Torpedo for the Seabed Treaty

By refusing to sign, the U.S. may imperil its oceanic rights

It has long been an open secret in Washington that Ronald Reagan was decidedly unhappy with the Law of the Sea Treaty, a kind of constitution for the world's waters, sponsored by the U.N. Though former Ambassador Elliot Richardson, then Jimmy Carter's chief negotiator for the pact, endorsed a draft in 1980, the Reagan Administration announced early the next year that it wanted to take a closer look. This April, while 130 nations okayed a new draft, the U.S. was one of only four nations (the others: Turkey, Venezuela and...

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