Navy League Policy Statement Says Jones Act Vital to National Security
A recently released annual policy statement from the Navy League of the United States, Maritime Primacy & Economic Security, says the Jones Act is critical to U.S. economic, homeland and national security – serving the nation by maintaining a skilled merchant marine, shipbuilding capacity and sea lift capability.
The policy statement says the Navy League supports “The Jones Act and Passenger Vessel Act, which are important to economic and national security because they protect critical national infrastructure and provide added sealift capacity through the VISA, an expanded pool of trained and experienced mariners to crew U.S. government-owned sealift assets and help sustain the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industrial base that is vital to the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.”
The Jones Act mandates the use of vessels that are American-crewed, -built and -owned to move cargo between two U.S. ports. Similar laws and statutes apply the same ground rules to the movement of passengers, towing, dredging and marine salvage. The law boosts security by adding a sealift capacity as well as an expanded pool of trained and experienced mariners to crew U.S. government-owned sealift assets.
“We are pleased that the Navy League supports the Jones Act and understands the essential role the law plays in creating jobs and protecting our homeland,” said James Henry, President of the Transportation Institute and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Maritime Partnership. “The Jones Act makes America more secure economically and militarily by maintaining a skilled merchant marine that supports our military while providing nearly 500,000 American jobs.”
The policy statement says the Jones Act is critical to the long-term sustainability of the U.S. fleet, noting that without commercial capability, the U.S. government would be required to provide significantly more funds to build a replacement fleet and infrastructure while losing the pool of highly qualified Mariners needed to sail these vessels. In addition, the Navy League says the Jones Act has a positive impact on the U.S. economy.
“Shipbuilding, ship repair and ship modernization create well-paying jobs for thousands of workers and, when added to the equipment and material supply companies, add a large number of jobs to the U.S. work force,” the Navy League says.
Caption: A Puget Sound, Wash., Naval Shipyard worker grinds a metal surface using an exoskeleton on Sept. 20, 2011. An exoskeleton is a backpack-carried mechanical support that augments the ability of a technician to carry and operate heavy mechanical tools (US Navy Photo)
The Navy League’s Annual Maritime Policy Statement is produced by the Navy League Maritime Policy and Resolutions Committee and approved by its board of directors. To view the full policy statement, visit http://www.navyleague.org/files/legislative_affairs/maritime_policy20122013.pdf.
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.