Jones Act Essential to Maintaining U.S-Flag Fleet

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May 21, 2013

By American Maritime Partnership

On behalf of the American Maritime Partnership, Joseph H. Pyne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Kirby Corporation, testified before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and said that preserving the Jones Act is essential to the nation’s economic growth as well as its national and homeland security.

“The domestic U.S.-flag maritime industry is one of the most robust, dynamic and productive in the world today, numbering more than 40,000 vessels, supporting more than 500,000 workers, and contributing more than $100 billion to the U.S. economy,” said Mr. Pyne. “AMP member companies are investing in this country and creating jobs in virtually every sector of the economy. That is only possible because the Jones Act provides the foundation for making that investment with confidence.”

The Jones Act is U.S. maritime law that mandates the use of vessels that are American-crewed, -built, and -owned to move cargo between two U.S. ports. The law is critical for American economic, national, and homeland security, which is why it has enjoyed the support of the U.S. Navy, many Members of Congress of both parties, and every President in modern history.

Mr. Pyne stated that Congress must remain steadfast and vocal in its support for the Jones Act and reject overtures by those seeking to change or repeal the law for their own benefit. He added that the domestic U.S.-flag maritime industry has “demonstrated time and again that it can, and will, continue to meet America’s transportation needs” and that “maintaining the law is essential to sustaining a U.S.-flag fleet which is vital to our national security.”

“The Jones Act provides a layer of protection to this nation that many do not recognize and also provides capability to assist in times of national emergency,” said Mr. Pyne. “Please help us keep the confidence we need to continue investing in America by telling the world America’s security is not for sale and the Jones Act will remain the foundation of our U.S. fleet.”

A copy of the AMP written testimony can be downloaded HERE.

American Maritime Partnership 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.

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