US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Thomas J. Donohue, is an ardent supporter of the ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty. He has testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and written a few op-eds explaining his support on the basis of advancing US economic and national security interests.
One of his main arguments, like many other business executives, is that the deep-seabeds are the next great source of economic and job growth for America. He explains,
“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.”
In terms of national security Donohue continues,
“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.”
Donohue also makes the argument for ratification to protect American competitiveness:
“Approval of the treaty is also key to America’s competitive strength. As the world’s preeminent maritime power, with one of the largest continental shelves, the United States has more than any other country to gain—or to lose—based on how the treaty’s terms are interpreted and applied. The treaty will continue to form the basis of maritime law with or without our approval. Therefore, it is in our national interest to be an active participant in the process.”
Donohue is not alone in giving the support of the business industry to ratification. Industry leaders from the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, Verizon, and Shell also testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations giving their and their industries overwhelming support for LOTS. Their statements echo Donohue’s that the treaty is vital for advancing American economic interests and protecting national security and competitiveness. Every industry that this treaty impacts enthusiastically supports its ratification.
Tom Donohue will be speaking at ASP on the importance of LOTS for America’s future on August 2nd. We hope you can join us. Click here for the event info.