On January 25, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order titled Strengthening ‘Buy American’ Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers. The Executive Order echoes President Biden’s strong support of the Jones Act, the 100-year-old law that requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned, and operated by U.S. citizens.
Following the Executive Order, the White House issued a statement: “The President will continue to be a strong advocate for the Jones Act and its mandate that only U.S.-flag vessels carry cargo between U.S. ports, which supports American production and America’s workers.”
President Biden’s action has received broad support from various maritime business leaders, including The American Maritime Partnership, American Maritime Officers, American Waterways Operators, Crowley Maritime, Dredging Contractors of America, Federal Pilots of Louisiana, Florida Maritime Partnership, Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, Interlake Maritime Services, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, Kirby Corporation, Lake Carriers’ Association, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, Matson Inc., Offshore Marine Service Association, Pasha Hawaii and The Pasha Group, Seafarers International Union, Shipbuilders Council of America, Transportation Institute, TOTE, and the Wisconsin Domestic Maritime Coalition.
President Joe Biden’s pick for U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, has already expressed his support for the Jones Act during his confirmation hearing. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Senate Commerce Committee’s ranking member, pressed Buttigieg for his position. He responded, “Yes, I share your support for the Jones Act. It is so important to a maritime industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as a shipbuilding industry here in the U.S.”
The U.S. Transportation Department issued a statement reiterating its strong support of the President’s Executive Order and the Jones Act, stating:
“We look forward to implementing President Biden’s Made in America executive order that will ensure transportation-related capital purchases, equipment, and supplies are acquired when available. In addition, we will also ensure that the President’s strong support of the Jones Act is realized so that only U.S.-flag vessels carry cargo between U.S. ports. With these goals in mind, the Department stands ready to help President Biden create good-paying, union jobs, and strengthen the middle class.”
The attorneys at BoatLaw, LLP are proud of the firm’s long history representing mariners, including Jones Act seamen, along the West Coast and across the world for over forty years. The firm’s admiralty lawyers have a unique understanding of maritime law and the perils faced by seamen. ACW&N stands ready to assist.