Politics and the Jones Act

Political views aside, the Jones Act can be a tricky issue, and it is best to stay informed at all times.

The Jones Act needs a major overhaul. It is outdated and at this point probably prohibitive to the US maintaining a decent sized deep sea fleet. While the argument that Americans are too expensive to hire, does have some truth, the Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, British, Dutch, etc all seem to be able to train and then employ very good merchant officers. I do not believe that they are better trained or better because of genetics, their countries have allowed their marine companies to move forward not backwards. It will be unpopular to say, but the time for the American unlicensed has come and gone. Same with the requirement that the ships be US built. US shipyards suck, they are expensive and slow. Why build a ship in the US when you can build one in China or Korea for a fraction of the price and much faster? Yes, their quality of construction is lower, but so what? How many shipping companies plan on running the ship for more then 10-15 years?..The American way of doing things is stagnant, at best and more probably failing. Why do we as Americans continually believe that we know the only way to do things and the rest of the world is wrong? Our Merchant Marine will never return to the size it was at its peak, but something must be done to preserve what we have and to increase our competitiveness.

I seem to recall a previous post on this topic that said the idea of Jones Act vessels was for if/when we go to war and need tonnage to transport stuff around the world. It could be possible that other nations might not want to charter their vessels to us.

This seems weak to me because if the US ship owner owns a nice shiny Korean built RO-RO, as long as he owns it, then Uncle Sam can use it.

Another post commented that as most of the [deep sea] Jones Act compliant vessels were tankers, they would not be that well suited to carrying tanks anyway (no pun intended).

And I think what we are advocating here is US “ship ownership”?

At the risk of repeating myself, I find it not only sad, but almost despicable, that the Maersk Alabama (US Flagged proudly US crewed), can not carry containers from New York to Miami.