Friday, June 9, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, February 10, 2017
Jones Act and Maritime Security Program
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 11:10 PM :: 5138 Views :: Jones Act, Military

Thoughts on the Jones Act

From Grassroot Institute  February 10, 2017

For many years, the Grassroot Institute has been at the forefront of organizations calling for Jones Act reform. Until recently, it has been a fairly lonely place to be. However, as interest in the economic effect of the Act has increased (especially due to the economic crisis in Puerto Rico), we find ourselves with new allies.

The objections to reform, however, remain the same. The most powerful political opponents to reform are the unions, with some help from the trial lawyers. The unions are bound to fight any threat to union interests -- here the shipyard workers and seamen whose jobs are protected by the Act. The lawyers aren't directly affected by the cabotage provisions that reformers seek to change, but worry about a contagious effect on the provision of the Act that allows seamen to bring personal injury suits against ship owners.

If union interests and lawsuits were the only arguments in favor of the Jones Act, it might have been possible to modernize it years ago. Those are the lobbyists defending the antiquated Act, but its most powerful PR argument is based in national defense. The Jones Act, we are told, ensures shipbuilding capabilities and a strong merchant marine, both of which are vital to our national interest.

You can cite the failure of the Act to promote shipbuilding and the declining merchant fleet repeatedly. You can point to the shuttering of shipyards and their paltry production levels. But as long as the "national interest" argument holds water, reform will be an uphill climb.

But what if there were ways to preserve that interest outside of the Jones Act?

The Maritime Security Program, expanded by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2003, requires the Secretaries of Transportation and Defense to establish a fleet of 60 privately-owned, commercially viable, and militarily useful active ships to meet national defense requirements. Members of this program must make their ships available during national emergencies and times of war.

It's true that this program only addresses part of the Jones Act's concern regarding the merchant marine, but that doesn't have to be the case. If it is possible to address the national security concerns of the Jones Act through other, more efficient and effective legislation, then we might clear the path to modernizing the Act.

E hana kakou (Let's work together!),

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President/CEO Grassroot Institute


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii