Hillary Clinton sent the following letter to SIU President Michael Sacco after the union endorsed her for president of the United States. For a PDF copy of the letter, click HERE
January 8, 2016
Mr. Michael Sacco
Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO
5201 Auth Way
Camp Springs, MD 20745
Thank you, and your fellow members of the Seafarers International Union, for endorsing my candidacy for president. I have been proud to stand with and fight for working families throughout my entire career, and I am honored to have your support in this fight for the future.
America’s mariners have served our country since its founding, more than 200 years ago, and privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessels with their American citizen crews have always responded quickly and effectively to answer our nation’s call. Indeed, yours is a proud tradition of commitment to service and to country, and the need for a strong, vibrant U.S.-flag Merchant Fleet crewed by well-trained, dedicated Americans remains just as important today as it has throughout our history.
As a United States Senator and as Secretary of State, I witnessed firsthand how vital it is for us to have a strong and vibrant U.S-Flag Merchant Marine. The Jones Act ensures that cargo delivered between our harbors and on our inland waterways is securely and safely moved by well-trained American mariners aboard U.S.-flag, U.S. built vessels. You and your members have my commitment to support the Jones Act and to fight to ensure that its application is permitted under international trade agreements. Likewise, I am proud to support the Maritime Security Program (MSP), which has, for twenty years, ensured that our military around the world has the equipment and ammunition needed when troops are deployed. Thanks to the MSP, more than 90 percent of all cargo moved to American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq came aboard U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed vessels. As president, my administration will make sure the American mariners who sail these U.S.-flag ships – performing this vital function for our troops – continue receiving the support of this important program.
While serving as Secretary of State, I also saw what it meant for people in need around the world to receive food and supplies from America, delivered by Americans. Our nation’s Cargo Preference laws support a strong U.S.-flag commercial fleet. From carrying goods to those who are hurting to moving government-generated cargo, American mariners sailing aboard U.S.-flag vessels have made sure the job gets done, and you can count on me to be in your corner.
In this election, we’re going up against some powerful forces who are determined to turn back the clock and reverse our hard-won progress. We can’t let that happen. The Seafarers Union has always fought for decent wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions for its members. I share your commitment to improving the lives of America’s working families, and want you to know that I will have your back when I am in the White House, just as you have my back during this campaign.
Thank you, once again, for your endorsement. I look forward to standing with you and working with you and your members in the months and years ahead as we level the playing field, raise incomes, and forge a better, brighter future for all people. Let’s keep fighting for our shared values, and let’s win!
With appreciation and warm regards, I am
Hillary Rodham Clinton