Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jones Act Repeal Would Hurt Jacksonville Shipping Companies

Sen. John McCain’s proposed repeal of an 80-year-old maritime law could, if passed, shake up Jacksonville’s most entrenched trade lane and endanger three hometown shipping companies dependent on it. McCain, R-Ariz., argues that requiring all goods shipped between the nation’s ports to be transported by U.S.-built ships and sailed by American crews is protectionist and raises prices by excluding foreign competition. Supporters of the Jones Act counter that the law preserves security and the domestic maritime industries. The repeal of the law “would be devastating,” said Fred Schloth, Sea Star Line LLC’s assistant vice president of marketing. “When you look at [shipping] rates to Puerto Rico, they’re already competitive and can’t come down more.” Read more: Jones Act repeal would hurt local shipping firms - Jacksonville Business Journal

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