The American Sovereignty Campaign (TASC) was announced on May 9 amidst an unprecedented showing of support for Law of the Sea Treaty ratification, including from representatives of some of the largest U.S. corporations and scores of current and former U.S. military leaders.
This impressive and distinguished line up of national security experts and business representatives gathered to discuss the benefits of the Treaty at a May 9 forum sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts and Atlantic Council.
Below are highlights of what they had to say about the need for immediate ratification of the Treaty.
Click here to read their full remarks.
For photos from the event, click here.
Click here to view a highlights reel from the event.
The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, U.S. Secretary of Defense:
“…[T]his treaty is absolutely critical to U.S. national security … the longer we delay, the more we undermine our own national security interests. … Not since we acquired the lands of the American West and Alaska have we had such a great opportunity to expand U.S. sovereignty.”
General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff:
“…[I]t’s my privilege to join Secretary Panetta … in support of the Law of Sea [Treaty].… It codifies navigational rights and freedoms essential for our global mobility. It helps sustain our combat forces in the field. It includes the right of innocent passage through foreign territorial seas, the right of transit passage through international straits and the right to exercise high-seas freedoms in foreign exclusive economic zones, all without permission or prior notice.”
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard:
“Joining the [Law of the Sea] Convention will lock in vital navigation rights that ensure the mobility of Coast Guard cutters, Navy warships and other U.S. vessels and aircraft, and will protect America’s sovereign rights over offshore resources that the Coast Guard is charged with protecting on behalf of the American people."
Jennifer Warren, Vice President, Technology Policy & Regulation, Lockheed Martin Corporation:
“…[W]e believe it is in our national and economic interest to ensure an expanded source of rare earth elements, given the virtual monopoly that is widely reported as existing today for those resources. … And for a U.S.-based claim to be protected, the U.S. must be a party to the Law of the Sea ... and [we] therefore urge ratification of the Law of the Sea."
John Ryan, Chief Legal Officer, Level 3 Communications, Inc.:
“Ratification of the treaty will enhance U.S. businesses’ ability to compete internationally, putting us on a level playing field with many of our competitors who already have access to the benefits of the treaty."
R. Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
“Failure for the United States to approve the Law of the Sea Treaty will be a strategic disadvantage to not just American industry, but to the nation at large. … This is an essential action that’s needed to protect the interests of our American industry and the development and use of these [subsea] resources.”
Martin J. Durbin, Executive Vice President, American Petroleum Institute:
“We’re now watching from the outside as the guidelines and protocols for conduct on the world’s oceans are developed and as certain provisions of the convention are implemented. We can’t allow this to continue. The Law of the Sea Convention is good for our nation, and we at API certainly urge the Senate to give its approval.”
The Honorable John Negroponte, Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State:
[Referring to the Law of the Sea Treaty] “It’s obviously in the political, economic and security interests of our country.”
Heather Conley, Senior Fellow and Director, Europe Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies:
“For the Arctic, in a continuation of American leadership in this region, the answer begins with the Law of the Sea Treaty. … [W]ith each passing day that we do not ratify, we place America’s national security in the north and our economic vitality at risk.”
Dr. John Nagl, Non-Resident Senior Fellow and former President, Center for a New American Security:
“Ratifying the Law of the Sea will put America on a path of continued maritime pre-eminence for the decades ahead. ... We owe ourselves and the nation nothing less.”
John Norton Moore, Walter L. Brown Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law:
[Referring to the Law of the Sea Treaty] “…[W]hat it’s really doing is massively increasing the area of sovereign rights of the United States in resources in an area larger than the Louisiana Purchase and the acquisition of Alaska combined. This is a staggering increase.”
Former Senator Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Atlantic Council:
“The United States stands with Turkey as the only NATO members that have not ratified Law of the Sea, a U.S.-initiated treaty that protects American interests off U.S. shores and around the world. Senate ratification this year would allow America to take its rightful place and enjoy the benefits and protections of this important treaty.”
Former Senator John Warner, Former Secretary of the Navy and Former Chairman of the Armed Services Committee:
“Vital American security and economic interests have, and will continue to, come under increasing threat. The United States can dramatically expand its sovereign rights by becoming party to this treaty.”
Business leaders support immediate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty!
Representatives from leading U.S. companies and business groups - including Jennifer Warren, Vice President, Lockheed Martin Corporation; John Ryan, Chief Legal Officer, Level 3 Communications; Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Martin Durbin, Executive Vice President, American Petroleum Institute – made the business case for Law of the Sea Treaty ratification at a recent Forum sponsored by the Atlantic Council and the Pew Charitable Trusts.