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FMC Commissioner: The value of U.S.-flag ships and the Jones Act cannot be overstated

This opinion piece is by William Doyle, a commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. It is published in Foll At Maritime Executive.

With Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate, it has been a tough hurricane season, but the U.S. Merchant Marine has once again answered the call. In fact, but for the Jones Act and the U.S. Merchant Marine, things could have been a lot worse. A review of recent U.S.-flag maritime policy and practice demonstrates the importance of Jones Act shipping.

Over the past two decades the U.S. Merchant Marine and its Jones Act companies have responded effectively to every major maritime-accessible conflict and disaster that challenged the United States. By way of example, following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, nearly 500,000 people were trapped below the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. There was no way out except to swim or find a boat. The U.S. Merchant Marine went to work. In less than nine hours, Jones Act companies rearranged their voyages and sent vessels straight to the island of Manhattan. Hundreds of thousands of people were rescued and taken to safety by Jones Act ships, mariners and companies. It was largest boat lift evacuation in history – moving more people by boat than in the 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk, France.

More at at Maritime Executive

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