Let the UN Tax the US Continental Shelf?
In 2012, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea will recognize the 30th anniversary of its opening for signature to the Convention; as of today, the United States in the only major industrialized nation not to have ratified this treaty. The Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, including navigation rights, species protection, management of marine natural resources, and other issues. Join our plenary panelists to hear about the impact this Convention will have on our national security and economic interests, including the benefits of claiming an extended continental shelf. – American Geophysical Union Science Policy Conference
Dominant Social Theme: Why not join this fine process?
Free-Market Analysis: The video below provides speakers in favor of adopting the UN's Law of the Sea treaty that has already been ratified by nations around the world.
The US hasn't ratified the Treaty, and that sticks in the collective craw of the power elite that sees the Law of the Sea as a great stride forward in terms of UN authority – including taxing authority.
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott used to oppose the UN's Law of the Seas. But recently he's had a change of heart, telling The Daily Caller that he "no longer believes the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty – would 'cede our national sovereignty, both militarily and economically'."
Lott has changed his mind, but the Law of the Sea remains the same. The treaty is basically a back-door UN tax – something that would set a precedent for the US. It would basically provide the UN taxing authority over American companies and would do so via permitting and royalty payments to the UN's International Seabed Authority. The revenue of the ISA is distributed internationally.
Despite fears of loss of sovereignty, the Law of the Sea Treaty is again being considered by Senate Committee chaired by former presidential candidate John Kerry. The New York Times recently reported on the resurrection of the Treaty as follows:
Thirty years after it was signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the United Nations treaty that governs the world's oceans is undergoing one of its periodic resurrections in Congress. A Senate committee on Wednesday summoned three top national security officials to make yet another plea for the agreement, in the face of narrow, but stubborn, opposition ...
So long has the "Law of the Sea" treaty been stalled on Capitol Hill that its opponents — a handful of conservative Republicans who view it as an infringement on American sovereignty — have taken to calling it "LOST, " an uncharitable, if apt, acronym.
Now, though, Senator John F. Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, sees another chance to push through a treaty last debated in 2007. In the first of a series of hearings, he enlisted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to help make the case — allowing them to argue that the treaty is increasingly important to deal with such issues as fraught relations over the South China Sea ...
Senator James Risch of Idaho said it would oblige the United States to adhere to international agreements to stem greenhouse gas emissions. "That's got Kyoto written all over it," he said, referring to the climate change treaty rejected by the United States.
(Video from AGUvideos' YouTube user channel.)