our system of criminal justice: place it under the thumb of a supranational body, in this case the discredited and corrupt United Nations, says IBD.

Indeed, LOST would have:

  • Created an agency to regulate 70 percent of the Earth's surface, placing seabed mining, fishing rights and deep-sea oil exploration under the control of a global bureaucracy.
  • Charged U.S. mining or energy firms for permits to develop those resources and then forced the companies to pay hefty royalties.
  • Crimped our use of naval power, for example, by banning initiatives under which we can stop and search ships on the high seas suspected of transporting contraband material on behalf of terrorists.

When John Kerry declared that U.S. actions be subjected to a "global test," Bush rightly responded that our national security was too important to be left to bodies such as the United Nations Security Council. So why the administration support for LOST? Deep-six this treaty, recommends IBD.

Source: Editorial, "LOST At Sea," Investor's Business Daily, February 11, 2005.


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