The Law of the Sea Treaty is an international agreement that governs the rights of and limitations for maritime nations. Entering the agreement would expand U.S. sovereignty, strengthen national security, enhance global competitiveness, and spur job-creating commercial activity. The treaty would be a boon to the U.S. economy by providing American companies with the legal certainty and stability they need to hire and invest. U.S. energy producers would benefit from sovereign rights to seabed resources, including oil and natural gas, up to 600 miles off our coasts. High-tech industries, such as aerospace, defense, and consumer electronics, would benefit from expanded access to massive mineral deposits beneath the ocean floor. And the U.S. telecommunications industry would be better able to lay, repair, and maintain underwater cables beneath the world’s oceans. Moreover, the agreement is essential to national security. It would codify navigation rights for safe passage of U.S.-owned or U.S.-flagged vessels, which transport more than 95% of all goods imported to or exported from America, including essential commodities like oil.
Thomas J. Donohue is President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.