Fight to Keep The Jones Act

Given by the recent announcement in the Federal Register regarding comments requested for the Deregulation of the US Maritime Sector;

We prepare to fight and prevail against this latest onslaught against the 1920 Merchant Marine Act (The Jones Act) and our Cargo Preference Laws and the Passenger Services Vessel Act- We’re reminded of those who have served before us.

We are compelled by the sacrifices of those 9,521 U.S. Merchant Mariners who gave their lives during the Second World War.

We are reminded of the dutiful service of all those U.S. Merchant Mariners who served with honor during the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf Wars.

We MUST prevail and we SHALL prevail against this recurrent onslaught against our seafaring way of life.

A call to action goes out to EVERY U.S. Merchant Mariner, EVERY Representative of Maritime Labor, EVERY Person employed by U.S. Flag Shipping Companies.

Each and every one of us should respond to the request for Public Comments in the link contained below. EVERY holder of a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Credential should write and voice their strong support keeping and maintaining the current Jones Act and Cargo Preference Laws and Passenger Vessel Services Act.

I greatly and respectfully urge each and every one of us to submit comments… Let’s begin this fight to preserve our Maritime Right under the U.S. Flag…

no Administration can terminate the Jones Act…only Congress can do that and to my knowledge there are not nearly enough votes in either house of that august body to get anywhere close to rescinding the law. There could however be enough votes to making changes to it however and that is where we need to exercise diligence as the process moves forward.

if I would hazard to guess the biggest part of the Act to be rewritten would be the part that makes a US seaman a ward of the Federal Courts although there are more than a few lawyers who specialize in Jones Act injury claims who would howl if that went away (personally, I am ok to see it go provided that US shipowners not be given a free pass regarding injuries to their maritime workers either)


Good Morning, and Thanks for the Reply c,captain…

Yes, I am aware of what it would take to Repeal the Jones Act… My concern would be with regard to funding. Various programs within MARAD need to be funded in order for us to at least maintain what we have now. Reduction in the current funding levels would have a highly negative impact in the US Flag Shipping sector.

I believe that any attempt to “rewrite” or rather amend the Jones Act within any of it’s sections would be a dangerous precedent.

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Anti-American Interpretations of the Jones Act and waivers are already a big problem. So are the flood of work visas. Already, far too many foreign vessels in offshore oil drilling, production, construction, pipelay, seismic survey, etc. Far too many visas and waivers to use both low wage and high wage foreign mariners. Thousands of American job opportunities missed. Offshore wind is headed in the same direction with mostly foreign vessels and foreign mariners.


Yes, I agree, we need to stop ANY Foreign Flag vessel incursions inside of 200 miles- US Flag Vessels ONLY!

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Stopping any and all foreign vessels is not practical or possible, but limiting it and having strong US hire requirements is.

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And no US flag vessels or Mariners working outside that same 200-mile zone??

You demand “Freedom of Navigation” outside 12 n.mile territorial waters of other nations, but refuse to ratify UNCLOS that guarantee you that right.

Oh I forgot, you also demand the right for American business to have access to foreign markets, but wants to ban foreigners from competing on equal footing in US markets??

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@USMMOfficer is just some working stiff. I doubt if anyone even asked him to ratify UNCLOS.


I know, right? They NEVER consult me on treaty ratification decisions, either. I feel your pain. Don’t they know: I have answers, solutions, opinions, and the desire to wave my hands around.


OK I should have been more specific; You as in US Congress should ratify UNCLOS
Maybe I should also have said; You as in US Government, should…

Yes, Pardon my lack of specifics- have a lot going on this AM… (Writing a response and proposal…)

My intent is this- to be clear:

  1. ALL Offshore Wind Vessels/ Support Vessels within 200 miles- Must be US Flagged
  2. ALL US Outer Continental Shelf Support Vessels - Must be US Flagged
  3. ALL Oil Platforms, Rigs, Drill Ships, within 200 Miles- Must Be US Flagged
  4. Fishing Vessels Fishing Within 200 Miles- Must Be US Flagged…

Once again- Pardon my lack of specifics…


Not really, actually not even close. Look at what is happening in Mexico right now. They are privatizing the oil industry. It was PEMEX, but PEMEX was consistently losing money to underperformance and corruption, so they opened it up to private investors. No one in the US was demanding Mexico privatize the oil industry but they did it because it made sense and we have the resources to help. So essentially Mexico demanded that THEY open up the market to the world, not the other way around.

Jesper Berg calm down!

Most IMO Signatory Countries have Cabotage Laws, including China, Phillipines, Brazil, Canada, United States, Japan, India and others (Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Turkey, Indonesia, Sweden and Poland just to name a few.)

Out of 164 WTO Countries, 61 Countries have varying Cabotage Laws- ranging from partial to full exclusion of Foreign Vessels. This INCLUDES Mexico.

My aim and intent is clear- until EVERY Seafaring Nation (especially those who compete with Crew and Flagging) drops Cabotage we would be loathe to even discuss ANY changes to our current laws- In fact, they should be strengthened.


Yes Mexico is opening their oil & gas markets to foreign companies, both operators, contractors and service companies. At the same time private Mexican companies are improving their equipment and technology to take advantage of the new opportunities.
I know that many Singapore based companies are taking advantage of the possibilities there, as does many European companies. I don’t know if many US companies have secured contracts there, but being next door neighbour and largest trading partner, it would make sense that they do.

Here is an article from FT re: the Mexican oil field privatization and it’s prospects:

Cabotage laws are common, but none looks anything like what you are proposing

You intend to not only reserving all activity within the US territorial waters and transport between US ports to US flag vessels but also everything that happens within the EEZ/OCS to US flag ships, boats and rigs, which is against all international laws, rules and treaties.

There are US owned and operated boats and rigs working in other countries, (admittedly few fly US flag) Many of the vessels, boats and rigs under foreign flag working in US waters are also US owned and operated.
The reality is that offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation business is an international and operate largely in a free market situation.

To try to stifle competition by closing your home market only result in less activity and less efficiency.
The days when American rigs, boats and oil field workers dominated the offshore business worldwide will never come back, but nationalizing the business within US waters will only hasten the day when there are no US vessels, boats and rigs working anywhere else.

Yeah, most are stricter than what we currently have in the US.

In what way?

I think mariners would be better served by being protected by Workers’ Compensation like all other working Americans.


we don’t need access to foreign markets with US vessels since we are not getting the jobs anyway. what the US maritime industry needs is exclusive right to the work in the US OCS which was the intent of the OSCLA when it was enacted but which has been circumvented time and again by foreign vessels and their owners. Time for the OSCLA to be amended to remove the loopholes which have allowed foreign vessels easy entree to our market without so much as paying a stiff license fee to have that entry. They have gotten a free pass to date and that has got to change FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE US INDUSTRY AND WORKERS!


and do not give me the line of yours that only foreign vessel owners can supply the equipment and expertise to do the work…THAT IS PATENT BULLSHIT AND YOU KNOW IT!


Is it not the case that at present the foreign owners are the only ones with the vessels and expertise - otherwise why wouldn’t US flag boats be doing it? Too expensive?