Our Position

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act, mandates that all freight shipped between U.S. ports is transported by American-made marine vessels that are owned and operated by U.S. citizens and permanent residents. While the intention behind the Jones Act was based on national security, coming out of World War I and its severe losses of American vessels to German submarines, the primary effects of the Jones Act since World War II have been substantial price increases on goods transported to American states and territories that rely on shipping. They include Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

While we must maintain our national security, the economic harm caused by the Jones Act must be fully alleviated to allow for the fair trade needed by all of our states and territories to prosper. Accordingly, we support the issuing of a presidential executive order to immediately and permanently exempt Alaska, Hawaii, and all U.S. territories from the stipulations of the Jones Act. Furthermore, we support coordinating with Congress to rewrite the Merchant Marine Act so as to eliminate the requirement that U.S. merchant marine vessels are manufactured in the United States. We believe that it is possible to ensure our national security without penalizing and restricting trade to and within the United States of America.

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