The latest threat to U.S. sovereignty is the United Nations’ Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) that is being pushed by the Obama administration. LOST rises from the dead every few years. For more than thirty years, the United States has refused to become a party to LOST for good reasons. But this could be the year that the United States surrenders its sovereignty over the seas to an international body if Obama gets his way.
Under this treaty, the U.N. would have control over 71 percent of the Earth’s surface. This would be a huge step towards global governance. The Senate may vote to ratify the sea treaty as early as next week. President Ronald Reagan rejected LOST back in 1982, stating it would grant the U.N. the power to tax U.S. companies and redistribute wealth from developed to undeveloped nations.
For the first time in history, the U.N. would have the authority to collect taxes from U.S. citizens. The thought of global taxation should send goose bumps down the spine of every American.
Any form of global taxation would be a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. American citizens are already overtaxed and overregulated. The last thing we need is an unelected, unconstitutional international body imposing even more harmful taxes and regulations on us. LOST could end up costing trillions of dollars and the American people would have no say on how the money is spent.
If the U.S. ratifies LOST, U.S. energy companies would be forced to pay a part of their royalties to the International Seabed Authority in Kingston, Jamaica. This supra-national governing body would be tasked with the mission of distributing revenue to “developing states” such as Somalia, Zimbabwe, and Burma. Like all forms of foreign “aid”, it’s likely that a big chunk of this money will end up in the hands of corrupt dictators thus propping up authoritarian regimes.
The U.N. would be granted the power to regulate deep-sea exploration in U.S. waters. LOST would do irreparable harm to U.S. companies by forcing them to comply with global environmental rules. The treaty would create a new international tribunal known as the International Tribunal of LOST (ITLOS) to adjudicate a number of different issues.
It wouldn’t just be used to resolve maritime issues like boats accidently wrecking into each other. Radical environmentalists would likely use the ITLOS to file costly international climate change lawsuits against the United States.
Signing LOST is certainly not in the best economic interest of the United States. The text of the U.N. treaty states that, “states shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from or through the atmosphere.” The autonomy of the United States is threatened if we allow our domestic laws to be crafted by an international body that is not accountable to the American people.
LOST could even lead to a back door implementation of another U.N. treaty that the United States has never ratified: the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. This U.N. treaty would require the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels. Patrick J. Michael of the Cato Institute finds that it would likely reduce the gross domestic product of the United States by 2.3 percent per year while not having a noticeable effect on the global climate.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, the Kyoto Protocol would increase the price of electricity by 86 percent, add $1,740 to the average household’s energy bill, and permanently raise the price of gasoline by 66 cents per gallon. It would inevitably raise the price for basic goods and cause millions of Americans to lose their jobs.
The scientific debate on anthroprogenic global warming continues to rage. We shouldn’t sacrifice our standard of living based on this unsettled issue. Remember that some scientists were warning us about man-made global cooling in the 1970’s. TIME Magazine even ran a cover story on “How to Survive the Coming Ice Age” in April 1977.
Climate change fear-mongering has been going on for decades—let’s not fall for the propaganda so easily.
The U.N. is openly hostile to our national sovereignty and republican form of government. The ratification of LOST would open up a Pandora’s Box of problems. It would impose global taxes and regulations that cripple economic growth while exposing ourselves to high-stakes environmental lawsuits. We need to sink LOST once and for all.
Julie Borowski is a Policy Analyst at FreedomWorks, an organization dedicated to lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. Her writings on economic policy have appeared in numerous newspapers and online outlets. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Coalition to Reduce Spending and she launched an independent YouTube channel called TokenLibertarianGirl in June 2011.
She was previously selected to be a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow with the Institute for Humane Studies where she worked at the Center for Competitive Politics. Most recently, she was a government affairs associate at Americans for Tax Reform.
Julie has volunteered for political candidates in Kentucky and in her home state of Maryland. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Frostburg State University in May 2010 where she studied political science, economics and international studies. She is now located in Washington, D.C.
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