After reviewing and analyzing the growth of the Chinese maritime
industry during the 21st century, the Navy League of the Unites States
is calling for a renewed commitment to preserve and strengthen the
U.S.-flag fleet, including domestic shipbuilding.
Released October 22, the report – China’s Use of Maritime for Global
Power Demands a Strong Commitment to American Maritime – shows how
China has subsidized its shipbuilding capabilities and its
intercontinental trade routes to promote and protect its commercial
and military operations.
It further demonstrates how the United States has reduced its
commitment to the U.S.-flag fleet to the point that the report
questions whether the country could be facing the same dire
shipbuilding situation as occurred in the United Kingdom, Canada and
The document strongly supports the Jones Act, the nation’s freight
cabotage law. It pointed out the recent series of attacks on the law
as misguided, noting 91 nations have some sort of cabotage laws.
“In context, any weakening of the Jones Act would diminish the
nation’s seafaring and shipbuilding industrial base and make America
less secure,” the report states.
The Navy League document calls for more domestic shipbuilding from
expansion of the tanker fleet to vessels useful for both the military
and commercial fleets. It calls on Congress to pass the Energizing
American Shipbuilding Act, which “could generate thousands of new
In conclusion, the report adds, “We must take inventory of today’s
American maritime industry, preserve what we have, identify what we
need, and chart a path forward.”
The full text of the Navy League report may be found HERE.