Last week, Sen. John McCain, R-Az., introduced legislation that would revise the Jones Act, which requires that all goods shipped between U.S. ports be moved by U.S.-built, -owned and -operated vessels. It is the second time in about 18 months that McCain has introduced a Senate bill to amend or repeal the act.
“I have long advocated the repeal of the Jones Act, an archaic and burdensome law that hinders free trade, stifles the economy, and ultimately harms consumers,” McCain said in a statement. “My legislation would eliminate this regulation, freeing American shippers from the requirement that they act against their own business interests. By allowing U.S. shippers to purchase affordable foreign-made carriers, this legislation would reduce shipping costs, make American farmers and businesses more competitive in the global marketplace, and bring down the cost of goods and services for American consumers.
“The protectionist mentality embodied by the Jones Act directly contradicts the lessons we have learned about the benefits of a free and open market. Free trade expands economic growth, creates jobs, and lowers costs for consumers. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and finally repeal the outdated and protectionist Jones Act.”
McCain has been working for years to revise and repeal the Jones Act. He first introduced legislation to repeal the Jones Act in the Senate in 2010, and most recently introduced an amendment in the 114th Congress in January 2016 that would waive Jones Act requirements for oil and gas tankers.
Full text of the Open America’s Waters Act of 2017 legislation is available here.