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LOST operates under the assumption that any minerals in the ocean floor constitute the “common heritage” of all mankind — and therefore cannot be the property of any one individual, company, or nation. This treaty is an affront to American national sovereignty. It would give the United Nations authority over much of the world’s oceans, including the power to regulate and tax deep-sea mining, and redistribute the proceeds to Third World governments. Moreover, its “hortatory language” provisions are a loaded weapon that activist trial lawyers could easily wield to force the U.S. to adopt laws that the American people’s elected representatives otherwise would not.
LOST threatens U. S. sovereignty. Not just a little or around the edges, but fundamentally. Once the U. S. became a party to the treaty, any number of issues could be adjudicated by a LOST tribunal. It is not clear what the limits are on the issues that could be taken up by LOST. Jurisdiction over anything that affects the oceans directly or indirectly could be asserted. The majority of members of the tribunal adjudicating any particular issue are almost certainly going to be hostile to U. S. interests. Tribunal decisions cannot be appealed. Unlike every other country in the world, those decisions could be enforced in U. S. federal courts against the federal government.
National sovereignty: The treaty creates a new UN agency with its own dispute resolution tribunal. However, should the US stop its current compliance with the US-negotiated laws of the Convention, the U.S. could not be taken to the Law of the Sea Tribunal since the U.S. has indicated that it would choose binding arbitration rather than availing itself of the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. Taxation: The license fees and taxes levied on economic activities in the deep seabed Area by the ISA would be, in effect, a form of ‘taxation without representation’
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