Last year, the United States released a list of essential minerals for use in the production and manufacture of batteries, electronics, military equipment and a range of energy technologies.
Joining the convention would also give the United States and its allies a greater voice and influence in curbing China’s economic ambitions in the Pacific, proponents say.
national security issue
The Biden administration is trying to bolster diplomatic ties in the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s expansion in the region. A recent deal between Beijing and the Solomon Islands has raised concerns in Canberra and Washington over a power grab over resources and trade routes.
“A perfect example you could use is Solomon Islands signing a defense pact treaty with China, which is of primary concern to Australia but also to the United States,” Commander Lippold said.
“We have to get [signing on] outside the realm of politics and explain why this is a national security issue.
The US State Department’s senior ocean policy adviser, Greg O’Brien, said Congress’ failure to pass legislation allowing the US to join the ISA has stalled a series of administrations.
“There is a complex set of reasons why the political outcome of securing a sufficient number of supportive senators has not been achieved,” Mr. O’Brien said.
“But if that number were achievable, we would certainly pursue our interests as a party.”
He said the Biden administration supports joining the Law of the Sea Convention. This would allow the United States to fully protect its navigation