I would think this has been tried before, however job market is only getting worse under US flag, and while the anticipated lift on drilling in GoM would ease it somewhat, the shameless size of the US flag ocean going fleet should be of huge concern to everyone, not the least of which; politicians. The unions will not help here at all and I have no hope they will ever choose to take that route seriously. The only chance we’ve got is to approach politicians [I]en masse[/I] in a concerted effort to make our voices be heard.
While they may exist, I don’t know of any country that does not have a form of tax relief for seamen. In general seafarers are exempt from any income tax, often based on a 6 month minimum away from home time. This is a major incentive to ship owners who would be able to maintain same net wages, while drastically lowering their payroll. In case of USA, if this is further linked to a shipbuilding incentive, job creation would be significant in many related industries as well. Furthermore, it would be a long term smart investment for a relatively small drop in tax revenues.