The American Maritime Partnership is saluting Congress’s passing of the National Defense Authorization Act, which the advocacy group said includes some of the most consequential maritime legislation enacted in many years.
Most significant is a provision confirming that all American laws, including the Jones Act, apply to renewable energy development on America’s Outer Continental Shelf. By eliminating uncertainty over this issue, Congress will help unleash robust investment and job creation in the American Maritime industry tied to clean offshore energy development, the AMP said.
The NDAA also clarifies the terms and procedures that apply in the extremely rare circumstances under which an emergency administrative Jones Act waiver can be issued. In particular, a national defense waiver must be tied to a legitimate national defense need, non-defense waivers will be time-limited, and all waivers will now be subject to public reporting requirements by any foreign vessel using the waiver to operate in American domestic markets, according to the AMP.
Finally, two separate “Sense of Congress” statements reaffirm strong Congressional support for the American Maritime industry and for the Jones Act. As the 100-year anniversary of the Jones Act comes to a close, the AMP said these provisions strengthen American Maritime and reaffirm Congress’s support for the industry and the 650,000 American jobs it produces.
“As we end this most challenging year, we are encouraged by Congress’s recognition of the contributions American Maritime makes to our security and to a healthy and resilient American economy,” said Michael Roberts, President of the American Maritime Partnership. “We are also grateful for the tangible progress made in this bill to reinforce the requirement that those who do work in our home waters must hire American workers and obey American laws. We look forward to building on that progress in the next Congress.”
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