As a result of the recent discussions in Congress concerning the repeal of the Jones Act, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy League officially announced their strong opposition to its repeal. Their stance was promptly lauded by the Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF), a national coalition that represents U.S. fleets engaged in domestic maritime commerce. The U.S. Navy league is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the American people about the enduring importance of sea power to a maritime nation.
The Jones Act was passed in 1920 and requires all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.
Advocates for the Jones Act highlighted the significance of a strong commercial maritime industry for a maritime nation like the United States. Mark Ruge, counsel to the MCTF remarked that “In a time of economic uncertainty and threats to our nation, the Jones Act provides a U.S. merchant marine that promotes efficient trade and supports U.S. military and humanitarian efforts throughout the world.”
Each year, the Jones Act maritime industry generates 500,000 jobs, $100 billion in total economic output, $29 billion in wages, adds $46 billion to the value of U.S. economic output and contributes $11 billion in taxes.