More than two decades of negotiation culminated in 1982 when theThird United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)approved the Law of the Sea Treaty. The U.S. was not among the 117nations (and two other delegations) that penned their approval ofthe treaty. American opposition was not without effect, however:the LOST failed to gain the 60 ratifications necessary to takeeffect. Even the Soviet Union, which had proudly proclaimed itssolidarity with the developing nation lobby pushing the treaty, didnot formally bind itself.
What is the LOST?
The genesis of the treaty was President Truman's 1945proclamation asserting U.S. jurisdiction over America's continentalshelf, and similar extensions of national control by other states.The First UNCLOS was opened in 1958; it drafted conventions dealingwith resource jurisdiction and fishing. UNCLOS II convened in 1960to take up unresolved fishing and navigation issues. Soonthereafter the possibility of seabed mining led the United Nationsto declare the seabed to be the "common heritage of mankind." ASeabed Committee was established, eventually leading to UNCLOS III,which first met in 1973. Nine years and eleven sessions later atreaty was born.
The LOST, which runs 175 pages and contains 439 articles, coversseabed mining, navigation, fishing, ocean pollution, marineresearch, and economic zones. Much of the treaty isunobjectionable, or at least unimportant when in error; thenavigation sections are a modest plus. But not so Part 11, as theOrwellian provisions governing seabed mining are called. So flawedwas this section that it could be fixed only by tearing it up.
The LOST's fundamental premise is that all unowned resources onthe ocean's floor belong to the people of the world, meaning theUnited Nations. The U.N. would assert its control through anInternational Seabed Authority, ruled by an Assembly, dominated bypoorer nations, and a Council (originally on which thethen-U.S.S.R. was granted three seats), which would regulate deepseabed mining and redistribute income from the industrialized Westto developing countries. The Authority's chief subsidiary would bethe Enterprise, to mine the seabed, with the coerced assistance ofWestern mining concerns, on behalf of the Authority.
Any extensive international regulatory system would likelyinhibit development, depress productivity, increase costs, anddiscourage innovation, thereby wasting much of the benefit to begained from mining the oceans. But the byzantine regime created bythe LOST is almost unique in its perversity. Unfortunately, theamendments made in 1994, which I discuss below, do not change theessential character of the treaty.
For instance, as originally written, the treaty was explicitlyintended to restrict, not promote, mineral development. Among thetreaty's objectives were "rational management," "just and stableprices," "orderly and safe development," and "the protection ofdeveloping countries from the adverse effects" of mineralsproduction. The LOST explicitly limited mineral production,authorizing commodity agreements (rather like OPEC). Further, thetreaty placed a moratorium on the mining of other resources, suchas sulphides, until the Authority adopted rules and regulations --which could be never.
The process governing mining reflected this anti-productionbias. A firm had to survey two sites and turn one over gratis tothe Enterprise even before applying for a permit, in competitionwith the favored Enterprise and developing states. The Authoritycould deny an application if the firm would violate the treaty'santidensity and antimonopoly provisions, aimed at U.S. operators.And the Authority's decisions in this area were to be set by theLegal and Technical Commission, the membership of which could bestacked, and the 36-member Council, which would be dominated bydeveloping states, making access for American firms dependent uponthe whims of countries that might oppose seabed mining for economicor political reasons.
Who Would Want to Bid?
Indeed, it is not clear that a firm would have wanted to bideven if it thought it could win approval. The convention requiredthat private entrepreneurs transfer their mining technology to theAuthority, for use by the Enterprise and developing states. Theterm technology was so ill-defined that the Authority might be ableto claim engineering and technical skills as well as equipment, yetthe treaty imposes no effective penalties for improper disclosureor misuse of transferred technology. Miners would also have to paytheir overseer, the Authority, and competitor, the Enterprise:$500,000 to apply, $1 million annually, plus a royalty fee. Thesponsoring country would be responsible if a firm failed to pay;moreover, the industrialized West would have to provideinterest-free loans and loan guarantees, for which Westerntaxpayers would be liable in the event of a default, to the U.N.'smining operation.
All told, the Enterprise would enjoy free mine site surveys,transferred technology, and Western subsidies. The Enterprise also,naturally, would be exempt from Authority taxes and royaltypayments. Also favored are developing states and 105 "land-lockedand geographically disadvantaged" countries.
Even this attenuated right to mine the seabed could have beendropped at the Review Conference to be held to assess the LOST 15years after the commencement of commercial operations ifthree-fourths of the member states so decided. The mere possibilityof Third World states effectively confiscating potentially enormousinvestments made over more than a decade would have discouragedpotential private entrepreneurs. That, in turn, would have giventhe well-pampered Enterprise and likely state-subsidized firms ofdeveloping states a further advantage.
Admittedly, such practical objections might seem of littleimport since the promise of seabed mining is far less bright todaythan it was when UNCLOS convened, but operations might still becomeeconomically feasible later this century, especially astechnological innovation makes the mining process less expensive.But even if no manganese nodules are ever likely to be liftedcommercially from the ocean's floor, the LOST remains unacceptablebecause of its coercive, collectivist underpinnings.
The New International Economic Order
UNCLOS III was held in a different era, a time when communismreigned throughout much of the world, Third World states wereproclaiming socialism to offer the true path to progress andprosperity, and international organizations were promoting the "NewInternational Economic Order," or NIEO, to engineer massive wealthredistribution from the industrialized to the underdevelopedstates. Indeed, much of the LOST, particularly regarding seabedmining, was dictated by the so-called Group of 77, the developingstates' lobby.
These nations saw the LOST as the leading edge of a campaignthat included treaties covering Antarctica and outer space,expanded bilateral and multilateral aid programs, and a veritablegallery of UN alphabet-soup agencies -- CTC, ILO, UNCTAD, WHO, andWIPO. Commented former Maltan U.N. Ambassador Arvid Pardo, whocoined the phrase, "common heritage of mankind," Americanacceptance of the sea treaty "however qualified, reluctant, ordefective, would validate the global democratic approach todecision making."
Economic reality eventually hit many poorer states. Developingstates began to adopt market reforms and the NIEO disappeared frominternational discourse, along with any mention of the LOST.
Although American ratification of the LOST would not be enoughto resurrect the NIEO, it would nevertheless enshrine intointernational law some very ugly precedents. One is that the nationstates (not peoples) of the world collectively own "all theunclaimed wealth of this earth," in the words of former Malaysianprime minister Mahathir Min Mohamad. Granting ownership and controlto petty autocracies with no relationship to the resource and norany ability to contribute to their development makes neither moralnor practical sense. The LOST raises to the status of internationallaw self-indulgent claims of ownership to be secured through anoligarchy of international bureaucrats, diplomats, and lawyers. Andthe treaty's specific provisions, mandating global redistributionof resources, creating a monopolistic public mining entity,restricting competition, and requiring the transfer of technology,reflect the sort of statist panaceas that were discredited by thehistorical wave that swept away Soviet-style communism and lessersocialist variants around the globe.
Some observers acknowledged the treaty's failings, butnevertheless contended that it had more than enough positivebenefits to warrant signing. However, gains in other areas arelimited at best. Many of the non-seabed provisions are marginallybeneficial, while a number are somewhat harmful. Sections governingfishing and maritime research, for instance, make few changes incurrent law; the boundary-setting process strips some resourcesaway from the U.S.; the pollution provisions restrict America'sability to control some emission sources; and the U.S. mighteventually have to share oil revenues from development of theouter-continental shelf. The treaty's authorization of 200-mileexclusive economic zones (EEZs) merely reflects what has becomecustomary international law.
Perceived as far more important are the navigation provisions. Anumber of officials at both the Departments of State and Defensehave argued that the document is vital to guarantee American navalrights. Yet Washington's refusal to sign the LOST left criticspredicting chaos and combat on the high seas two decades ago --since then we have witnessed not one incident as a result ofAmerica's failure to join the LOST.
Nor is the treaty unambiguously favorable to transit rights. Thedocument introduces some new limitations on navigation involvingthe EEZs, territorial seas, and water surrounding archipelagicstates. At other times the LOST's language is ambiguous --regarding transit rights for submerged submarines, for instance --limiting the value of the treaty guarantee. International lawanalyst Gary Knight even argues that "the difficulty ofestablishing our legal right to EEZ navigation and submergedstraits passage would be no more difficult under an existingcustomary international law argument than under the convoluted textof the proposed UNCLOS." In short, there is only modest theoreticaladvantage in this area for which to trade away the miningprovisions.
Moreover, any LOST legal protections offer little by way of realpractical gain. Few nations are likely to interfere with commercialshipping because they have far more to gain economically fromallowing unrestricted passage. Where countries perceive their vitalnational interests to be at stake -- Great Britain in World War Iand Iran and Iraq during their war throughout the 1980s -- they arenot likely to allow juridical niceties to stop them frominterdicting or destroying international commerce. Even unambiguousrights under international law did not protect American vessels andaircraft when North Korea seized the USS Pueblo and China held theEP-3 surveillance plane. Most coastal nations will make policybased on perceived national interest more than abstract legalnorms.
Indeed, LOST membership has not prevented Brazil, China, India,Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, and others from making oceanclaims deemed excessive by some. In testimony last October Adm.Mullen warned that the benefits he believed to derive from treatyratification did not "suggest that countries' attempts to restrictnavigation will cease once the United States becomes a party to theLaw of the Sea Convention."
As for military transit, with or without the LOST, America needsto concentrate on maintaining good relations with the handful ofstrategically-placed countries. The prowess of the U.S. Navy, notthe LOST, will remain the ultimate guarantor of America's abilityto roam the seas. Of course, even with friendly states Washingtonwould prefer not "to have to use muscle to exercise our rights,"observed former LOST negotiator Elliot Richardson. But the treatyis likely to matter only where countries have neither the incentivenor the ability to interfere with U.S. shipping. Moreover, in aworld in which the U.S.S.R. has disappeared, the Red Navy isrusting in port, China has yet to develop a blue water navy, andThird World conflicts no longer threaten America through theirconnection to the Cold War, Washington is rarely going to have tosend its fleet where it is not wanted.
Another concern is the impact of LOST on the President'sProliferation Security Initiative. Although treaty advocatessuggest that the LOST would provide an additional forum throughwhich to advance the PSI, it seems more likely that adherence toLOST would constrain Washington's ability to intercept weaponsshipments which are problematic, even if legal under internationallaw, including the treaty. After all, any anti-proliferation policytreats nations differently based upon a subjective assessment ofthe stability and intention of a particular regime. The LOST makesno such distinctions. At best, the treaty is ambiguous regardingthe seizure of WMD shipments. Adopting such ambiguity probably doesnot strengthen Washington's position.
Further, treaty advocates contend that whatever the faults ofLOST, only participation in the treaty can prevent future damaginginterpretations, amendments, and tribunal decisions. However, thereis no guarantee that interpretations under the LOST would notimpinge upon U.S. military activities. In his Senate testimony lastfall, State Department legal adviser William H. Taft IV noted theimportance of conditioning acceptance "upon the understanding thateach Party has the exclusive right to determine which of itsactivities are 'military activities' and that such determination isnot subject to review." Whether other members will respect thatclaim is not so certain. Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the Vice Chief ofNaval Operations, acknowledges the possibility that a LOST tribunalcould assert jurisdiction and rule adversely, impacting"operational planning and activities, and our security."
Moreover, American friends and allies, both in Asia and Europe,have an incentive to protect American navigational freedom. So longas the U.S. maintains good relations with them -- admittedly a moredifficult undertaking because of strains in the aftermath of thewar in Iraq -- it should be able to defend its interests indirectlythrough surrogates. If the nations which most benefit from Americannavigational freedom are unwilling to aid the U.S. while Washingtonis outside the LOST, they are unlikely to prove any more steadfastif Washington is inside the LOST.
Collectivism or Chaos?
The final argument on behalf of the LOST is that no matter howunfavorable it may be for international mining, it is better thannothing. Without some security of tenure to deep sea mining sites,it is said, companies will not invest the millions necessary tobegin operations. Certainly firms will not take the potentiallyenormous risks of such a new venture if they might face conflictingclaims under a competing treaty and regulatory regime.
However, most businessmen understand that it makes littledifference whether or not, say, Zimbabwe recognizes their right toharvest manganese nodules in the Pacific. Indeed, given thedynamics of seabed mining, it probably doesn't even matter if otherindustrialized nations, with firms capable of mining the oceanfloor, recognize one's claim. The seabed's irregular geography andsurplus of nodules make "poaching" uneconomical -- it would makemore sense to develop a new site rather than attempt to overrunsomeone else's. The dynamics of other resource development vary tosome degree, but in general it would have been quite simple tobuild a simple alternative to the LOST.
In 1980 the U.S. passed unilateral legislation, The Deep SeabedHard Minerals Act, to provide interim protection for Americanminers until implementation of the LOST. The Act could have beenamended to create a permanent process for recording seabed claimsand resolving conflicts. Such legislation could then have beencoordinated with that of the other leading industrialized statesthrough a formal treaty. No international bureaucracy was evernecessary.
In the end, a bad treaty is worse than no treaty. Back when theLOST was a major political issue, the American Mining Congressobserved:
While the best of all worlds would be a comprehensive,universally acceptable treaty, a treaty such as the current UNCLOSdraft that fails to protect American interests is no basis forinvestment. We can easily do without the "comprehensive" and"universal," but we cannot do without "acceptable."
A Window that Should Remain Closed
Despite predictions of doom after the U.S. refused to sign thetreaty, the world moved America's way. As mineral prices declined,so too did the prospects of massive mineral harvests from theseabed. Third World states that had begun planning on how to spendthe windfall they expected to collect through the UN began to facereality. And as developing countries started experimenting withmarket economics, they backed away from the collectivist NIEO, ofwhich the LOST had been an integral part. By the early 1990s someThird World diplomats were privately admitting to U.S. officialsthat the Reagan administration had been right to kill thetreaty.
But in Washington bad ideas never die. They simply lie dormant,waiting for a sympathetic bureaucrat or politician to revive them.Moreover, international treaties attract State Departmentnegotiators like lights attract moths. Thus, the Clintonadministration decided to "fix" the LOST.
Negotiations followed in 1993 and 1994. After winning a fewchanges in the treaty's most burdensome provisions, the StateDepartment enthusiastically endorsed the agreement. On July 27,1994 before the UN General Assembly U.S. Ambassador MadeleineAlbright praised the LOST for providing "for the application offree market principles to the development of the deep seabed" andestablishing "a lean institution that is both flexible, andefficient. Two days later Washington formally affixed its signatureto the convention, which now sits before the Senate forratification.
Although the revised LOST is not as bad as its predecessor, itwould still create a Rube Goldberg system -- with InternationalSeabed Authority, Enterprise, Council, Assembly, and more -- thatis guaranteed to become yet another multilateral boondoggle. Itsperformance so far has been mixed at best: For instance, the ISAhas been on the losing end of fights with the government of Jamaicawhen the latter turned off the ISA's air conditioning. With noseabed mining in the offing, protecting "the emblem, the officialseal and the name" of the ISA, as well as abbreviations of thatname through the use of its initial letters," has been a matter ofsome concern to authority officials.
A fully-functioning ISA is likely not only to waste money, butalso to discourage ocean minerals production. Moreover, the treatywould resurrect the redistributionist lobbying campaign onceconducted by developing states unwilling to deal with the realcauses of their economic failures. Indeed, the LOST wouldessentially create a another UN with the purpose of transferringwealth from industrialized states to the Third World votingmajority.
Of course, treaty proponents all say that the treaty was"fixed." Actually, that's not the case. For instance, the treatystill includes an Authority, Enterprise, Assembly, Council, revenuesharing, international royalties, Western subsidies for theEnterprise, a Council veto for land-based minerals producers, andthe like. The original statist framework remains. Even the StateDepartment has acknowledged that the new "Agreement retains theinstitutional outlines of Part XI."
The Clinton administration did work hard to turn a disastrousaccord into a merely bad one. But for all of its emphasis on theindividual trees, it left the worst forests standing. In someplaces it substituted ambiguity for clearly negative provisions.The result is an improvement -- and a dramatic testament to thedistance that market ideas have traveled since the LOST was openedfor signature in 1982. But the ISA remains an unnecessaryboondoggle, intended only to hinder seabed development. TheEnterprise continues to serve as an economic white elephant. Thefinancial redistribution clauses remain a special interest sop topoor states. And the entire system is likely to end up bloated andpoliticized, like the UN.
For instance, the treaty retains both the ISA, of undeterminedsize, and the Enterprise, an international version of theubiquitous state enterprises that have failed so miserably all overthe world. The Authority remains almost comically complicated, withan Assembly and Council, and such subsidiary bodies as the FinanceCommittee and Legal and Technical Commission, all with their ownarcane rules for agendas, memberships, procedures, and votes. TheLOST revisions restrict some of the ISA's discretion, but stillsubmerge seabed mining in the bizarre political dynamics ofinternational organizations. Private firms must continue to surveyand provide, gratis, a site for the Enterprise for each one theywish to mine. Anti-monopoly and -density provisions would stillapply disproportionately to American mining firms.
ISA fees have been lowered, but companies would continue to owea $250,000 application fee and some level of royalties andprofit-sharing. (The "system of payments," intones the compromisetext, shall be "fair both to the contractor and to the Authority,"whatever that means. Fees "shall be within the range of thoseprevailing in respect of land-based mining of the same or similarminerals," even though seabed production is more expensive,riskier, and occurs in territory beyond any nation'sjurisdiction.)
The revised LOST establishes a new "economic assistance fund" toaid land-based minerals producers. Surplus funds would still bedistributed "taking into particular consideration the interests andneeds of the developing States and peoples who have not attainedfull independence or other self-governing status," such as the PLO.Theoretically America could block inappropriate payments -- atleast so long as it was a member of the Finance Committee -- butover time the U.S. would come under enormous pressure to be"flexible" and "reasonable."
In fact, redistribution has been an important objective for theISA during its short life so far. For example, a proposal was madefor an African institute of the oceans, as if that was the highestpriority for countries suffering from civil war, economic collapse,and social chaos. Voluntary trust funds have been established toaid developing countries, though few people or nations have rushedforward to contribute -- forcing the ISA to fill the fundcoffers.
Even some of the specific "fixes" look inadequate. Consider thevoting system, admittedly a major improvement over that in theoriginal accord. According to the revised treaty, the U.S. would beguaranteed a seat on the Council, though still not a veto. TheCouncil would consist of four chambers, any one of which couldblock action if a majority of its members voted no. On matters ofserious interest the U.S. probably could win the necessary extratwo votes in its chamber to form a majority, but not necessarily.The career foreign service officers likely to represent mostnations, including America, at the ISA would not want to be foreverknown as obstructionists. Moreover, this purely negative veto powerdoes not guarantee that the ISA would act when required, to approverules for mining applications, for instance.
An additional problem occurs because the land-based mineralproducers, whose interest is antagonistic to the very idea ofseabed mining, and "developing States Parties, representing specialinterests," such as "geographically disadvantaged" nations, eachhave their own chamber, and thus a de facto veto over the ISA'soperations. Moreover, the qualification standards for miners are tobe established by "consensus," essentially unanimity, which givesland-based producers as much influence as the U.S. The possessionof a veto provides them with an opportunity to extract potentiallyexpensive concessions -- new limits on production, for instance --to let the ISA function. Unfortunately, once the Authority assertsjurisdiction over seabed mining, potential producers would be hurtby a deadlock.
Indeed, production controls, one of the most importantcontroversies in the original text, could recur under the newagreement. The revision does excise most of Article 151 and relatedprovisions, which set a convoluted ceiling on seabed production toprotect land-based miners. However, it leaves intact Article 150,which, among other things, states that the ISA is to ensure "theprotection of developing countries from adverse effects on theireconomies or on their export earnings resulting from a reduction inthe price of an affected mineral, or in the volume of exports ofthat mineral, to the extent that such reduction is caused byactivities in the area." That wording would seem to authorize theAuthority to impose production limits. The U.S. might have to relyon its ability to round up allied votes to block such a proposal inthe Council in perpetuity.
Funding remains a problem as well. The U.S., naturally, would beexpected to provide the largest share of the ISA's budget, 25percent to start. How much that would be we don't know; the budgetis to be developed through "consensus" by the Finance Committee, onwhich the U.S. is temporarily guaranteed a seat ("until theAuthority has sufficient funds other than assessed contributions tomeet its administrative expenses"), and approved by the Assemblyand Council. Years ago the U.N. estimated that the ISA could costbetween $41 and $53 million annually, on top of initial buildingcosts of $104 and $225 million. The Clinton administrationcontended that the new agreement provided for "reducing the sizeand costs of the regime's institutions." How? By adopting aparagraph in the revised text pledging that "all organs andsubsidiary bodies to be established under the Convention and thisAgreement shall be cost-effective."
