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U.S. Flag Maritime ‘Sails In’ to Capitol Hill Once More

Meeting with Rep Rudy Yakym (R-IN, center) are, from left: Michael Gerhardt (Senior Director of Government Relations, Mike Hooks, LLC), Ray Henderson (Port Agent, Seafarers International Union), Owen Clarke (Government Relations Director, Crowley Maritime), and Mark Clements (Executive Secretary-Treasurer, MTD)

After a three year pandemic hiatus, supporters of the U.S.-flag maritime industry undertook the annual Sail-In on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C on March 30th. The event entailed educating lawmakers on important issues such as the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, offshore wind, and increasing the nation’s shipbuilding capabilities. While the event prioritized making introductions with new members of Congress, it was a welcome opportunity to thank legislators who already support a pro-U.S.-flag maritime policy agenda. 

Teams comprised of trade unionists, U.S.-flag shipping company representatives, and other affiliated groups canvassed the Congressional office buildings, visiting members of both houses of the legislature and both political parties. Over the course of the day, approximately 140 Sail-In participants reached almost 200 Congressional offices. 

Whether meeting directly with legislators or their staff, the Sail-In teams explained the importance of the U.S.-flag maritime industry to domestic industry and national defense. Each Congressional office received a packet of informational materials on the industry for future reference.

MTD President David Heindel and Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Clements participated in the event, as did retired Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan. Representatives from nearly every active Port Maritime Council were in attendance, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, South Florida, Mobile, New Orleans, Houston, Detroit, St. Louis, Michigan, Seattle, San Francisco, Southern California, and San Juan. 

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