PENDING BILL WOULD AUTHORIZE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR MSP IN CONTEXT OF OIL EXPORTS
Legislation that would strengthen America’s security and increase employment by allowing crude oil exports would also provide a significant boost for the Maritime Security Program (MSP). Included in the oil export legislation (HR 702) is a provision that would authorize the additional funding needed to stabilize the MSP and preserve its maritime security fleet of 60 militarily useful commercial U.S.-flag vessels through Fiscal Year 2021.
The additional funding is necessary to compensate for the significant reduction in defense and other government cargoes available to the U.S.-flag fleet as well as the increasing competition from flag-of-convenience vessels that do not meet U.S. labor and operational standards.
Without the funding authorized by this legislation, the ability of the maritime security fleet to support American troops overseas and to protect and support the military security of the United States and its allies will be weakened as U.S.-flag vessels will be forced to consider leaving the U.S. flag and outsourcing our jobs to foreign mariners.
The oil export legislation with the MSP provision is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives within the next week. MM&P, MIRAID, our contracted MSP shipping companies and the other maritime unions are working together in strong support of this bill. Our industry’s letter to Congress urging Members of the House of Representatives to vote for HR 702 is posted here.