Let’s Keep Our Maritime Industry Strongby Representative Derek Kilmer
Posted on 2015-01-22
KILMER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call on Congress to oppose
efforts that would undermine our domestic maritime industry and
Ninety-five years ago, Congress recognized the critical importance of maintaining a strong domestic maritime fleet by passing the Merchant Marine Act, also known as the Jones Act.
Congress is now considering unraveling a law that has played a key role in ensuring the development of a robust shipyard industrial base that supports our national economy, our military, and our homeland security.
The Jones Act has also guaranteed that the United States has highly trained and skilled mariners who can be called into service during times of national emergency so America can build ships for America.
We saw how commercial vessels flying the American flag played a major role in providing the mariners needed to operate sealift vessels activated from reserve status in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
This is about American jobs. In 2012, the maritime industry employed more than 57,000 workers and supported $15.2 billion in gross business income in Washington State alone. In the Pacific Northwest, we understand the importance of the Jones Act.
Why would Congress kill good American jobs? Mr. Speaker, I am hopeful that Congress will reject efforts to undermine the Jones Act and I will continue working with my colleagues to show our strong support for our country's domestic maritime industry and its workers.