What does the United States risk if it does not ratify the Convention?
A. In addition, to forfeiting a leadership role in ocean policy, the United States’ absence from the Convention increases the chance that amendments to the Convention will be adopted that harm U.S. freedom of navigation and economic interests. The Convention is highly favorable to U.S. interests as it exists now. Some nations may press for restrictions on the movement of naval or commercial vessels near their coastline that would be harmful to the United States. Others may pursue the right to exclude nuclear-powered vessels from their territorial waters. (Under the Convention, a ship’s propulsion system cannot be used as an argument to restrict its movements.) As explained above, even if the United States is not a party to the Convention, it must contend with the Law of the Sea. As a party, we will be in a very strong position to prevent harmful amendments. In addition, the Convention’s Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will soon begin making decisions on claims to cont