With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith two bilateral maritime boundary Treaties:  the Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba on the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico beyond 200 Nautical Miles (the “United States-Cuba Treaty”), and the Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States on the Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (the “United States-Mexico Treaty”) (together, the “Treaties”), both of which were signed at Washington on January 18, 2017.  I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Treaties.

     The purpose of the Treaties is to establish our continental shelf boundaries in the eastern Gulf of Mexico with Cuba and Mexico in areas beyond 200 nautical miles from shore.  The United States-Cuba Treaty establishes a maritime boundary of approximately 30 nautical miles in length, and the United States-Mexico Treaty establishes a maritime boundary of approximately 79 nautical miles in length.  The boundaries define the limit within which each country may exercise maritime jurisdiction with respect to its portion of the continental shelf.  The boundaries address the only remaining area in the Gulf of Mexico where the maritime boundaries between the United States and its neighbors had not been agreed.

     The United States-Cuba Treaty also establishes procedures for addressing the possibility of oil and gas reservoirs that extend across the continental shelf boundary, which will help protect related United States interests.  With respect to Mexico, such procedures were developed and set forth in a separate agreement that is already in force, as described in the report of the Department of State accompanying this message.

     I believe the Treaties to be fully in the interest of the United States.  In light of the relevant coastal geography, the Treaties allocate approximately two-thirds of the area in question to the United States, and they provide legal certainty with respect to United States sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the continental shelf.

     I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Treaties, and give its advice and consent to ratification. 

                              JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

December 18, 2023.

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