Bush Ponders Disastrous Global Sea Treaty

Contact:  <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Christine Hall, 202.331.2258

Washington, D.C., Sept. 25, 2007— The controversial Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), on fast track for Senate ratification, would harm an array of U.S. economic interests, such as offshore oil exploration and intellectual property rights, concludes a new study from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

In The Law of the Sea Treaty: Impeding American Entrepreneurship and Investment, CEI Bastiat Fellow Doug Bandow finds that the treaty, if ratified, “would discourage future minerals production as well as punish entrepreneurship in related fields involving technology and intellectual property with an ocean application.”

Already criticized for its threats to U.S. defense and national sovereignty, the LOST would also:

·        Harm America’s competitiveness by forcing it to share valuable assets with a new international bureaucracy.  For instance, the U.S. would eventually have to share oil revenues from development of the Outer-Continental Shelf in seawater (just off U.S. shores).

·        Force American inventors to lose rights to profits from their ocean-exploring software and technology, harming the incentives for research into undersea exploration. “This precedent will have a negative impact on entrepreneurship,” Bandow warns.

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“The study is highlighting the hidden costs that LOST could impose on one of America's greatest strategic asset: the creativity of its entrepreneurs,” remarked John Berlau, director of the CEI’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which focuses on barriers to entrepreneurs that keep them from developing or spreading their innovations. “All concerned with the future of American innovation and competitiveness should be concerned about provisions of this treaty.”

Read the study

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