AMP Chairman Outlines Support for Jones Act (9/16)


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The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) issued the following news release on September 16.


AMP Chairman Outlines Rock Solid Support for the Jones Act in Congress at 2015 Tradewinds Conference


Tom Allegretti, American Maritime Partnership Chairman, addressed the attendees of the 2015 Tradewinds Jones Act Shipping Forum in New York about the overwhelming support for the Jones Act in Congress.  In his remarks, Mr. Allegretti remarked that the strong support for the Jones Act trade is due to the industry’s longstanding positive impact on national, economic and homeland security, affirmatively noting that any attempt to include an amendment of the Jones Act in pending legislation is a “vote subtractor” that can hurt Congressional progress.  


The Jones Act has been erroneously criticized this past month by familiar opponents of the law who are actively working to tie the debt crisis in Puerto Rico to the maritime industry.  In his remarks, Mr. Allegretti outlined why any connection between the Jones Act and a debt relief package in Congress would actually hurt, not help the movement of the package forward.  


Some in Puerto Rico have suggested that a Jones Act exemption be included in the legislative package under the erroneous theory that the Jones Act is bad for Puerto Rico.  But here’s the kicker: If Congress did that -- include an anti-Jones Act amendment in the package -- the chances of the overall package getting enacted into law would diminish.  That’s because the presence of an anti-Jones Act amendment would reduce or subtract the number of Members of Congress who would vote for the overall bill.  So Puerto Ricans would be undermining -- and maybe even sabotaging -- their own assistance package by including an anti-Jones Act amendment in it,” said Mr. Allegretti.


This Congressional math was evermore apparent earlier this year when Senator John McCain filed a Senate floor amendment to repeal the Jones Act, which was overwhelmingly disputed by Members in both Chambers of Congress.  “Ultimately, several weeks later, facing almost certain defeat, [Sen. McCain] withdrew his amendment and did not offer it. We believe his amendment would have failed overwhelmingly. Even Sen. McCain jokingly admitted that his strategy for repealing the Jones Act was to ‘pray to the patron saint of lost causes.’ In other words, there is no appetite in Congress to change the Jones Act,” said Mr. Allegretti.


In fact, the support in Congress for the Jones Act couldn’t be any stronger.  Last December, Congress enacted the strongest endorsement of the Jones Act in history in a resolutions included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014.  


To read Mr. Allegretti’s full address to the 2015 Tradewinds Conference, it can be accessed below or digitally at


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