- By Ashley Herriman
Senator John McCain, R.-Ariz, has filed an amendment to repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as The Jones Act, which requires that all goods shipped between waterborne ports of the United States be carried by vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans.
McCain’s amendement would be attached to Senate bill 2012 — the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 — which the Senate is considering this week.
“I have long advocated for a full repeal of The Jones Act, an antiquated law that has for too long hindered free trade, made U.S. industry less competitive and raised prices for American consumers,” McCain said. “The amendment I am introducing again today would eliminate this unnecessary, protectionist restriction.”
The text of the amendment seeks to redefine eligibility for “coastwise trade” by eliminating the current languagestating that a coastwise endorsement may only be issued to U.S. owned and crewed vessels.
“According to the Congressional Research Service, it costs $6 per barrel to move crude from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast United States on a Jones Act tanker, while a foreign-flag tanker can take that same crude to a refinery in Canada for $2 per barrel – taking money directly out of the pockets of American consumers,” McCain said. “I hope my colleagues will join in this important effort to repeal this archaic legislation to spur job creation and promote free trade.”