Earlier this week The New York Times published a story noting that few of the Republican party's biggest foreign policy names (Henry Kissinger, Condoleeza Rice, George Shultz, James Baker, and Colin Powell) have endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Later that same day Rice did end up endorsing Romney.
That same day, The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed signed by Kissinger, Rice, Shultz, Baker, and Powell, urging Senators to approve the Convention of the Law of the Sea, more commonly referred to as LOST. The former secretaries of state wrote:
The convention's primary functions are to define maritime zones, preserve freedom of navigation, allocate resource rights, establish the certainty necessary for various businesses that depend on the sea, and protect the marine environment. Flaws in the treaty regarding deep-seabed mining, which prevented President Ronald Reagan from supporting it, were fixed in 1994. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have supported ratification, as do Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama, because it is in the best interest of our nation. Yet the U.S. remains one of the few major countries not party to the convention.
Reagan's Attorney General Ed Meese begs to differ. In a 2005 op-ed, Meese wrote:
Proponents of this giant step toward world-level bureaucracy probably could not imagine that the new American president, Ronald Reagan, could reject the treaty and fire the people responsible for negotiating it. But he did. LOST was the creature of a negotiation process dominated by the Soviet bloc and the non-aligned movement. It placed its hope on the United Nations bureaucracy. And it was out of step with the concepts of economic liberty and free enterprise that Ronald Reagan was to inspire throughout the world.
A 1994 limited agreement pertaining to deep-sea mining, negotiated by the Clinton administration, but not part of the treaty itself, does not make the treaty as a whole any more acceptable. America's adherence to this treaty would entail history's biggest transfer of wealth and surrender of sovereignty.
Meese is right. As reported this Tuesday, ratifying LOST would, for the first time in history, expose the United States to the jurisdiction of international arbiters who could impose job killing carbon emission caps on our economy by judicial decree.
Romney has not taken a position on LOST yet. He should. It is a great opportunity to distance himself from Bush and more closely align himself with Reagan.
Most voters have no idea what LOST is. But they do know exactly what "cap and trade" is ... and they don't like it. Obama's efforts to ratify LOST are a grave threat to our already struggling economy. Romney should come out against it and urge conservatives in the Senate to do the same.