Please answer original forum with a minimum of 250 words and respond to both students separately with a minimum of 100 words each
First page Original Forum with references
Second page Said response with references
Third page Sabrina response with references
Has the Jones Act outlived its purpose? What governmental policies and regulations could enhance the prosperity derived from ports and their operations?
The last one hundred plus years lots have changed. The world has seen two full scale world wars with millions of lives lost, countries destroyed, and new borders shaped on the global map. After each world war global community implemented the lessons learned to better the obsolete system. One of the results of those innovations is today’s global trade and outsourcing. Making products elsewhere for a fraction of its price, transport it across the globe fast and cheap, satisfy the consumer, and last but not the least increase of the bottom line are undeniable reality of our days. If we talk from this standpoint, no doubt that the fundamentals of the Jones Act sound obsolete. The number of vessels made in the United States nowadays is a small fraction of what is produced around the world annually. Commercial vessels owned by different countries hire multinational crew to get the job done. Vessels might sail under the flag of one country and may be owned by the citizen of totally different country. It looks like globalism already being “practiced” in maritime transportation. The subject of abolishment of the Jones Act sounds very attractive for the sake of the high profits and low cost for all.
Well, to me if the Jones Act is alive in today’s business environment, it means there must be a good reason for it to exist. One of the reasons is perhaps the national security of the US. Millions of containers full with “who knows what” hit the US ports annually. Does anyone feel fully comfortable letting the foreign carrier with foreign cargo to service deliveries to all our ports? Especially after the attacks of 9/11? If we look at the Jones Act from this perspective it might not seem too old to be tossed just yet. In my view, the Jones Act could benefit the US with amendments appropriate in today’s commerce. Liberalization of the economic touch of the Act and stronger emphasis on the national security side of it could prolong use of the Jones Act for many years to come. Doing this, in my opinion, would make the US carriers competitive, deliveries to the consumers cheaper, and our country safer.
The Jones Act or the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, in some aspects has outlived its purpose. It has outlived its purpose of ensuring the existence of a thriving commercial shipping industry owned by the United States (Cornell Law School, n.d.). This aspect of the policy requires vessels with cargo going from U.S. ports to another U.S. port to have been both built and owned by the U.S. (Cornell Law School, n.d.). This portion of the act is no longer relevant and requires additional unnecessary steps to ensure compliance. For example, roughly two percent of freight within the United States is found to travel by sea (Grabow et al., 2018). Additionally, places like Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico experience significant limitations contributed by the Jones Act. Given their locations, the Jones Act restricts the convenance of foreign trade routes while causing significant inflated transportation costs (Grabow et al., 2018). While portions of the Jones Act are outdated, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act provides benefits that should continue in the future (Cornell Law School, n.d.). The statue extends the Federal Employer’s Liability Act to all seamen, creating a positive impact for the port workers (Cornell Law School, n.d.). Given this, the Jones Act should be reformed, and only continue to cover seaman who are injured.
The governmental policy that could enhance the prosperity derived from ports and their operations is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, 2022). President Biden introduced this bill to invest $17 billion in both ports and waterways (U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, 2022). The government awards these grants on a competitive basis (U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, 2022). The competitive nature will help ports increase their overall efficiency and greatly improve the supply chain within their respective areas, while contributing to the overall economy (U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, 2022).
Cornell Law School. (n.d.) Jones Act. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/jones_act#:~:text=The%20Merchant%20Marine%20Act%20of,See%2046%20USC%20%C2%A7%2050101).
Grabow, C., Manak, I., & Ikenson, D. (2018). The Jones Act: A burden America can no longer bear. CATO Institute. https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/jones-act-burden-america-can-no-longer-bear
U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration. (2022). President Biden and U.S. Department of Transportation announce historic new funding to strengthen port infrastructure and supply chain resiliency. https://www.maritime.dot.gov/newsroom/press-releases/president-biden-and-us-department-transportation-announce-historic-new