One of the U.S. maritime industry’s leading advocates recently received one of its most prestigious honors.
U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) on Sept. 17 was presented with the American Maritime Partnership’s (AMP) annual Champion of Maritime Award. It’s the coalition’s top award, and is given “to a member of Congress for extraordinary support and dedication to the American maritime industry,” AMP noted in a press release.
SIU Vice President West Coast Nick Marrone attended the presentation in Vallejo, California.
The SIU is an AMP affiliate.
“Through his years of work in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Garamendi has shown unwavering and ardent support for domestic maritime, which includes the men and women who build, operate and crew the tens of thousands of vessels that transport goods and people safely in the more than 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline and inland waterways,” AMP stated.
Garamendi serves as ranking member of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee. He recently introduced legislation aimed at increasing jobs for U.S. mariners, boosting domestic shipbuilding, and helping ensure that American-flag vessels are used for a percentage of LNG exports.
In announcing the award, AMP added, “In addition to his work to promote the contribution that the American maritime industry makes to California by providing thousands of family-waged jobs and adding more than $6.6 billion annually to the state’s economy alone, Rep. Garamendi recognizes the importance of this industry to the nation’s economic, national, and homeland security interests. Nationwide, the domestic maritime industry accounts for approximately 500,000 American jobs and more than $100 billion in annual economic impact.”
During the ceremony, the congressman stated, “When we think about all the issues at the forefront of American politics right now – good-paying jobs, energy independence, national security, trade, and rebuilding our manufacturing sector – the American maritime industry is at the forefront of all of them. Unfortunately, it’s not on the minds of many of our leaders in Washington. I’m proud of the work we’re doing together to change that.
“The successes we’ve had for our domestic maritime industry would not be possible without the tireless efforts of the American Maritime Partnership, and I couldn’t be more honored to receive the Champion of Maritime Award,” he continued. “I also want to thank the Propeller Club of Northern California, the California State University Maritime Academy (which hosted the event), and my Maritime Advisory Committee for bringing the maritime community together today to discuss the challenges and opportunities before us. As a united maritime industry, we will continue to rebuild this critical sector to advance America’s national and economic security.”
“It is hard to imagine a more tireless supporter of our industry,” said Matt Woodruff, chairman of AMP. “When the American maritime industry faces a challenge or an opportunity, we can be sure with absolute certainty that Rep. Garamendi will be a leader for the men and women of American maritime. At the top of our list, he is a leading champion of the Jones Act, the fundamental law of the American maritime industry which is essential to the strength of our domestic, homeland and national security.”
AMP’s member organizations include the SIU and other maritime unions, vessel owners and operators, shipboard and shoreside workers, shipbuilders and repair yards, equipment manufacturers and vendors, dredging and marine construction contractors, plus numerous maritime associations and national security organizations.