(1) Given that the issue is not a partisan one and that the US secured important concessions in the ''94 Agreement, why has it nevertheless not yet ratified the UNCLOS? (2) What role can the Northwest Passage dispute be said to have played? (3) Going forward, what are the prospects of change? I will hopefully have shown how the innate conflict and tension within US foreign policy bears its interesting face in the field of ocean policy. Although a vast majority in the US is in favor of ratifying the UNCLOS, a small but adamant segment have thus far succeeded in stalling what has long been seen as an obvious development. And they have done so by invoking and playing off facets of the American sense of self – strong forces which have got more to do with identity and ideology than that of material interests. As such, the Reagan years are employed as an exemplifying era. Although the Northwest Passage dispute cannot be expected to lead the US to ratify, it is evident that the US has a good hand in the quarrel with Canada and would benefit from being able to use and point to the UNCLOS as a full-fledged member.