Similarly, states the new accord, the royalty "system should notbe complicated and should not impose major administrative costs onthe Authority or on a contractor." These sentiments might begenuine. In fact, so far the Authority has been spending only about$10 million annually. But then, the world's wealthiest nation isnot yet a member, and you can't pluck the goose until you have itin hand. Moreover, the revised agreement changed none of theunderlying institutional incentives that bias virtually everyinternational organization, most obviously the UN itself, towardsextravagance.
In fact, concern over bloated budgets was a major factor inMoscow's initial decision not to endorse the treaty. RussianAmbassador H.E. Ostrovsky explained to the General Assembly thatthough the revisions were "a step forward," he doubted the newagreement could achieve its goals. Of particular concern was thefact that "general guidelines such as necessity to promotecost-effectiveness can not be seriously regarded as a reliabledisincentive." Even before the treaty had even gone into force,Ambassador Ostrovsky pointed to "a trend to establish high payingpositions which are not yet required."
Finally, there is technology transfer, one of the most odiousredistributionist clauses from the original convention. Themandatory requirement has been discarded, replaced by a duty bysponsoring states to facilitate the acquisition of miningtechnology "if the Enterprise or developing States are unable toobtain" equipment commercially. Yet the Enterprise and developingStates would find themselves unable to purchase machinery only ifthey were unwilling to pay the market price or preserve tradesecrets. The new clause might be interpreted to mean thatindustrialized states, and private miners, whose "cooperation" isto be "ensured" by their respective governments, are thereforeresponsible for subsidizing the Enterprise's acquisition oftechnology. Presumably the U.S. and its allies could block such aproposal in the Council, but, again, it is hard to predict thefuture legislative dynamics and potential log-rolling in an obscureUN body in upcoming years.
Moreover, the amended agreement leaves intact a separate,open-ended mandate for coerced collaboration. The Authority, statesArticle 144, "shall take measures":
(b) to promote and encourage the transfer to developing Statestechnology and scientific knowledge so that all States Partiesbenefit therefrom.
2. To this end the Authority and States Parties shall co-operatein promoting the transfer of technology and scientific knowledgerelating to activities in the Area so that the Enterprise and allStates Parties may benefit therefrom. In particular they shallinitiate and promote:
(a) programmes for the transfer of technology to the Enterpriseand to developing States with regard to activities in the Area,including, inter alia, facilitating the access of the Enterpriseand of developing States to the relevant technology, under fair andreasonable terms and conditions;
(b) measures directed towards the advancement of the technologyof the Enterprise and the domestic technology of developing States,particularly by providing opportunities to personnel from theEnterprise and from developing States for training in marinescience and technology and for their full participation inactivities in the Area.
At best this suggests that Western firms would be expected tohelp equip and train their competition. At worst it could end upauthorizing some sort of mandatory system -- one close to thatoriginally intended by LOST's framers. Ambiguous and obscure grantsof power in the service of a highly politicized organization couldturn out to be quite dangerous.
At issue is not just technology useful for seabed mining. Dualuse technologies with military applications might also fall underISA requirements. Peter Leitner, a DOD adviser, points to"underwater mapping and bathymetry systems, reflection andrefraction seismology, magnetic detection technology, opticalimaging, remotely operated vehicles, submersible vehicles, deepsalvage technology, active and passive military acoustic systems,classified bathymetric and geophysical data, and undersea robotsand manipulators." Acquisition of these and other technologiescould substantially enhance the undersea military activities ofpotential rivals, most notably China, which already has purchasedsome mining-capable technologies from U.S. concerns.
The treaty is a solution in search of a problem. A goodinternational treaty would be useful, but it is not necessary. Andonce Washington ratified the treaty, any future renunciation of theLOST, resulting from miuse or misinterpretation of the agreement,might not be considered enough to reestablish Americans'traditional high seas freedoms.
All in all, the LOST remains captive to its collectivist andredistributionist origins. It is a bad agreement, one that cannotbe fixed without abandoning its philosophical presupposition thatthe seabed is the common heritage of the world's politicians andtheir agents, the Authority and Enterprise. The issue is not justabstract philosophical principle, but very real American interests,including national security. For these reasons, the Senate shouldreject the treaty.
1. Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow atthe Cato Institute. While serving as a Special Assistant toPresident Ronald Reagan, he was a Deputy Representative to theThird United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. The CatoInstitute receives no government funds.