June 04, 2020

Chairs DeFazio, Maloney Celebrate 100 Years of the Jones Act and its Role Enhancing National Security and Protecting U.S. Maritime Jobs

Washington, D.C. – Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) are marking the 100thAnniversary of the Jones Act, a fundamental piece of U.S. maritime policy that ensures that the transportation of merchandise between any two ports in the U.S. is done on vessels built, owned, and flagged in the U.S., and crewed by Americans mariners. The Jones Act was signed into law on June 5, 1920, by President Woodrow Wilson.
“The Jones Act has been and remains critical to supporting U.S. mariners’ jobs and our maritime industry, not to mention bolstering our national security. Over its 100-year history, the Jones Act has been critical in times of war, national emergencies and natural disasters, and global crises such as the current pandemic. Without it, the fleet and maritime work force which moves 100 percent of our coastwise trade, would wither and substantially weaken the U.S. standing as a maritime power,” Chair DeFazio said. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration has issued waivers and entertained acting on several requests for waivers of the Jones Act which, when issued, even temporarily, weaken our domestic maritime supply chain and jeopardize thousands of U.S. jobs. As the Chair of the Committee with jurisdiction over maritime policy, it will continue to be a priority of mine to ensure the Jones Act remains an unwavering pillar upholding and strengthening U.S. leadership among the world’s maritime nations.”
“The bedrock principles and protections of the Jones Act are as essential today as they were when the Congress bill was passed a century ago. We are, at our core, a maritime nation. The U.S. merchant marine enables the country to project force anywhere around the globe and ensures the security of our waters at home. We cannot be complacent in our defense of the Jones Act, which remains a critical component of U.S. maritime and military strategy,” Chair Maloney said. “Throughout our history, the Army has relied on U.S.-flagged commercial vessels and American mariners to carry weapons and supplies and ferry troops to the battlefield. We’ve confronted many challenges since its inception, but the Jones Act has ensured that the men and women of the merchant marine have been there to meet them.”