May 22, 2012
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told The Daily Caller on Monday that he isn’t a hypocrite for lobbying in favor of a treaty he emphatically denounced as recently as 2007.
Lott said that he no longer believes the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty — would “cede our national sovereignty, both militarily and economically,” as he said five years ago when the issue was last brought before the Senate.
The treaty would grant the United Nations unprecedented taxing authority over American companies by transferring permitting and royalty payments currently made to the U.S. government for offshore drilling to the International Seabed Authority, a U.N.-created agency that would have the power to redistribute billions of dollars to other countries.
It would also commit the United States to accept international arbitration of maritime disputes.
For three decades, the United States has declined to sign on.
“Over time, circumstances change,” Lott told TheDC. “The world has changed from an economic and military standpoint. … Some people say ‘we have the biggest, baddest navy fleet in the world, we’ll go and do what we want to,’ [but] we ought to be careful about how we think about that.”
Lott founded the Breaux Lott Leadership Group with former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux in 2008. Last month The Heritage Foundation reported that Lott’s firm collected $80,000 in fees the first quarter of 2012 from the Shell Oil Company, to lobby on issues including support for the treaty’s ratification. Pike Associates also paid Lott’s firm $30,000 to support the treaty, according to disclosure forms.