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“The treaty makes it possible for a mining or drilling company to stake an unequivocal legal claim on the ocean floor and have it recognized under international law,” Mr. Lugar said. “They are in favor of this treaty.”

Mr. Kerry said he recently received letters from business executives urging ratification.

“Accession to the Law of the Sea Convention is the only means to protect and advance the claims of U.S. entities to the vast mineral resources contained on the deep seabed floor,” reads a June 13 letter to Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lugar from organizations including the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.