[Video] Secretary Clinton Testifies on the Law of the Sea Convention

Hillary ClintonSECRETARY CLINTON: [...] I’m sure you have followed the claims countries are making in the South China Sea. Although we do not have territory there, we have vital interests, particularly freedom of navigation. And I can report from the diplomatic trenches that as a party to the convention, we would have greater credibility in invoking the convention’s rules and a greater ability to enforce them.

Now, I know a number of you have heard arguments opposing the convention. And let me just address those head-on. Critics claim we would surrender U.S. sovereignty under this treaty. But in fact, it’s exactly the opposite. We would secure sovereign rights over vast new areas and resources, including our 200-mile exclusive economic zone and vast continental shelf areas extending off our coasts and at least 600 miles off Alaska. I know that some are concerned that the treaty’s provisions for binding dispute settlement would impinge on our sovereignty. We are no stranger to similar provisions, including in the World Trade Organization which has allowed us to bring trade cases; many of them currently pending against abusers around the world. As with the WTO, the U.S. has much more to gain than lose from this proposition by being able to hold others accountable under clear and transparent rules.[...]

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BDN (Source:, May 23, 2012)