Our very first Congress singled out the domestic U.S. Merchant Marine as essential to our economy and national defense. That is why, from the beginnings of this nation, they took steps to secure the U.S. Merchant Marine fleet from foreign flag competition in coastwise domestic maritime trade.
Senator Wesley L. Jones sponsored the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 – better known now as the Jones Act. For 94 years, that law has remained the cornerstone of U.S. maritime policy, a policy that was the center of discussion at yesterday’s 2nd Annual Tradewinds Jones Act Forum.
There, I joined maritime industry experts and stakeholders in recognizing that, while some sectors of America’s economy have seen operations and jobs shift to countries abroad, this hasn’t been the case for our maritime industry.