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MTD President Testifies on Red Sea Shipping


MTD President David Heindel on Jan. 30 testified during a hearing conducted by the U.S. House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee. The hearing’s title was “Menace on the Red Sea: Securing Shipping Against Threats in the Red Sea.”

MTD President David Heindel

Joining Heindel on the four-person panel were Mediterranean Shipping Company Executive Vice President of Maritime Policy and Government Affairs Bud Darr; I.R. Consilium CEO Dr. Ian Ralby; and National Retail Federation Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold.

Heindel testified on behalf of not only the MTD but also the Seafarers International Union; American Maritime Officers; International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots; Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association and Transportation Trades Department.

“The United States Merchant Marine is proud of our record over the last quarter of a millennium,” Heindel stated in his formal testimony. “We have operated side-by-side with the United States military in virtually every conflict in the history of the United States. We provide the materiel and supplies to the warfighter and they, in turn, have protected our vessels and crews as we sail into harm’s way. While the current situation involves the Houthi rebels in Yemen, we may well face in the future more sophisticated adversaries. The experience we are gaining now has demonstrated to the U.S. citizen mariners who are in harm’s way that U.S. naval and other military personnel stand with them and will continue to do so.”

He added, “Working together again has strengthened the bond between the U.S. Merchant Marine and the military, and we hope our success will deter our adversaries from taking unwise action against American shipping. The efforts taken so far to protect our vessels in the region have demonstrated the United States is committed to protecting its shipping and keeping the sea lanes open, and we hope this will incentivize other carriers to put their vessels under the U.S.-flag and use American citizen mariners, as has happened in past conflicts. Our members aboard ship and our organizations ashore are committed to working with Congress, the Administration, and the Armed Forces to continue doing what has been our traditional mission – to deliver the goods, in peace and in war, as we have since 1775.”

The hearing lasted approximately two hours. A complete video of the event is available on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee website HERE. That web page also includes links to the written testimony submitted by each panelist, as well as text of the opening statement by Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Webster (R-Florida).

Most of the hearing consisted of a question-and-answer period, during which a dozen or so subcommittee members posed inquiries to the panelists.

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