Duncan Amendment Protects American Sovereignty

May 21, 2012
Press Release

Washington, DC—The United States House of Representatives adopted an amendment today by a vote of 229-193 authored by South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan to the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act to block all funding for organizations established by the United Nation’s Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).  The Law of the Sea Treaty was last submitted to the Senate in 1994 but has  never been ratified. However, President Obama requested in 2009 and 2010 that American tax dollars be spent on two organizations created by LOST (the International Seabed Authority and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea).

“The Law of the Sea Treaty threatens US national security and economic interests, and surrenders American sovereignty over to the United Nations. The Senate is poised to consider this treaty during a hearing in the Foreign Relations Committee next week, and I’m proud of my colleagues in the House for sending a strong message to the Senate on this issue,” said Duncan. The US ratification of LOST would weaken our sovereignty and threaten key US foreign policy and military priorities.”

“Specifically, the treaty requires that the United Nations place a priority on developing countries as recipients of funding.  No transparency exists on how countries use funds, and nothing prevents a redistribution of US revenue to state sponsors of terrorism and undemocratic regimes with human rights abuses. Our Navy could also be subject to legal action for its military activities from international courts.”

“Further, LOST would harm US economic interests by subjecting US companies to costly lawsuits from an unaccountable foreign entity.  It would also require the United States to pay royalties on natural resources harvested during deep-sea production.  US law claims the entire extended continental shelf and states that the resources belong to the American people, so this treaty would require changes to US law before it could be implemented.”

“One of my motivations for running for Congress was to stop the federal government from interfering in our daily lives. But what the Law of the Sea Treaty does is even worse; it values international law over American law.”

“The United States is the greatest country in the history of the world, and we must remain vigilant to protect Americans from the hardship created by an international unelected bureaucracy.”

“American tax dollars have no business being used to support a treaty that the Senate hasn’t even ratified. I hope this amendment sends a strong signal that this Republican controlled House will do everything in its power to protect American independence and preserve our sovereignty.”