Tell It to Congress

January 21st 2015

Send this letter to your member of Congress to protect your job!


Find Your Senator:

I am writing to urge you to oppose the amendment sponsored by Senator John McCain that would severely weaken America’s domestic maritime industry and send thousands of American jobs overseas. His proposed amendment (amendment #2) to the legislation authorizing the Keystone Pipeline would, threaten and weaken the economic, and military security of the United States.

If Senator McCain’s amendment were to pass, vessels built in foreign shipyards by foreign workers would be granted unprecedented access to carry domestic cargo between America’s ports. Today, America’s domestic shipping statutes (i.e., the Jones Act) generate approximately 400,000 jobs for American workers engaged in the construction, maintenance and repair of vessels for the domestic trades, the operation of these vessels under the United States-flag, and in related service and supply industries. Were this amendment to pass, these economic benefits would instead accrue to foreign countries and their foreign companies and workers, forcing thousands of American maritime workers into the ranks of the unemployed.

It is especially important to understand that the requirement in the Jones Act to build commercial vessels in the United States is intended to ensure that our country maintains its overall shipbuilding capability. If there are insufficient or no shipyards building commercial vessels, our overall shipbuilding capability will decline to the point where there is insufficient capacity to construct Naval vessels. In fact, this is precisely what the Jones Act build requirement is intended to prevent. To do otherwise, to adopt Senator McCain’s amendment, would put the United States in the same position as Great Britain, which has essentially lost the capability to build its own ships.

Finally, the operation of U.S.-flag vessels in the domestic trades as required by the Jones Act helps ensure that our nation will have the cadre of civilian American merchant mariners needed by the Department of Defense in time of war or other international emergency. American troops and their families have the right to know that the equipment, material and supplies needed to protect America’s interests overseas will be carried by American ships with American crews, and not left to the political or ideological whim of foreign companies and foreign crews.

We ask that you support American rather than foreign shipping companies and shipyards; promote American rather than foreign maritime and shipbuilding jobs; and support America’s troops by ensuring they will continue to be served by American mariners, not be dependent on foreign ships and foreign crews. Senator McCain’s legislation represents a threat to the economic and military security of our Nation and should be rejected.


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