The domestic maritime industry is vital to U.S. economic security, homeland security, and national security interests. The Jones Act (Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920) ensures that this essential industry remains under American control by requiring that vessels moving cargo in U.S. domestic commerce be owned by American citizens, crewed by American mariners, and built in American shipyards.
AWO strongly supports the Jones Act as a commercial and public policy success and as the statutory foundation of a uniquely American industry. The nation’s domestic maritime industry is an economic engine and a jobs creator which supports 500,000 jobs and provides $100 billion in economic output. Because of the Jones Act, domestic maritime companies are making multi-billion dollar investments in vessels, shoreside facilities, and technology to meet the needs of their customers in every sector of the U.S. economy.
Underpinned by the Jones Act, the domestic maritime industry also supports U.S. national and homeland security. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy strongly support the domestic maritime industry – and the Jones Act as its statutory foundation – because strong vessel operating companies, a skilled, available supply of mariners, and a robust shipyard industrial base are critical force multipliers that the U.S. government must have, but could not sustain, without the commercial domestic maritime industry.
U.S. Mariners Rescue 500,000 Americans from Manhattan on September 11, 2001
BOATLIFT - An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience On Spetember 11, 2001, desperate survivors made their way to the tip of Manhattan, where dozens of tugboats, ferry boats and working vessels answered the call for help. In the end, this group of mariners saved more than half a million people in under 10 hours -- the largest domestic maritime rescue in U.S. history.