Support for the Jones Act

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA): 
“The Jones Act is essential to preserve our domestic shipping industry and protect our national and economic security.”

U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), 2019: 
“Louisiana is the greatest beneficiary of the Jones Act with thousands of jobs that depend on it. Our maritime industry is part of the lifeblood of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast economy. It would be foolish to push aside those jobs in favor of foreign-made and foreign-crewed ships.”

U.S. Representative Steven Palazzo (R-MS), 2019: 
“Protecting our national defense is a sworn responsibility of every member in our legislative body. I believe that there are very few industries that are as important to the economic health and security of our nation as those who comprise our maritime industries. Understanding the potential ramifications associated with waiving the Jones Act and allowing foreign imports of any sort could seriously harm our national security. From both an economic perspective and a national security perspective, we cannot sit idly by as uninformed individuals in Congress attempt to erode our American maritime industry.”

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Karl Schultz, 2019: 
“The Jones Act has been in place here for about 100 years, sir, and it serves a very important – continually important – service,” Schultz continued. “I think before there’s any meddling with the Jones Act, people should really step back and have an informed conversation about all the puts and takes and the impacts to national security.”

U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA), 2019: 
“Louisiana is blessed with an abundant amount of natural resources, and it is the people working each and every day along our waterways and in our shipyards that help us utilize these resources to the fullest. Most importantly, however, is the role that the Jones Act community plays in our country’s national security. Sustaining these highly-skilled positions and a thriving industrial base in Louisiana and across the country ensure America will always have a knowledgeable and ready maritime workforce to build, maintain, and strengthen our naval capabilities. When our shipbuilders and maritime workers are able to thrive, the entire country benefits.”

Retired Rear Admiral Thomas K. Shannon, Former Commander of the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command, 2019
Unlike other countries, the United States does not subsidize its commercial shipbuilding capacity with taxpayer dollars. Instead, with the Jones Act, we enable a base maritime capability of U.S.-trained mariners, U.S.-flagged ships, a shipbuilding industrial base and a ship-repair capability. This “American made” capacity has been called our “4th arm of defense,” and it enables our president and Congress to project our combat capabilities as part of the Department of Defense budget every year.

U.S. Representative John Garamendi (D-CA), 2018: 
“But the Jones Act is not just essential for our economy—it remains essential for our national security and our war fighting capacity. Our military relies on privately-owned sealift capacity and highly trained and credentialed merchant mariners to transport and sustain our armed forces when deployed overseas during times of conflict.”

U.S. Representative Garret Graves (R-LA), 2018: 
“Is it a protectionist measure?” [the Congressman asked rhetorically] “Absolutely. It protects our national security, it protects our families, it protects our economy.”

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), 2016:
“America’s maritime industry is vital to our island state, accounting for thousands of jobs and infusing $1.8 billion into Hawaii’s economy each year. A strong domestic maritime industry is critical to accessing the goods local families need to lead productive, healthy lives, and that’s why I will continue to advocate for the Jones Act.”

General Paul Selva then commander of US. Transportation Command, 2015:
“I am an ardent supporter of the Jones Act. [The Act] supports a viable ship building industry, cuts cost and produces 2,500 qualified mariners. Why would we tamper with that?”

Vice Admiral William Brown, Deputy Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, February 2014:
 “In the military, over 90 percent of our DOD requirements travel by the sea.  It’s quite important to us.  We are a nation that relies on the maritime industry as a critical component of our country’s economy as well as our national security…It’s American ships and American seafarers who have always come through for us in times of peace, war, or national emergency.” 

General William Fraser III, Former Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, May 2013:
 “USTRANSCOM simply could not accomplish its global mission without the capabilities provided by the U.S. strategic sealift fleets and our steadfast merchant mariners.”
“Our primary concern from a national security perspective is the loss of merchant mariners used to man the strategic surge fleet.  Since DOD's organic fleet is maintained with partial crews until needed for real world operations, a loss of merchant mariners in commercial industry could risk bringing those ships to full operating status when the need arises.”

Adam Smith, famed free-market economist (speaking about the British precursor to the Jones Act), 1776
“There seem, however, to be two cases, in which it will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign, for the encouragement of domestic industry. … The first is, when some particular sort of industry is necessary for the defense of the country. The defense of Great Britain, for example, depends very much upon the number of its sailors and shipping. The act of navigation, therefore, very properly endeavors to give the sailors and shipping of Great Britain the monopoly of the trade of their own country, in some cases, by absolute prohibitions, and in others, by heavy burdens upon the shipping of foreign countries. … As defense, however, is of much more importance than opulence, the act of navigation is, perhaps, the wisest of all the commercial regulations of England.”


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