The Hocke Net
Bloomberg off base on Jones Act
January 3, 2013
didn’t take long for the first editorial calling for the abolishment of the Jones Act to
appear in 2013. On New Year’s Day, an opinion piece on Bloomberg View, “How a Disaster Called the Jones Act Blocks Disaster Relief: View,” said that the
Jones Act has outlived its usefulness.
editorial points out that President Obama had to temporarily suspend the
maritime law in order for foreign ships to help carry needed supplies to
Hurricane Sandy ravaged areas. “Within days of the president’s actions,
gasoline prices declined and filling station lines, which had required police
patrols to keep the peace, soon disappeared,” the editorial said.
That’s why the president has the ability to do that when a natural disaster
occurs. Looks to me like the system worked.
that’s not good enough, according to Bloomberg.
editorial goes on to say, “U.S. islands such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii, along
with the state of Alaska, feel the effects of the Jones Act more than most
scrap the Jones Act and see what happens to the oil and gas industry in the U.S. Gulf
of Mexico — a move that would affect every state in the U.S. Only the strongest
of second-tier shipyards would be able to survive when offshore service vessel
companies build their boats in Asia and elsewhere and then
send them to work in the U.S. Gulf. In addition, U.S.-based OSV companies would hire cheaper foreign workers or U.S. crews willing to work for far less than they are
receiving now in order to compete with foreign companies.
last thing the U.S. needs is thousands of shipyard workers and boat crews
either unemployed or underemployed. This is another way to move U.S. jobs
So. you don’t
believe it will happen? Ask yourself how many container ships and big tankers are built in
the U.S. Stripping away the Jones Act will change that scenario for the better?
Jones Act is not perfect. But letting everyone into the pool is not
the answer. A better system requires compromise — something this country is in
short supply of at the moment.