Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf recently expressed his backing of America’s freight cabotage law, the Jones Act.
His remarks came Feb. 26 during a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. The hearing’s main subject was the Fiscal 2021 budget request for the DHS. U.S. Rep. Steven M. Palazzo (R-Mississippi) raised the subject of the Jones Act, which helps sustain approximately 650,000 American jobs. He described himself as “one of the most outspoken advocates in my 10 years of serving in Congress because I believe it to be truly important to our national security.”
Asked for his view on the Jones Act, Wolf said he is “a supporter – strong supporter of that.” He mentioned that the law, which enjoys solid bipartisan support, helps protect U.S. interests. Palazzo followed up by saying, “I appreciate your comments. I know your predecessors were pretty much on the same note that the Jones Act is vitally important to protect America’s maritime industry and it is extremely important to our national security…. Admirals, generals have all agreed with your assessment as well.”
The Jones Act requires that cargo moving between domestic ports is carried aboard ships that are crewed, built, flagged and owned American. It has served the nation’s best interests for nearly a century.
Approximately 90 nations around the world maintain some form of cabotage law.