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McCain: Repeal Jones Act


U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has filed an amendment to the bill governing the Keystone XL Pipeline that would repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as The Jones Act, which requires that all goods shipped between waterborne ports of the United States be carried by vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans.

He called the act “an antiquated law that has for too long hindered free trade, made U.S. industry less competitive and raised prices for American consumers.”

His amendment targets the U.S.-build requirement of the Jones Act. Maritime unions oppose repealing the act.

In December, McCain vowed the eventual full repeal of the Jones Act despite tough opposition.

“It’s one of these things you just propose amendments to bills and encourage hearings and sooner or later the dam breaks,” McCain said after a speech at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

“But I have to tell you … the power of this maritime lobby is as powerful as anybody or any organization I have run up against in my political career,” he said. “All I can do is appeal to the patron saint of lost causes and keep pressing and pressing and sooner or later you have to succeed.”


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6 thoughts on “McCain: Repeal Jones Act

  1. william mc auliffe

    sen mc cains amendment would kill the US marine industry . shame on him

  2. Thomas J Hertslet

    To repeal the Act will be difficult, but to ease some needed requirements would be beneficial to the basic consumer.
    My concern is the excellent but costly monopoly of trade to Guam. The STB must recognize this and be willing to openly entertain reasonable requests for show documentation of why a GIR (general rate increase) by the service provider to Guam should not be approved. Also it might be of significant importance to revisit Union demands and / requirements specifically to modify same to be more efficient. Cross-training and applying such gained expertise is a great step into better efficiency and safety.

  3. felipe de jesus hernandez

    Jones Act is an absurd law slowing down the maritime progress of USA.
    This is not a retrograd world anymore. Big giant China is coming, we, the free world, need to get together instead of being secluded. Jone’s act is making few ones rich while american people pay over charges in shipping.

  4. G. L. Tveden

    We would like to do business in Hawaii, American Samoa, and other U.S. territories and protectorates but thanks to the shipping monopoly the Jones Act created for a wealthy few tycoons, it costs about half as much to ship our product all the way to Indonesia! This 95 year old law needs to be repealed. It is BAD for many businesses, and only benefits a few already rich influential plutocrats that oppose its repeal.

  5. Joan P Mileski, PhD

    Senator McCain is not considering the security protection that the Jones Act gives US ports and waterways.

  6. John David

    The Act does not Protect the Ports and Waterways, that task is left to the US Navy and US Coast Guard. We have Significant Ports on the US Mainland. None of them have had any security issues with Foreign Flagged Vessels. Trade is restrictive to and from places like Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam Etc.
    Therefore business that could be entertained and cultivated providing a boost in their respective economies, those areas economically are suppressed. The United States has a significant Naval and Coast Guard presence in each of these areas. An example of how this stifles the economy would be to take a guitar manufacturer located on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Big Island has an abundance of Koa wood, a highly sought after wood for the manufacture of wooden guitars. However if they wanted to ship their guitars to a distributor in Australia, they have to first ship it to the USA mainland. They then Offload it and re-ship it to Australia, The interesting part of this story is that many times the costs for shipping it to Australia are less than it was to ship it to the US Mainland on the initial leg. So as you can see this stifles any possible USA productivity. And maybe that is why no one in Hawaii is Mfg guitars, or hardly anything else for that matter.

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