The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), an association of American maritime companies, has launched the Jones Act Enforcer, a new vessel with which the association is hunting foreign shipping companies that it believes are violating the protectionist American Jones Act.
The vessel will be used to collect video and photographic evidence of Jones Act violations, according to the OMSA, which will then be “made available to authorities, made public and shared with the media.”
The Jones Act states that transportation between U.S. ports may only be carried out by ships with American crews built and financed in the United States, but the OMSA states that many foreign companies do not comply.
The association recently said it was “tired of foreign ships taking work from Americans.” “Stay tuned to see what we’re going to do to fight back,” the OMSA said. That fighting back will now happen with the sailing ‘Jones Act Enforcer’. The association presented the new ship with a Robert de Niro-esque motto: ‘We’ll be watching’. The vessel is the first of its kind, according to the OMSA.
The Jones Act Enforcer, the OMSA said, "will document that foreign-flagged ships are violating U.S. law by transporting goods between points in the U.S., taking advantage of significantly reduced crew costs, thereby enhancing the position of U.S. ships and U.S. undercut workers’.
“Now we’re going to shine a spotlight on their actions to show everyone how much foreign companies are taking money from the pockets of American maritime companies,” the association said.