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Bipartisan Congressional Group Releases Visionary Report for Revitalizing U.S. Maritime Sector

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 789
May 9, 2024

A bipartisan report titled “Congressional Guidance for a National Maritime Strategy” has been released by several U.S. legislators, outlining a vision for revitalizing the nation’s maritime sector.

The report, presented by Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL-6), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Representative John Garamendi (D-CA-8), lays out strategic objectives and actions for breathing new life into the sector.

The report emphasizes the urgent need for a comprehensive strategy to counter China’s maritime influence, maintain access to the sea for national security, and support the U.S. maritime industry.

From the report “Congressional Guidance for a National Maritime Strategy

Senator Kelly, a Navy veteran and graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, believes that rejuvenating the American maritime industry would bolster both the economy and national security.

“Our bipartisan report provides a roadmap for the administration and Congress to work together to rebuild our shipbuilding sector and fortify the U.S.-flag fleet. It won’t be easy, but America has always been a maritime nation—and the stakes are too high for us to fail.”

The strategy includes incentivizing U.S.-flagged shipping, restoring commercial shipbuilding capacity, and expanding the maritime workforce required to build, operate, and maintain U.S. ships.

The report sets out ten things Congress can do now to help boost the United States’ maritime prowess. These include developing a long-term National maritime Strategy, expanding and protecting the domestic maritime workforce, growing domestic shipbuilding and U.S.-flagged shipping capacity, investing in the Maritime Transportation System, creating innovation incubator programs, assessing threats in Polar Regions, ensuring Naval forces can defend freedom of the seas, de-risking the U.S. maritime sector, and advancing the rule of law, allies, trade, quality of life, and universal access to global commons.

“As China vies for global influence, the United States must project strength and security in the maritime domain,” said Sen. Rubio. “Congress must act swiftly to adopt a maritime strategy that invests in our industrial base, reestablishes a strong workforce, and strengthens our national security.

Earlier this year, Senator Kelly and Representative Waltz led a bipartisan appeal to President Biden, urging him to fortify the country’s maritime power. Their recommendations included establishing an interagency maritime policy director, declaring maritime infrastructure as “critical infrastructure,” invoking the Defense Production Act for shipbuilding, and creating a comprehensive maritime “de-risking” strategy to diminish reliance on Chinese maritime infrastructure and industry.

“The United States desperately needs to modernize its maritime capabilities to compete with China’s rapidly growing navy and ensure the freedom of international seas,” said Rep. Waltz. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle to revitalize our shipping sector and strengthen our national security.”  

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