The Tennessee General Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Jones Act, America’s freight cabotage law.
Text of the resolution follows.
WHEREAS, Tennessee’s 950-mile-long network of navigable waterways, including access to two of the nation’s largest rivers in the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers, makes it a critical hub in the nation’s transportation system; and
WHEREAS, the current global pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of maintaining resilient domestic industries and transportation services for the citizens and workforce of Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, known as the Jones Act and codified in Title 46 of the United States Code, requires that vessels carrying cargo between locations in the United States be owned by American companies, crewed by American mariners, and built in American shipyards; and
WHEREAS, America’s ability to project and deploy forces globally and supply and maintain military installations domestically depends on the civilian fleet of Jones Act vessels and mariners; and
WHEREAS, mariners aboard Jones Act vessels strengthen America’s homeland security as added eyes and ears monitoring the nation’s 95,000 miles of shoreline and 25,000 miles of navigable inland waterways; and
WHEREAS, Tennessee is home to 20,630 maritime jobs supported by the Jones Act, the eighth highest per capita among all states, which jobs generate $1.24 billion in worker income; and WHEREAS, maritime industry jobs create ladders of opportunity through high-paying, family-wage careers that offer significant career advancement without generally necessitating advanced formal education and extensive student loans; and
WHEREAS, the more than 40,000-vessel-strong Jones Act fleet supports nearly 650,000 family-wage jobs and more than $154 billion in economic output nationally and $4.5 billion to Tennessee’s economy; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING, that this body affirms its resolute support for the Jones Act and celebrates the centennial anniversary of the Jones Act and its important role in fostering a strong domestic maritime industry that is critical to Tennessee’s and the nation’s economic prosperity and to national security.