There are probably some valuable oil rights under his cottage and toy factory. Perhaps he's trying to cut a deal with the highest bidder.
I don't think there are any labor laws in international waters. So he can work his elves to death without having to worry about the pay or working conditions.
How do you think he out-produces China and manufactures billions of toys every year? Not by following OSHA standards, you betcha.
I'm not the only one who's noted Santa's illegal activities. Here's an AP story from 12/24/10:
Claus, a morosely obese smoker who has admitted in past interviews to being addicted to junk food, is also being investigated for breaking and entering, illegally flying in restricted airspace, and cruelty to animals. The Justice Department has indicated a RICO indictment will soon be forthcoming.