U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently underscored his support of America’s freight cabotage law.
During an April 27 hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, the secretary answered a question from U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) about the Jones Act.
Palazzo noted that during his time in Congress, he has seen “constant attacks against the Jones Act by special interest groups bent on allowing foreign ships and crews to push out American sailors and shipbuilders.”
The congressman then pointed out that President Biden’s Made in America executive order “explicitly emphasized the importance of Jones Act shipping…. Do you support the Jones Act and are you committed to rigorous enforcement of the Jones Act?”
Mayorkas replied, “I do and I am. And I want you to know that the President’s Buy American initiative is something that he is holding the entire administration to. We have strict protocols to which we must adhere and we do so quite proudly with respect to our contracting to make sure that we are indeed buying American…. I do believe in the Jones Act. I do support it. I know I have a waiver authority and we exercise that quite prudently in only cases of emergency….”
The hearing concerned the Fiscal Year 2023 Department of Homeland Security Budget.
The Jones Act is vital to U.S. national, economic and homeland security. It helps sustain more than 650,000 American jobs while pumping billions of dollars into the U.S. economy each year.