Both U.S. senators as well as three members of Congress representing Louisiana strongly reaffirmed their support for the Jones Act in a joint statement released April 8.
Standing together in solidarity for the nation’s freight cabotage law were U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D) and David Vitter (R). Joining them were U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany (R), Steve Scalise (R) and Cedric Richmond (D) in pointing out Louisiana ranks first nationally in maritime jobs per capita according to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Transportation Institute. The study showed one out of every 83 jobs in the Pelican State is connected to its domestic maritime industry.
“Maritime is one of the largest industries in Louisiana,” stated Landrieu. “But we wouldn’t be standing here today to tout this economic prowess of the maritime industry in Louisiana if it weren’t for the Jones Act.
“The Jones Act is a jobs act – pure and simple,” the state’s senior senator added.
Her fellow senator, Vitter, declared the maritime jobs in his home state “aren’t just important to our state’s economy – they play an incredibly vital role in our national economy. I support the Jones Act because it protects those jobs here in Louisiana, as well as our national security.”
The bipartisan support for the U.S. maritime industry and the Jones Act continued from those serving in the House of Representatives.
“I’ll continue to support the Jones Act and stand with my congressional colleagues, determined to protect and develop the maritime industry,” said Boustany, whose district includes the southwestern corner of the state.
According to Scalise, who represents the area surrounding New Orleans, “Waterborne commerce and our nation’s maritime base are vital to America’s economy, security and quality of life. I’m proud to stand in support of the Jones Act, which is critical to our national security and a public policy success.”
Richmond, who was a founder and is co-chair of the Congressional Maritime Caucus, noted, “The maritime industry is a cornerstone of the American economy, and the Jones Act is essential in sustaining that viability. The Jones Act ensures that these jobs remain American jobs.
The chairman of the coalition of U.S.-flag shippers, builders, companies and unions – Thomas Allegretti – saluted the Louisiana delegation for its continued support. “We are pleased to call them partners in working to strengthen the industry so that it continues to provide critical jobs as well as significant national and homeland security contributions upon which our nation depends.”