The economic recovery continues to offer new opportunities for the U.S. maritime industry and the U.S.-flag fleet, and I am excited that our nation’s international shipping community has capitalized on these opportunities and is poised to expand even further. Recently, at the inaugural Tradewinds Jones Act Forum, I discussed the changes affecting the coastwise U.S.-flag maritime industry -- also known as the Jones Act fleet.
Since its enactment, the Jones Act continues to ensure a level playing field for U.S. vessels moving cargo within the nation. The Act keeps skilled American mariners employed aboard American ships by requiring that products moved between U.S. ports be carried by U.S. vessels manned by U.S. crews. More recently, the Jones Act has been a catalyst for growth in the maritime industry and also our economy.