Fight to Keep The Jones Act


Well as long as you don’t allow foreign built vessels to be used, even if they are US flagged and manned, there will be foreign vessels and foreign manpower doing the work, otherwise there will not be any Offshore wind farms in US waters.

Trying to do the work with outdated equipment and methods is not economical. As long as there are no US vessels able to do the work safely and efficiently and there are not enough incentive for anybody to build vessel(s) in the US (at 2-3x the cost) to compete with the foreign vessels already in existence, this will not change,

What you are doing is killing the US maritime industry by trying to protect it from competition. This is very similar to what happened to shipping, shipbuilding and ports in the UK in the 1960 -70’s and in Australia still.

A huge new maritime industry is developing around the world and US is not involved.


Simple solution. Build US vessels first, then build the wind farms.

Wind farms are not necessary or cost effective without subsidies and higher US electric rates. There is need, or rush to build wind farms. It takes years to get permits. If developers want to build wind farms, they can enter into firm contracts for installation. With those contracts in hand, US companies can order new US built wind farm installation vessels.

The wind turbines should be built in the US too. Construction is only possible with US taxpayer subsidies and higher electric rates.


Statoil has renamed itself Equinor and are a “renewable company” now. So watch out, before you know it we will infest your coast with Norwegian built windfarms.


So you recommend to reverse the “chicken and the egg” situation??
Somebody who have plans to build an Offshore wind farm have to enter into firm contract with a US company with no existing vessel(s) and no track record to perform the installation work.

The contractor in turn has to order the vessels(s) and equipment needed from US companies with no experience from building similar vessel(s) and equipment.

With this contract in hand the developer can apply for permits and find customer(s) willing to buy the power from this imaginary wind farm.

Like I said, this is a guaranteed way to kill the Offshore Wind industry in it’s infancy and keep US mariners from finding work in a new and interesting field that is expanding rapidly around the world.

Of course it doesn’t matter as long as it does not affect those who have work on a shrinking and aging fleet of tugs and OSVs in operation.

Who care about the next generation, as long as I can keep a job until retirement.


If Europe wants to build US wind farms with European equipment and labor, then let Europe subsidize them.

If US taxpayers and electric have to subsidize wind farms, then they need to be US built.

There are plenty of big US companies, like GE, that could easily buy European wind industry companies to acquire whatever technology that may be necessary. Or for that matter, just buy cheaper Asian technology instead.

If Americans are not going to get the US offshore wind farm jobs, then US taxpayers and US electric ratepayers should not subsidize them. Wind farms cannot be built without subsidies.


We are already planning to build wind farms in Europe without subsidizing.


When Australia got rid of their version of the Jones Act the few remaining Australian mariners were fired, escorted of their vessels by police, and replaced with “third world villages”. I’m not sure how you think that serves to strengthen the maritime industry.


Dr. Pickering, one of the brains behind NASA was a New Zealander.


A lot of the people working for NASA then and now were/are immigrants, even at very high levels.


MUA is slowly killing what little is left of Australian shipping by the way the militant Brits (known as Pommies) that run it killed shipping, shipbuilding and ports in the UK.
They are trying to “protect jobs” by making unrealistic demands, ending up with fewer and fewer ships and consequently fewer jobs for Aussies.
What are the unrealistic demands?? That all vessels that work in the offshore industry, for whatever short times, have to change to local crews (top to bottom) This result in not only very expensive but also unsafe operations.
It is getting too late here, but I could elaborate endlessly. Good night.


