U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) released the following news item on June 4. His remarks are published in the Congressional Record.
Rep. Garamendi Issues Statement on Jones Act 100th Anniversary
Tomorrow, June 5, marks the 100th anniversary of the Jones Act, our nation’s federal law guaranteeing a fleet of U.S.-built, flagged, crewed, and owned vessels ready to serve the American people.
The current coronavirus global pandemic has reminded us all of the critical importance of this foundational federal law and having a vibrant U.S.-flagged maritime industry. The global maritime trade ground to a halt due to quarantine, and countries like China ordered their government-sponsored enterprises to stop all exports of critical medicine and medical supplies, including personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and first responders.
The Jones Act ensures that our nation can remain self-reliant during peace time and times of conflict. In California alone, the U.S.-flagged maritime industry supports more than $12.2 billion annually in economic impact related to the American domestic shipping industry and over 51,000 good-paying jobs. Nationally, the domestic maritime industry supports 648,220 American jobs with approximately 40,000 vessels in the American domestic fleet.
Madam Speaker, most major developed countries including the European Union have cabotage laws like the Jones Act. Congress must continue to support our nation’s maritime workforce by upholding the Jones Act and opposing deeply misguided efforts to undermine it. As a member of both the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Armed Services, I plan to continue to do just that.
I hope all members of Congress will join me in that important work.
In closing, I wish to mark this important milestone for the Jones Act by thanking the thousands of Americans working in our nation’s maritime industry. I thank them for their invaluable work, day in, day out.