Maritime Industry Welcomes Secretary Anthony Foxx to DOT

 

August 2013

 

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The American maritime community is pledging to help recently confirmed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx grow the maritime industry while strengthening the country’s economic and national security.

In a letter to Foxx following his confirmation, the SIU-affiliated American Maritime Partnership (AMP) emphasized the important role shipping plays in the country’s transportation network while also reminding Foxx of the work American mariners do in assisting the nation in times of crisis.

 

Foxx’s position atop the Transportation Department is especially important to maritime since the department overseas inland waterways and houses the U.S. Maritime Administration.

 

“Ours is a proud industry that helps supply, feed, fuel, move and defend the nation,” AMP wrote to Foxx, who previously served as mayor of Charlotte, N.C. “American maritime is an economic powerhouse and is responsible for more than 500,000 jobs and more than $100 billion of annual economic output, including in your home state ports of Wilmington and Morehead City.”

 

Foxx has gone on record stating his support of the American maritime industry. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Foxx said he would back and defend the Jones Act and the Maritime Security Program (MSP) – two programs of vital importance to American mariners and the industry as a whole.

 

The Jones Act helps ensure there’s an available U.S. merchant fleet and reliable U.S. mariners by stipulating that only vessels built, flagged, owned and crewed American transport goods between American ports. The MSP, meanwhile, provides operational support to 60 militarily useful ships that enable them to meet the country’s national security needs.

 

“If confirmed, I would support the Jones Act and the programs available to maintain the strength of our maritime industry, including proper funding and administration of the [Maritime] Security Program,” Foxx said during his confirmation hearing. “I would work closely with the Department of Defense, industry and labor to monitor the health of the U.S.-flag fleet, facilitate the retention of vessels and mariners, and develop a national sealift strategy that ensures the long-term viability of the U.S. Merchant Marine as a naval auxiliary and as a U.S. presence in the international trade.”

 

Foxx was later confirmed by the Senate unanimously.

 

“The unanimous votes by the Senate and the Commerce Committee convey our confidence in Mayor Foxx as the right person to lead the Transportation Department,” said Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).

 

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