Kudos To John McCain re: Jones Act

I am not a fan of Arizona’s senior senator, but don’t say I won’t give him his due when he does something laudatory… Let’s just make it a more frequent occurrence, ok?

“Thus, under the Jones Act, shipping prices (as well as those for the goods shipped) rise and the U.S. fleet degrades…

Moreover, the Act has proven to be a significant and costly obstacle in times of real emergency. Most recently, the deep freeze of 2014 saw New Jersey exhaust its supply of road salt, imperiling the lives of local travelers. Such salt was available in Maine, but it was delayed for days because of the requirement that only U.S. ships could engage in coastwise trade to carry the shipment—even though an empty foreign ship was available and headed to Newark. The government denied a request to waive the Jones Act and use the foreign ship to supply the much-needed road salt. By the time a Jones Act barge was found to carry the salt, the cost of the operation had grown by $700,000. Sorry about those icy roads, New Jersey, but the shipping industry and unions gotta get paid…

McCain’s amendment to repeal the Jones Act is a common-sense solution to the problems facing a key American industry and the pain of the U.S. economy… Efforts to dispense with this archaic protectionist boondoggle will no doubt meet fierce resistance from entrenched interests, labor unions, and opponents of free trade. However, those same groups stand only to benefit from efforts to make the U.S. fleet more competitive and less costly. American mariners have what it takes to compete on a global scale, and they should be given the chance…”