The Jones Act, enacted in 1920, requires ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports to be completely American. The crew and vessel need to be from the United States. The idea is to protect the domestic shipping industry.
But some people feel it is driving up prices and causing issues within the industry. However, there are still benefits to this act that supporters say make it an important provision.
Supporters argue that the Jones Act helps to preserve American jobs. It keeps domestic shipping completely with the United States, which means companies have no choice but to hire U.S. workers.
If the Jones Act did not exist, it would introduce foreign players into the system. It could allow influence that would drive up prices and reduce the American workforce.
They also point out that the act helps protect the country. It keeps the domestic shipping industry running strong, which also provides a support system to the military.
Letting foreigners into the system could give other nations the ability to impact the security and stability of the American supply chain. It could also cause a foreign actor to have some sway within the U.S. economy.
The Jones Act also helps strengthen the supply chain. It enables a strong network that provides shipping even if other aspects of the supply chain are suffering. The act ensured this aspect of the system stays moving and provides effective shipping during critical times.
While there are some arguments against the Jones Act that make sense, in general, supporters have made some strong points for why it is an essential protocol.