Cato Jones Act policy forum regarding Puerto Rico
by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, May 31, 2019
The Cato Institute held an hour and one-half long Policy Forum in the Hayek Auditorium at their Washington, D.C., headquarters, on the afternoon of April 30, 2019, to discuss the impact of the Jones Act on Puerto Rico.
The forum was entitled, “Unnatural Disaster: Assessing the Jones Act’s Impact on Puerto Rico,” and moderated by Anne Krueger, Senior Research Professor of International Economics, School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. The panel participants were Vicente Feliciano, Founder and President, Advantage Business Consulting; John Dunham, President, John Dunham & Associates; and, Luis Rivera Marín, Secretary of State, Government of Puerto Rico.
Anne Krueger is an American economist. She was the World Bank Chief Economist from 1982 to 1986, and the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2001 to 2006. She is currently the senior research professor of international economics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. She also is a senior fellow of Center for International Development (also was the founding Director) and the Herald L. and Caroline Ritch Emeritus Professor of Sciences and Humanities' Economics Department at Stanford University.
In 2015, Puerto Rico’s former Governor Alejandro García Padilla commissioned a study of the Commonwealth’s financial situation by former officials at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The lead author was Anne Krueger, the title of the report, “Puerto Rico’s Growth and Macroeconomic Situation and Prospects,” and among many other things recommended that Puerto Rico be exempted from the Jones Act.
In late 2018, the industry trade association, Camara de Mercadeo, Industria y Distribucion de Alimentos, known by its Spanish acronym, MIDA, and in English, the Puerto Rico Chamber of Food Marketing, Industry & Distribution, commissioned two studies of the impact of the Jones Act on Puerto Rico. The reports of those studies were released in February 2019 and were the main topic of discussion at the Cato policy forum. The lead authors of the two studies were panel participants.
Vicente Feliciano, Founder and President, of Advantage Business Consulting (ABC), produced the, “Analysis of Issues Related to Maritime Transportation to Puerto Rico.” Feliciano is a resident of Puerto Rico and ABC a local business consultancy in San Juan, the capital of the island Commonwealth.
John Dunham, President, John Dunham & Associates (JDA), produced the, “The Jones Act: A Legacy of Economic Ruin for Puerto Rico.” JDA is an economic consultancy located in Brooklyn, New York.
The video of the forum and a transcript are available at the linked website.
Related: How the Jones Act has cost Puerto Rico dearly, and Hawaii, too