Rep. John Garamendi's Statement on the 100th Anniversary of the Jones Act
JONES ACT 100TH ANNIVERSARY HON. JOHN GARAMENDI OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, June 4, 2020
Mr. GARAMENDI. Madam Speaker, tomor- row June 5 marks the 100th anniversary of the Jones Act, our nation’s federal law guaran- teeing a fleet of US-built, flagged, crewed, and owned vessels ready to serve the American people.
The current coronavirus global pandemic has reminded us all the critical importance of this foundational federal law and having a vi- brant US-flagged maritime industry. The global maritime trade ground to a halt due to quar- antine, and countries like China ordered their government-sponsored enterprises to stop all exports of critical medicine and medical sup- plies, including personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and first responders.
The Jones Act ensures that our nation can remain self-reliant during peace time and times of conflict. In California alone, the US- flagged maritime industry supports more than $12.2 billion annually in economic impact re- lated to the American domestic shipping in- dustry and over 51,000 good-paying jobs. Na- tionally, the domestic maritime industry sup- ports 648,220 American jobs with approxi- mately 40,000 vessels in the American do- mestic fleet.
Madam Speaker, most major developed countries including the European Union have cabotage laws like the Jones Act. Congress must continue to support our nation’s maritime workforce by upholding the Jones Act and op- posing deeply misguided efforts to undermine it. As a member of both the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Armed Services, I plan to con- tinue to do just that.
I hope all members of Congress will join me in that important work. In closing, I wish to mark this important milestone for the Jones Act by thanking the thousands of Americans working in our nation’s maritime industry. I thank them for their invaluable work, day in, day out.