Everytime the U.S. decides to NOT sign an international treaty, I take a lot of crap here in Spain from my friends and co-workers. Without having to enter into the merits of whether the treaty in question should or should not be signed, I always make the following statement: The U.S. is a country of lawyers. If we sign a treaty, we’ll have lawyers making sure that that treaty will be enforced. It is easy for a country like Spain to sign treaties when they know they will never comply with it.
For example, today there was an article in the El Mundo newspaper on how Spain was the E.U. country with the worst Kyoto Protocol compliance record in 2005. Ironically, the same newspaper article says that the world’s biggest non-compliers were the U.S. and Australia, but how do you fail to comply with an agreement you never signed?