The people making the decisions at the top of large multinational companies care not one whit about your welfare or living standards but only on the return to them and their shareholders. If they can get the job done using cheap labour then they will. In this part of the world we have permitted overseas labour to work here where the skills required for a limited time but for longer periods then training of our own national workforce is required. Time and time again companies have pushed the envelope. There have been ludicrous courses that no one has ever heard of been required by the applicant. A tug and barge operation wanted a candidate that would have probably started training about 1900 to make the grade.
I don’t remember lots of overseas recruitments when the Norwegian oil patch started.
Singapore has been run by a benevolent dictatorship since independence and history is not exactly full of such arrangements. A ship repair firm can set up shop in Singapore with a nice plush office and the shipyard 35 minutes away by ferry where a fitter welder gets $2.90 a day. When you leave the shipyard the pilot disembarked into a canoe and an hour later the pilot boards from a smart launch. If the leadership in Singapore ever gets replaced by bleeding hearted liberals it wouldn’t take long before you couldn’t drink the tap water and there would be religious riots and beggars in the streets.
Your neighbor Sweden seems to be on a path of destroying a way of life in Stockholm.


but not on an equal footing to compete with US buil[t] vessels

If a foreign shipyard can build a vessel to US standards, with all of the tariffs that already exist, and after being scrutinized by Uncle Sam and his alphabet soup of federal agencies, much like many of the foreign built products in US service are today (Airbus comes to mind) then I see no issue with foreign built vessels entering Jones’ Act service.

Hell, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin have stiff international competition and one can argue that it has made everyone better for it.


then there will be ZERO merchant shipbuilding in the USA…ZIP, ZILCH, NADA, NONE, BIG GOOSE EGG

we would look just like Great Britain does today…is that ok with you because it isn’t with me

and the Boeing/Airbus analogy doesn’t “fly” because any Jingaling or Qwakzou or Hang Dong can set up a shipyard tomorrow on a riverbank in China and start building merchant ships. the plant is not highly sophisticated and plans for ships do not involve the level of engineering of a commercial airplane. You can’t do that with aircraft, the plant is very complex but more important is all the engineering required long before the first plane even flies such as the $10B Boeing spend on the engineering of the 787. Ships really can be built by third world villagers standing on bamboo scaffolding in flipflops.


The point of STCW is to standardize mariner training.
That said, Jones’ Act type protections exist in many transportation industries, airliners come to mind (Ever fly frontier? Foreign built aircraft made to US standards). What’s unique about the maritime industry is the ship building requirement. As I said previously that should foreign built vessels enter Jones’ Act service then those vessels, put on a US flag, should be built to US standards or they SHOULD NOT enter Jones’ Act service. Ask Dakota Creek about this.

Further with the labor requirement, foreign workers are already entering into service on Jones’ Act vessels in unlicensed positions. As I understand it they must get a MMC and meet USCG training competencies.


Hell, anyone can set up anything. Foreign built, US flagged vessels don’t meet US standards? Then they don’t enter Jones’ Act service. That’s not a hard concept.

and the Boeing/Airbus analogy doesn’t “fly”

But it does, and it can be applied to Detroit too. Most every airliner has some Airbus aircraft in service. Hell, if I recall correctly on PenAir between Dutch and ANC they use Saab. All aircraft, cars, trains, and damn near any other good in these United States must meet the standards of these US or they will NOT be put into US service.

Hitting on something others can relate to, go to Canada and buy a brand new car off the lot, even American, and import it back to these US. I guarantee you’ll have one hell of a time registering it because it won’t meet US standards and will either need to be repaired or you’ll have a paperweight.


You’ll be pleased to hear the ‘Third World Villagers’ aren’t so…


Gotta update my other post where I said 50% wages… Make that 30-40%


From today’s Tradewinds:

Jones Act considered safety hazard

Economics professor says 20th century US maritime law results in ‘sacrificing safety’ with older vessels.

June 11th, 2018 19:02 GMT

by Michael Juliano

Published in Casualties
The US maritime’s Jones Act of 1920 compromises the safety of US ships as an “unintended consequence”, according to an economics professor at North Carolina State University.

Thomas Grennes, emeritus professor of economics, made his case in a five-page thesis published by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center focused on market research.

Grennes, having penned several papers critical of the act, opened his argument by pointing to the 2015 sinking of Jones Act-eligible cargo ship El Faro at the hands of Hurricane Joaquin.

“El Faro was 31 years older than the average foreign-flag ship of its type, raising the question as to whether the old age might have contributed to the sinking,” he wrote.

