SJR17 Urges Congress to Exempt Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico & Guam from Jones Act
News Release from Alaska Senate, March 27, 2015
JUNEAU - Under Alaska Statute 44.19.035, the governor shall use his “best efforts” and “all appropriate means” to persuade the United States Congress to repeal the Jones Act (an Act responsible for increased shipping costs to Alaska). To assist with that effort, Senate Majority Leader John Coghill, R-North Pole, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 17. SJR17 is the product of a continual, cooperative effort with officials in Hawaii. The joint resolution urges Congress and the federal government to exempt Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam from the Jones Act.
"The Jones Act was originally meant to protect the shipping industry and maritime trade, but almost a century has gone by and it's easy to see that the law does not serve its original purpose,” said Senator Coghill. “Today, the effect of the Jones Act is that people in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam pay significantly more than the rest of the country for everyday necessities.”
SJR17 implores Alaska’s Congressional Delegation to team up with other non-contiguous US entities to pass federal legislation to waive sections of the Jones Act which require ships transporting cargo between two US ports be built in the United States, and manned and primarily owned by US citizens.
“Whether its groceries, medication, furniture, or almost anything you can think of, an estimated 90-percent of the merchandise for more than three-quarters of Alaska's population comes through the Port of Anchorage,” said Senator Coghill. “Right now, the Jones Act bans a cargo ship filled with goods from Asia from making more than one stop in the US at a time. It can't stop in Alaska to exchange goods before heading to Los Angeles or other US ports. As you can imagine, this adds exponentially to the costs of getting everyday items to Alaskans.”
SJR17 was referred to the Senate Transportation Committee for further consideration.
Hawaii SR10 (Text, Status) -- "Request Congressional Exemption from the U.S.-build requirement of the Jones Act in the noncontiguous domestic trade of Hawaii for large self-propelled oceangoing ships, joined by Alaska and Puerto Rico"
Hawaii SCR34 (Text, Status) -- "Request Congressional Exemption from the U.S.-build requirement of the Jones Act in the noncontiguous domestic trade of Hawaii for large self-propelled oceangoing ships, joined by Alaska and Puerto Rico"
MV: Alaska state senator seeks Jones Act exemption