The Arizona senator has, for the third time, introduced legislation that would repeal, or at least amend, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known to most in the U.S. shipping industry as the Jones Act.
BY ELIZABETH LANDRUM
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has again introduced legislation that would repeal, or rather amend, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known to most in the U.S. shipping industry as the Jones Act. This Act is regarded as outdated and protectionist.
McCain first introduced legislation to repeal the Jones Act, which requires that all goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried by U.S.-built vessels, owned and operated by Americans, in the Senate in 2010, as well as an amendment in January 2015 that would waive Jones Act requirements for oil and gasoline tankers in regards to the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“I have long advocated the repeal of the Jones Act, an archaic and burdensome law that hinders free trade, stifles the economy, and ultimately harms consumers,” he said in a statement announcing the bill.
“My legislation would eliminate this regulation, freeing American shippers from the requirement that they act against their own business interests. By allowing U.S. shippers to purchase affordable foreign-made carriers, this legislation would reduce shipping costs, make American farmers and businesses more competitive in the global marketplace, and bring down the cost of goods and services for American consumers.”
McCain’s Open American’s Waters Act of 2017 would amend the U.S. shipbuilding requirement for all commercial vessels employed in the coastwise trades of the U.S., as well as possibly affecting the U.S. ownership requirement, depending on the bill’s interpretation.
“The protectionist mentality embodied by the Jones Act directly contradicts the lessons we have learned about the benefits of a free and open market,” said the senator. “Free trade expands economic growth, creates jobs, and lowers costs for consumers. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and finally repeal the outdated and protectionist Jones Act.”
Source: American Shipper