Law of the Sea treaty no better today than during Reagan years

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  • caitlyna Arlington, VA
    June 8, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    In 1982 I joined President Reagan's delegation to the LOS Conference with instructions to seek fixes to six specific issues related to Seabed Mining. President Reagan made a public statement that if those six issues were fixed according to his criteria, he would sign the Convention and recommend that the Senate give its advice and consent.

    We did not succeed in 1982, but Reagan's criteria for an acceptable convention remained on the table. In 1990 they were taken up again and Reagan's fixes were incorporated into the 1994 Agreement on Implementation. While Mr. Meese is not personally satisfied, Reagan's conservative secretary of state, George Shultz, and his chief of staff, James Baker, both say it fulfills Reagan's criteria in full. The only remaining US seabed miner, Lockheed Martin, opposed the convention in 1982, now endorses the convention with the 1994 Agreement.

    Finally, the Convention has been in force for 18 years. We are down to one seabed mining company while 12 groups operate under the Convention with 5 more in the works. Pres. Reagan was committed to a US seabed mining industry; we must join the Convention to complete President Reagan's work.