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Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska Join Call for Jones Act Reform
By News Release @ 9:11 PM :: 5837 Views :: Jones Act

Conference call on Jones Act

News Release from Office of Sen Rory Respicio, Guam Senate Majority Leader

April 9, 2015– The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones Act has been the source of decades of controversy and complaints that its restrictions on American shipping  outside of the continental U.S. drive up costs for U.S. areas such as Guam, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The controversy has been fueled by counter-claims by Guam shippers that the Jones Act makes it possible for goods to be regularly and reliably shipped to Guam.

Recent efforts undertaken in the Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Guam Legislatures seek to bring federal closure to this long-standing controversy. In the case of Puerto Rico, its legislators want to make sure that its complaints are shared with other U.S. jurisdictions affected by the law. The conference call titled the “Multi-Jurisdictional Jones Act Reform Forum,” will use Skype to connect the parties and has been scheduled for 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14 [Guam time].

Senator Respicio was asked to participate as a long time advocate of Jones Act change, having identified this as one of the major federal issues to be addressed by the Guam First Commission. In 2009, Respicio authored a Guam legislative resolution taking this position and followed it in the 32nd Guam Legislature with another resolution urging Delegate Bordallo to support any modifications which will be a benefit to the people of Guam. 

Senator Respicio has also urged the Guam Chamber of Commerce to update its position on the Jones Act as its applies to Guam consumers, and any benefits or consequences resulting from such changes to this federal law.

Senator Respicio joins a long list of officials from Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska in the teleconference. All other Guam Senators and the local media have also been invited to participate.

  *   *   *   *   *

Jones Act Videoconference with Puerto Rico, Alaska & Guam

News Release from Office of Sen Sam Slom April 9, 2015

WHAT:      A Multijurisdictional Videoconference Forum to Reform the Jones Act - "Cabotage Laws: Wall to Economic Development"

WHERE:    Hawaii Capitol Building, Room 414

WHEN:      Monday, April 13, 2015 at 12pm

Honolulu – On Monday, April 13, 2015 at 12pm in Room 414 of the Capitol Building, representatives and senators from Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam and Alaska will meet on a videoconference forum to discuss legislative action taken in each jurisdiction to obtain relief from the costs of the Jones Act.  This year Puerto Rico is hosting the forum and will officially release the findings of an investigative committee on the effects of the Jones Act.  Participants will also discuss the U.S. ship build exemption.  Videoconference participants include:

Puerto Rico:      

Senate President Eduardo Bhatia, Senate of Puerto Rico

The Honorable Rossana López León, Senator, Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico

José A. Pérez Vélez, Esq., Executive Director, Committee on Civil Rights, Democratic Participation & Social Economy, Senate of Puerto Rico


Hawaii Senate Minority Leader Senator Sam Slom

Other Hawaii legislators - TBA                    


The Honorable Rory J. Respicio, Senator, Legislature of Guam

Senator Tom Ada, Chairman for the Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure, Lands, Border Protection, Veterans' Affairs and Procurement


The Honorable John Bruce Coghill Jr., Majority Leader of the Alaska Senate

The participants are well versed in the effects the Jones Act has on their jurisdictions, and have each endeavored to raise awareness of the costs disproportionately imposed on their respective residents and businesses.  The purpose of this videoconference is to increase public awareness of the costs and effects of the Jones Act and put a collective position forward to the U.S. Congress, urging reform by way of an exemption from the domestic build requirement of the Act.

A press release with details will be available at the videoconference.

The public are urged to attend.


Puerto Rico Senate “Cabotaje muralla al desarrollo económico"

From Mike Hansen:

The Puerto Rico Senate is hosting their  “Cabotaje muralla al desarrollo económico"  (Cabotage wall to economic development) subtitled “foro sobre la ley de cabotaje donde se discutirán nuevas estrategias para abolir esta costosa restricción federal” (cabotage law forum where new strategies are discussed to abolish this costly federal restriction)  from 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015 Atlantic Standard Time (AST).

The event will include the four noncontiguous jurisdictions of the United States – Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico -- impacted by the federal cabotage laws including the Jones Act.  Proceedings will start in Alaska at 2:15 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (AKDL), Hawaii at 12:15 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST), and on Guam 8:15 a.m., Tuesday, April 14, 2015, Chamorro Standard Time (ChST) West of the International Date Line. 

In addition to those speakers listed on the agenda below, we also anticipate having Alaska State Senator John Coghill participate.

Public access to the event will be available on  the Puerto Rico Senate website where it will be live-streamed from 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday, April 13, 2015, AST:

Related: Hawaii-Alaska Senate Resolutions Urge Jones Act Exemption

LINK: News Release from Puerto Rico Senate (en Espanol)



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