The head of the U.S. Maritime Administration and a U.S. congressman both expressed strong backing for America’s freight cabotage law during a March 11 hearing on Capitol Hill.
Their respective comments were made as the House Armed Services Subcommittees on Readiness and Seapower and Projection Forces conducted a joint hearing on Sealift and Mobility Requirements and the National Defense Strategy.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Connecticut), chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, stated, “This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Jones Act. For a century the Jones Act has helped promote a robust domestic maritime industry while preserving our nation’s security. We are a maritime nation and the Jones Act is one of the foundation pillars of a strong maritime policy now and in the future.”
Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby said, “We also remain committed to our domestic Jones Act fleet. Jones Act requirements support U.S. shipyards and repair facilities, sustained supply chains that produce and repair American-built ships and the employment of U.S. citizen mariners. It is the indispensable foundation of the U.S. maritime industry and our economic and national security.”
The Jones Act, which supports approximately 650,000 American jobs, requires that cargo moving between domestic ports is carried aboard ships that are crewed, built, flagged and owned American.
Approximately 90 nations around the world maintain some form of cabotage law.