Until you can prove this, instead of just asserting it, it’s just wishing. There is no reason to believe any of the tens of thousands of US shipbuilding and related jobs would survive a change in the build laws. People will take the cheaper option in big capital spending, building expenses like ships. The shipbuilding industry is basically an exercise already in maximizing foreign resources to make (sometimes more appropriate to call ‘assemble’) US ships from foreign design and components as long as it doesn’t go too far like that fishing vessel in Washington. There’s a limit to how much, and while less US content means less for US shipbuilders and related industries, as Jefferson once said to Madison on securing approval for the amendments to the Constitution that would become the Bill of Rights, half a loaf is better than none.
How do you know this will have a disastrous impact on those jobs—-ITBs/ATBs. Why do we have so many and the world so few? Because under US Manning rules, it’s cheaper. The companies will seek the cheaper options in the same market with the rules. They prove this over and over.
Plus there is no new impulse of water trade that will suddenly be more cost advantageous than other modes already in use. Want more ships—building more routes, like offshore work.
It’s so tiring to see the same arguments over and over… mariners seem to think that if they kick out the shipbuilders out from under the shared umbrella of protectionism that is the JA, there’ll be more room for more mariners. They justify pushing them out into the rain as some kind of deserved punishment for ‘failing’ at capitalism or something while ignoring that their own jobs suffer from the same impact of protectionism. Mariners can seek and obtain Mariner employment pretty much anywhere in the world, or make it a cheaper market here by taking lower wages, shipyards have to deal with supplies, facilities, labor, environmental they are more constrained to specific regulated markets, protectionism forces them to invest and benefit those markets nothing forces the Mariner, they choose beneficial situations with regard to their marketability, training, improvement, price point. Operating costs and labor are why there are so many barges… efforts to remove the shipbuilding provision are just efforts to make the barges and tugs and fishing vessels cheaper. With the plentiful world market of shipbuilding—many of which are subsidized—there is no way US yards will survive, won’t happen all at once, but it will—because you can’t just will away all the actual cost issues for the US market.
Whatever the merits of shipbuilding protectionism—which the US has had in some form basically since founding—removing it (and that’s the question, not if it’s good, but if removing it is good) will certainly have lasting detrimental impacts and its current existence has and continues to force a lot of money into communities that more Mariner jobs won’t (if that would result which it won’t). Removing it doesn’t make more room under the umbrella, it just shrinks the umbrella, the same people trying to close it completely will then start shrinking it further by question crewing citizenship provisions as Cato Institute already has.
Looking forward to the next thread on the same damned thing in another few months… Happy Fourth everyone!