The 5,330-lane metre El Faro (built 1975) was owned by Tote Maritime.

The incident, which he called “one of the greatest maritime disasters in modern American history”, caused the loss of 33 seafarers sailing from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico.

Grennes argued in “Sacrificing Safety is an Unintended Consequence of the Jones Act”, American shippers delay vessel upgrades because US shipyards are more costly than foreign ones.

Also, the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1933 still places a 50% tax on using foreign yards, he wrote.

“According to recent estimates, American-built oceangoing ships cost five times as much as their foreign counterparts,” he wrote.

“It’s undeniable that the Jones Act contributes to the aging of the US-flag fleet.”

Jones Act vessels expected to diminish through 2022
 .
He pointed to a Southampton Solent University study that concluded that "most ship accidents can be linked with older vessels"as a lost ship’s average age is at least 20 years.

He further argued that the higher costs have forced cargo onto rails and roads, causing traffic congestion and other safety issues.

Robert Curt, a former shipping executive with ExxonMobil, supports Grennes’ perspective, agreed.

“Transporting oil by rail is not good,” the US Merchant Marine Academy graduate told TradeWinds.

He wrote a column on the El Faro incident that appeared in TradeWinds in June 2017.

Time for reform

Grennes says the Jones Act’s “most commercially restrictive provisions” must be reformed, including the need to sail US-owned, US built vessels for intra-US shipping to discourage use of older ships.

Four bills proposed to end or limit Jones Act
A more moderate reform would be to remove the build requirement for ships on routes to Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico or banning the US-owned island from the act altogether, he wrote.

“It would revitalise the Jones Act seagoing fleet with modern tonnage.”

Grennes’ paper ‘ignores the facts’

The US-based American Maritime Partnership (AMP) in April published a position paper countering Grennes’ analysis, saying it “was wrong on virtually every count”.

The AMP argued that studies by the US Coast Guard and National Traffic Safety Board did not connect the El Faro’s sinking to the Jones Act.

The organisation also said Grennes gave faulty comparisons of the ages of the US fleet and the world fleet, and that both averaged about 21 years old.

“Despite Thomas Grennes’ protestations to the contrary, investigators who spent over a year studying the tragic El Faro sinking did not identify the Jones Act as a contributing factor,” the AMP told TradeWinds Monday in a statement.

“In fact, vessels comprising the Jones Act fleet are on both the Paris and Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control ‘white list’ of the safest fleets in the world.”


Not only is it deniable but it’s patently false.


While true the El Faro was long on the tooth but what never seems to be mentioned is that she was about to be pulled from that service. Construction commenced in 2014 for replacement vessels. Tote’s ships currently on the US/Puerto Rico service were delivered in 2015 & 2016.

As long as ship can be run profitably they can be operated for a very long time. At the moment a number of the Energy Transport LNG tankers built between 1977 and 1979 are still in operation. For how long is anybody’s guess. It is not about the age, it is all about the upkeep.

To illustrate the longevity of a ship if still useful we can look at some of the ships Sea-Land operated. In 1942 theT2 tanker Esso New Orleans was built. In 1961 she changed hands and renamed simply New Orleans. In 1962 she was purchased by Sea-Land Service and converted into a cellular container ship by removing the forward end and replacing it with a brand-new new container ship forebody. She then entered service with Sea-Land as the Elizabethport. In 1978 Elizabethport became one of four converted T2 Tanker container ships that Sea-Land converted into diesel-powered container ships, which became known as the D6-Class. The bow and stern were removed and scrapped, and the old deckhouse and steam turbine engines were replaced by a new deckhouse and diesel engine. Only the cargo-carrying portion of the vessel, constructed in 1962, was retained. When the conversion was complete Elizabethport emerged as the Sea-Land Leader, she was later put under a flag of convenience (~1990) and the name shortened to Sea Leader. In 2008 Maersk sold the ship (and her 3 sisters) to MSC and she became, MSC Leader. She was finally scrapped in 2010.