You may recall the Jones Act and the America’s Cup from 2011. With the Jones Act again coming under scrutiny, it is timely to remember that those most directly affected by the act are seafarers.
Over the years, lawmakers and presidents have proposed making somewhat controversial changes to the Jones Act. Some have gone so far as to recommend repealing it entirely as Senator John McCain did in 2015. He described the law as archaic and claimed that it restricts economic growth and drives up prices for consumers by limiting the extent to which foreign-flagged ships can move goods through the U.S.
The Jones Act has been in the news again recently as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made a move to revise or reverse more than 30 interpretive rulings of the law that date back to 1976. These mostly relate to offshore operations through the extension of the Jones Act called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The changes could have far-reaching consequences, and many, including the Trump administration, are concerned they will limit offshore growth and tonnage. The administration has put a temporary freeze on any changes to the rulings so that they can be reviewed.
Read on.