TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, urges you to strongly opposes an amendment expected to be offered by Representative Duncan (#47) to H.R. 4310, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013,” concerning the Law of the Sea Treaty.
This amendment would prohibit funding for institutions or organizations established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Chamber supports Senate approval of the Law of the Sea Treaty because it would provide clear legal rights and protections to American businesses to transit, lay undersea cables, and take advantage of the vast natural resources in and under the oceans off the U.S. coasts and around the world. The Treaty is supported by a broad cross-section of U.S. industry as well as the Department of Defense.
The Duncan Amendment would prevent the U.S. from fully protecting its rights and interests before institutions established by the Treaty. For example, the U.S. has a clear economic and national security interest in participating in the work of the Continental Shelf Commission, which is reviewing the claims of other countries, including Russia, to undersea resources in the Arctic off the coast of Alaska.
The Chamber strongly opposes the Duncan amendment. The Chamber may consider votes on, or in relation to, this amendment in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten