Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear

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Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear

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For nearly 100 years, a federal law known as the Jones Act has restricted water transportation of cargo between U.S. ports to ships that... Read More...
For nearly 100 years, a federal law known as the Jones Act has restricted water transportation of cargo between U.S. ports to ships that are U.S.-owned, crewed, registered, and built. While the law’s most direct consequence is to raise transportation costs, which are passed down through supply chains and ultimately reflected in higher retail prices, it generates enormous collateral damage through excessive wear and tear on the country’s infrastructure, time wasted in traffic congestion, and the accumulated health and environmental toll caused by unnecessary carbon emissions and hazardous material spills from trucks and trains.  Puerto Rico’s humanitarian crisis after Hurricane Maria renewed debate over the Jones Act, where critics claimed restrictions were delaying relief supplies. President Trump granted a temporary waiver of the law, which expired after 10 days. The goal of ensuring that domestic shipyards are capable of churning out new vessels in times of war to replace losses or add to the country’s firepower is also anachronistic. Read less

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08-05-2015
Wall Street Journal

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