Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Senators Portman and Ayotte Sink Law Of The Sea Treaty

This press release is from yesterday:

Senators Portman and Ayotte Sink Law Of The Sea Treaty

Two Senate Armed Services Committee Members Announce Opposition In Letter To Majority Leader Harry Reid, Saying “No International Organization Owns The Seas”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), ranking member on the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, sent a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in which they announced their opposition to Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Citing significant concerns about the breadth and ambiguity of the treaty, and more importantly, the risks to U.S. sovereignty due to issues regarding enforcement and adjudication, the two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee stated, “After careful consideration, we have concluded that on balance this treaty is not in the national interest of the United States. As a result, we would oppose the treaty if it were called up for a vote.”

Portman and Ayotte continued, “We simply are not peruaded that decisions by the International Seabed Authority and international tribunals empowered by this treaty will be more favorable to U.S. interests than bilateral negotiations, voluntary arbitration, and other traditional means of resolving maritime issues. No international organization owns the seas, and we are confident that our country will continue to protect its navigational freedom, valid territorial claims, and other maritime rights.”

Because the Constitution requires 67 affirmative votes for the Senate to ratify a treaty, and 31 senators have previously signed a letter in opposition and a 32nd senator announced his opposition, Portman and Ayotte’s announcement makes efforts to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty dead in the water in this Congress.

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