Letter to Congress Template

March 18th 2020

Dear Senator/Congressman*** –

As Congress and the Administration put together economic stimulus legislation in response to COVID-19, I strongly urge you to oppose any use of taxpayers’ monies to bail out or otherwise assist the foreign flag cruise ship industry. These companies register their vessels in foreign countries and fly foreign flags. They do this to avoid hiring American crews, to avoid American labor laws and standards, and to avoid paying taxes in the United States. I strongly urge that Congress refuse to provide any bail-out or financial assistance to these companies until and unless they agree to operate their ships under the United States-flag and to employ Americans in all capacities on their vessels.

At the same time, it is extremely important that Congress provide assistance to help local ferry operations – – such as the Alaska Marine Highway System, Washington State Ferries or Staten Island Ferries – and other domestic ferry boat operators that are impacted by COVID-19 but that, unlike the large cruise ship industry, employ American workers. Domestic ferry systems are an essential part of our transportation infrastructure – not party boats – and they abide by American labor laws and standards and generate tax revenues for the United States.

The focus of any stimulus legislation should be on assisting the American worker, including those working in the United States maritime industry. Foreign cruise lines that provide no benefit to the United States should not receive any bail-out from the American taxpayer.