Internally at gCaptain we call the Jones Act the third rail of maritime politics. No other topic we post about gets gets people (on both sides) sending us angry emails quicker.
To preface this: I have supported the jones act since college and gCaptain publishes the work of the guy who, bar none, is doing more to protect the jones act than anyone today: Sal Mercogliano. Further, both I and gCaptain, support a strong us merchant marine.
That said, I’ve had an inside look at certain elements of washington and banking, that lead me to believe the jones act is still alive because the big banks and politicians know it weakens the us merchant fleet.
Here is what I wrote in another thread:
This is not a call to kill the jones act, it is a call for new ideas and thinking.
Here’s the way I see it:
the jones act supports us shipping companies BUT it hampering the ability of us shipping companies to get large amounts of financing. And without financing more us ships, the us merchant fleet will continue to wither.
Erasing the jones act would facilitate the financing of new us flagged ships BUT us mariners and us shipyards will loose jobs.
IMHO it’s a Catch 22. Either way we are screwed.
What I believe we need is to
- stop fighting amongst ourselves over The existing scraps (This is an absolute prerequisite).
- look for new and creative ways to solve the most pressing problem facing us shipping: access to financing.
I have finished the first draft of a new US Maritime Strategy which addresses this issue but, before I publish it, I would like you guys to submit an new ideas you have to this thread.
P.S. Again, this is not a debate thread. It’s a solution thread. Please be supportive of other’s ideas because Infighting is our #1 threat! Let me and the people I’m working with determine the merits of each idea. You can write supporting replies but post the complaints elsewhere.