Working to create and preserve American jobs, Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings (D, MD-7) and Jeff Landry (R, LA-3) introduced the American Mariners Job Protection Act (H.R. 3202), a bill with bipartisan support that will increase government transparency surrounding the issuance of waivers allowing non-Jones Act-qualified vessels to carry cargo between U.S. ports.
Under current law, when the head of the agency responsible for the administration of the Jones Act believes it necessary to waive the Act’s requirements in the interest of national defense, the agency must request the Maritime Administration to assess whether Jones Act-qualified vessels are available to carry the cargo under consideration.
The American Mariners Job Protection Act would require the Maritime Administration to include in such assessments information on the actions that could be taken to enable Jones Act-qualified vessels to carry the cargo for which the Jones Act waiver is sought. The Maritime Administration would also be required to publish its determinations on its website. Further, the American Mariners Job Protection Act would require notification to be provided to Congress when a waiver is requested or issued.