For Immediate Release
June 14, 2012
Campaign to Strengthen American Sovereignty Goes to the States with Miami Forum Hosted by Florida Business Groups and U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Company Representatives, Military Officials Discuss How Ratification Will Benefit Florida Economy, National Security
Washington, D.C. – Local Florida business groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The American Sovereignty Campaign today hosted an educational forum on the Law of the Sea Treaty in Miami, Florida, at which company representatives and military officials highlighted the local economic and national security benefits of ratifying the Treaty. The Miami forum marks the first in a series of state-level events hosted by local organizations to extol the sovereignty-expanding benefits of the Treaty.
“There is an urgent need to secure the rights to develop additional sources of valuable rare earth and other minerals located on the deep seabed in international waters,” said Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel, Director of Global Security Policy at Lockheed Martin Corporation, who presented at today’s forum. “Other countries, including China and Russia, have already secured internationally recognized rights to deep seabed sites, and are moving aggressively to develop this important resource. Absent timely ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. will lose its ability to lead in this rapidly emerging strategic market.”
“By giving U.S. companies the certainty they need to grow and expand, the Law of the Sea Treaty is vital to strengthening national economic security,” said Moore Hallmark, S.E. Regional Director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also a forum presenter. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fully engaged in the ratification effort and will be working with businesses in Florida and across the country to make sure the benefits of Treaty ratification are known and clear.”
In addition to securing vital American economic interests, including energy, mining, fishing, communications and transportation, ratification would also guarantee U.S. armed forces free movement over the world’s oceans and an internationally recognized system for resolving commercial disputes in foreign waters while still preserving America’s exclusive right to address military disputes directly rather than through an international body.
“The Coast Guard's role is to protect the safety and security of the American maritime public. Acceding to the Law of the Sea Convention will help the men and women of the Coast Guard to do just that, in a much more effective way,” said Rear Admiral William Baumgartner, Seventh District Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, a speaker at today’s forum.
“Eight of the approximately 40 landing sites for undersea telecommunications cables in the United States are in Florida, making the state a vital telecommunications connection point for America with the rest of the world,” said Gerald Tourgee, Secretariat, North American Submarine Cable Association, who also spoke today. “Without Treaty ratification, U.S. cable owners have no legal framework to protect their rights and lay and maintain these critical communications links.”
In addition to TASC, today’s forum co-hosts included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Hialeah Chamber of Commerce & Industries, the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce of South Florida, the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Beacon Council and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Learn more about TASC at www.RatifyTheTreatyNow.org.
The American Sovereignty Campaign (TASC) is supported by a broad, diverse and distinguished group of national security, business and NGO leaders who are committed to expanding U.S. sovereignty and protecting vital national security and economic interests by securing Senate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty this year.