The United States has federal legislation in place to protect American maritime workers, and keep the country safe from potential invasion from foreign countries. The Jones Act is an essential part of national security, as it prohibits foreign countries and vessels from doing business within the coastlines of the country. Many people are in disagreement, however, about proposed changes to the Jones Act. While some people in the domestic maritime industry are in approval of the changes, people who have interest in the oil industry are against the revisions.
According to The Jones Act, only a U.S. build vessel crewed by U.S. workers and owned by American companies can transport cargo between any two points in the country. Contrary to these regulations, however, foreign construction vessels have been able to freely operate off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Outer U.S. Continental Shelf.
The American Maritime Partnership has made comments in support of proposed changes by U.S. Customs to disallow foreign ships to work off the coast. Making sure that the laws contained in The Jones Act are properly enforced ensures that domestic trade is conducted legally and that U.S. vessels do not have to compete against foreign vessels. This protects American jobs and economy.
When people feel as though their rights in the maritime industry have been overlooked, they may want to obtain counsel from an attorney. A lawyer who understands this area of law may be able to answer vital questions and point people in the right direction when it comes to pursuing legal action.
Source: gCaptain, “U.S. Maritime Industry Stands Behind Jones Act Ruling Letter Changes,” Apr. 18, 2017.