From the head of the U.S. Department of Transportation to the member of Congress representing southwestern Alabama, more officials are voicing their support for the Jones Act, the nation’s freight cabotage law.
“My boss is on the record supporting the Jones Act, and so am I,” stated Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx during an April 3 presentation to the American Waterways Operators (AWO).
“I will do everything in my power to defend the Jones Act,” he added.
AWO President and CEO Thomas Allegretti saluted Foxx’s support. Allegretti, who spoke at the MTD Executive Board meeting in February, said his organization appreciated the secretary’s comments on “the necessity of preserving the Jones Act, which serves as the foundation of our vibrant and vital industry.”
In addition, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) wrote his constituents on the importance of a strong maritime industry for jobs in southwestern Alabama.
“The Jones Act mandates that all goods sent from an American port and bound for another be owned and operated by American merchants – and for good reason,” Byrne noted in an April 4 release. “This has a huge positive effect on local economies, ensuring that American ships and American jobs are being kept at home for commerce between American ports.
“The Jones Act is also vitally important to our national security, which is why every modern administration has supported it. American shipyards, vessels and sailors provide for secure domestic commerce on our waterways and provide our navy with a reserve component in times of war.”
The first-year congressman continued, “As our representative, I am committed to supporting this industry with a major economic impact in our area. A vibrant and thriving domestic shipping economy means Alabama jobs, greater prosperity and opportunity for all of my constituents.”