Issues & Advocacy

Jones Act

The domestic maritime industry is vital to U.S. economic security, homeland security, and national security. 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 – the entire “Jones Act fleet” –  supports 500,000 American jobs and provides $100 billion in economic output; and the tugboat, towboat and barge companies within that fleet support over 300,000 American jobs and transport over 760 million tons of cargo annually. 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.
The American Waterways Operators works closely with its partners at the American Maritime Partnership to educate policymakers, the media and the public on the importance of the Jones Act to the nation. Learn more about AMP here: