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BIDEN PRIORITIZES SUPPORT FOR THE JONES ACT IN “BUY AMERICAN” EXECUTIVE ORDER

January 27th 2021

The US-flag fleet is applauding an Executive Order signed by President Joe Biden on Jan. 25 that confirms his administration’s policy of strongly supporting American maritime workers and the companies serving the domestic trades under the Jones Act.

“The Executive Order reiterates the President’s strong support of the Jones Act, a law that is a foundation for US economic and national security,” the American Maritime Partnership said in a press release.

The members of AMP include America’s maritime unions and the domestic shipping companies, as well as allied organizations such as MIRAID.

The Jones Act requires that cargo moving between two US points be carried on American-built, -owned and -crewed vessels.

Long supported by broad bipartisan majorities in Congress and top US national security officials —including in a “Sense of Congress” motion in the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act—the Jones Act promotes the maintenance of the nation’s vitally important maritime industrial base, ensuring that American jobs are not shipped overseas and that the assets underlying our defense capabilities are not outsourced to foreign nations.

A summary of the Executive Order recognizes the recent signing of the NDAA as “an opportunity to invest in America’s workers as we build offshore renewable energy, in line with the President’s goals to build our clean energy future here in America.”

“We enthusiastically applaud this decision by President Biden to reaffirm his support for the Jones Act as a component of his Administration’s commitment to strong Buy American policies,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“His expression of support sends a clear message that the domestic maritime industry and the thousands of union men and women who build and operate these vessels are critical to the economic and military security of our nation.”

“[H]earing this support from the White House means a lot,” said Matson Chairman and CEO Matt Cox.

“We take our role seriously and appreciate knowing that we have the support of the White House.”

“The White House has taken unprecedented action that supports the Great Lakes economy and homeland security,” said Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers’ Association.

“This Executive Order creates jobs and protects the pilot light of the nation’s manufacturing base, which is the Great Lakes maritime industry.”

America’s maritime industry employs nearly 650,000 people across all 50 US states and territories, and contributes $154 billion annually to the nation’s economic growth.

Each year, the 40,000 vessels that comprise the Jones Act fleet move roughly a quarter of the nation’s freight along domestic waterways, across the Great Lakes, and over the oceans to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the US territories.