Draft Republican Party Platform Opposes Law of the Sea Treaty
It is a draft platform, but these parts of the 2012 GOP Platform are certainly interesting. It appears to have strong language in favor of “American Exceptionalism” and American sovereignty.
Under our Constitution, treaties become the law of the land. So it is all the more important that the Congress — the senate through its ratifying power and the House through its appropriating power — shall reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear. These include the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty as well as the various declarations from the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development. Because of our concern for American sovereignty, domestic management of our fisheries, and our country’s long-term energy needs, we have deep reservations about the regulatory, legal, and tax regimes inherent in the Law of the Sea Treaty and congratulate Senate Republicans for blocking its ratification. We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any form of U.N. Global Tax.
Unlike Josh Keating, I don’t read this platform as “black helicopter” stuff. I think there are reasonable policy arguments against all of the above treaties, especially UNCLOS. I do agree, though, that this might herald an important policy shift. A majority of the GOP has previously supported US ratification of UNCLOS, but it looks like UNCLOS opposition is now going to be in the GOP mainstream. And that means that US ratification of UNCLOS looks even more unlikely.