Maritime Industry Blankets Washington; Lauds Contributions to Economic, National and Homeland Security

By MarEx 2011-05-16 14:13:07

WASHINGTON – Hundreds of U.S. maritime industry representatives visited Capitol Hill this spring to highlight the critical role the industry plays in boosting America’s economic, national and homeland security.  Three broad grassroots education events: the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) Spring General Membership Meeting; the “Barge-In;” and the “Sail-In” brought representatives of shipyards, mariners and companies from throughout the country to Washington, DC.

“The domestic maritime industry plays a critical role in protecting America’s economic, national and homeland security, and these events are focused on making that point to Congress,” said James Henry, President of the Transportation Institute and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Maritime Partnership.  “Hundreds of industry representatives from throughout the nation, including ship operators, shipbuilders and mariners, discussed how the U.S. shipping industry provides safe, efficient waterborne commerce and a merchant marine that supports our military throughout the world.”

The SCA hosted its Spring General Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C. April 4-6. The three-day event brought together more than 50 representatives from shipyards and industry affiliates from across the country to discuss important issues facing the industry.  SCA members met with Members of Congress to discuss how the Jones Act is vital to America’s economic, national and homeland security.  The Jones Act is a longstanding U.S. maritime law that mandates the use of U.S.-owned, U.S.-built, and U.S.-crewed vessels when moving cargo between U.S. ports.

On April 6, 103 American Waterways Operators (AWO) members attended the annual "Barge-In" on Capitol Hill to directly engage lawmakers on AWO's legislative priorities, including supporting the American maritime industry and the Jones Act as well as focusing the Congressional response to the Deepwater Horizon accident on oil drilling safety.  Over the course of the day, AWO members met with 113 Senators and Representatives, an increase in the number of official visits over 2010.

Nearly 200 American maritime industry representatives from throughout the country traveled to Washington for the second-annual “Sail-In” on May 4.  The broad grassroots education event updated Members of Congress and Congressional staff about the many benefits of a strong U.S. maritime industry. This year’s event included 185 participants from 22 states, 52 congressional districts, 38 companies, 11 unions and labor organizations, and 10 related associations.

American Maritime Partnership ("AMP") is the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, a pillar of our nation‘s economic, national, and homeland security. More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies, ply our waters 24/7, and this commerce sustains nearly 500,000 jobs, $29 billion in labor compensation, and more than $100 billion in annual economic output according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Transportation Institute. So efficient are these vessels that they carry a quarter of the nation‘s cargo for only 2 percent of the national freight bill, and being American owned, built and crewed helps make America more secure.