Sovereignty Lost: The Global Redistribution of Wealth


By Morgan Norval l June 18, 2012

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry with Senator Barbara Boxer at hearing/Reuters pictures

George Washington’s 1796 farewell address urged the United States to avoid entangling alliances with foreign countries. America, he said, must “act for ourselves and not for others.” With the founding of the United Nations and the onset of the Cold War, the U.S. turned its back on Washington’s sage advice. The U.S. is now enmeshed in “entangling alliances” all over the globe.

There is one egregious and dangerous treaty the U.S. has yet to ratify. But our globalist, “one world” government worshipers and policy elites are hell bent on getting that pernicious “entangling alliance” ratified by the U.S. Senate. That is the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST, an acronym whose effects on the U.S. make it a good fit.

The treaty was originated during the Cold War in 1973 by the Soviet Bloc to derail the West, especially the United States. The treaty’s provisions sought to transfer wealth from the West to the so-called “developing world,” which consisted of mostly Soviet supporters. The treaty would abrogate the doctrine of the “freedom of the seas” and make it a right granted by the United Nations. The UN then becomes the central sovereign authority with the power to tax over nearly70 percent of the earth’s surface.

By the time of Ronald Reagan’s election, establishment expectations were for an automatic approval by the newly elected conservative-Republican. Needless to say, they were sorely disappointed as President Reagan opposed the Law of the Sea Treaty and lined up opposition to it, including Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Today, 30 years later, the establishment is at it again.  This time the Obama administration has made it its goal to have the United States Senate, currently under Democrat control, ratify this pernicious treaty, in part, by lining up the living former secretaries of State along with the U.S. Navy brass. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is poised to push for ratification during a lame duck session following the November election results, even if the Senate majority shifts into Republican control.

That is bad enough, but it gets worse. The octopus arm of the UN that will administer this monstrosity is the International Seabed Administration—ISA, located in Kingston, Jamaica. ISA would have the power to regulate 70 percent of the globe. This regulatory power would give it control over our seabed mining, oil and gas development, fishing and environmental policies. Any controversies and disputes deriving from LOST would be settled by binding arbitration rulings made by foreign judges at a tribunal based in Hamburg, Germany. U.S. interests in getting a fair deal before such a panel would be slim at best.

The ISA dispute settlement system would lie outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and make U.S. citizens and businesses subject to its whims, prejudices, and hostility of the members of the tribunal, from which there would be no appeal. Moreover, the U.S. would be subjected to baseless international lawsuits; a clear threat to American sovereignty. If that weren’t bad enough, under LOST, its terms can be amended and adopted that without the approval of the United States.

Adding insult to injury, LOST can, and would, impose royalty-sharing from resources generated from oil and gas development on America’s extended continental shelf. These “royalties” would be turned over to the ISA, instead of the U. S. Treasury, for their distribution to whomever it wished. This would amount to billions or even trillions of dollars transferred to an arm of the corrupt, anti-American United Nations bureaucracy. Sen. James Risch (R-ID) says this so-called royalty-sharing provision would be a tax on companies developing the seabed, thus adding a taxing authority to the UN. That would provide more funds for them to carry on their pro-globalization and anti-American agenda.

LOST would also require U.S. firms to transfer deep sea mining and oil exploration technology to various “developing nations” of their choosing. The ISA could then turn around and give that technology to a U.S. firm’s competitor, absolving them of the burden to develop it on their own.

LOST also requires treaty members to adopt laws and regulations to control pollution that would allegedly affect the marine environment. This is a blatant backdoor attempt to impose the UN’s Kyoto-type climate-change regulations upon the U.S. and would then allow environmental extremists to sue the U.S. and/or U.S. companies in the international court for violating those regulations.  Since the court is composed of anti-American jurists, they could prevail on their claims and make U.S. citizens and businesses pay. Can they get away with this? Well, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that international law is part of our law and our courts must act accordingly.

And, if the Senate votes to approve the Law of the Sea Treaty and President Obama signs LOST, under Article VI of the Constitution, it becomes the law of the land. International treaties can undermine sovereignty, and deny U.S. citizens the rights to which they are guaranteed under the Constitution.

LOST would enable the ISA to claim jurisdiction over anything that affects oceans directly or indirectly, including rivers that flow into oceans. This, if carried out, has serious ramifications for the U.S. It could give the UN control over, perhaps, a key factor in our nation’s growth to a world power—the role of the Mississippi River Basin.

For starters, the Mississippi River Basin, plus our Intracoastal Waterway network has more miles of navigable internal waterways than the rest of the world combined. Why wouldn’t the power hungry greedy group like the UN want to get control of that?

Consider that the Mississippi River, the core of this basin system, is navigable from the Gulf of Mexico to just north of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Other navigable rivers in the basin system include: the Missouri, Arkansas, Red, Ohio, and Tennessee. Since shipping goods via waterways is 10 to 30 times cheaper than shipping them via land or air, it provides economic incentives for businesses to locate on or near where transporting their goods is cheap. An international body like the ISA could reap income from these by charging tolls, permit and docking fees on goods moving along these waterways, in addition to having a say as to what may or may not transit over these waterways.

Dick Morris noted in his book: Screwed! How Foreign Countries Are Ripping Off America and Plundering Our Economy—and How Our Leaders Help Them Do It: “Thus, if we ratify LOST, we will be bound hand and foot. On land, our local planning and zoning boards will have to enforce land-use policies designed by the environmentalist community, and at sea, we will be bound by an International Seabed Authority over which we will have no control.

“The decisions of our elected officials won’t count for much at all. Another nail in the coffin of government of the people, by the people, and for the people!”

Ironically, the premier trade association in the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been lobbying for passage of this globalist treaty under the incredulous banner titled “The American Sovereignty Campaign,” when, in fact, LOST would rob America of its sovereignty and independence.

LOST is a proper acronym for this monstrosity, but for us it means, not Law of the Sea Treaty, but a loss of U.S. sovereignty. To view it otherwise is an exercise in self-delusion.


Morgan Norval is the founder and Executive Director of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to

SFPPR News & Analysis.