Fred Smith To Testify On Law Of The Sea

Contact: Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273

Washington, D.C., October 3, 2007—Tomorrow Competitive Enterprise Institute President Fred L. Smith, Jr. will testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, highlighting the flaws of the controversial United Nations treaty on the Law of the Sea. Smith will be joined by other legal, security and military experts in presenting analysis to the members of the committee.

"The treaty’s best provisions—covering navigation, for instance—largely codify existing international law. Its worst provisions—those creating the seabed regulatory regime—would discourage future minerals production as well as punish entrepreneurship in related fields involving technology, software, and intellectual property that have an ocean application," explains Smith.

Smith will emphasize the fundamental hostility to private enterprise and production underlying the treaty. If implemented, the treaty would assert United Nations control over all ocean resources and channel all mining and development through a vast new UN-created bureaucracy.

"The Law of the Sea Treaty retains its coercive, collectivist philosophical underpinnings," says Smith. "It will have a negative impact on entrepreneurship even if no mining ever occurs. The worst principle is the declaration that all seabed resources are mankind’s ‘common heritage’ under the control of a majority of the world’s nation states. American ratification would help validate some of these discredited collectivist principles."

The Committee on Foreign Relations will convene Thursday morning at 9:30am in room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The full text of Fred L. Smith’s remarks will be available at shortly thereafter. For more information on the Law of the Sea Treaty, please see the recent study by CEI Bastiat Scholar Doug Bandow, The Law of the Sea Treaty: Impeding American Entrepreneurship and Investment.