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Thread: Jones Act affects foreign goods shipped to Hawaii

  1. #1

    Default Jones Act affects foreign goods shipped to Hawaii

    The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, AKA the Jones Act, affects the shipping of goods to Hawaii from foreign ports. A bit of background, courtesy of Wikipedia:

    • The Jones Act requires all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S. flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.
    • The Jones Act prevents foreign-flagged ships from carrying cargo between the US mainland and noncontiguous parts of the US, such as Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam. Foreign ships inbound with goods cannot stop any of these four locations, offload goods, load mainland-bound goods, and continue to US mainland ports. Instead, they must proceed directly to US mainland ports, where distributors break bulk and then send goods to US places off the mainland by US-flagged ships.
    • Because the Jones Act requires all transport between US ports be carried on US-built ships, the Jones Act supports the domestic US shipbuilding industry.

    Has the Jones Act outlived its intended purpose? A century after its adoption, is it now more harmful than helpful? From the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii:
    One of the reasons the Jones Act was created was to ensure a vibrant United States shipping industry.Fast forward to 2016: the American shipping industry has been in a steady decline for decades. In 1947, the total U.S. flag seagoing merchant fleet — America’s commercial shipping industry — was comprised of 3,696 ships. As of 2015, that number has dropped to just 167.

    Sen. McCain attempted to basically void the act in 2015. According to The Triton:
    He called the act “an antiquated law that has for too long hindered free trade, made U.S. industry less competitive and raised prices for American consumers.”
    How does the Jones Act affect prices in Hawaii? Think of the products from, for example, Japan and China (TVs, automobiles, food, etc) that Hawaii buys. All of those shipped products must first go to a mainland port, then be unloaded and reloaded on a ship bound for Hawaii. That definitely adds $$ to the cost of products we buy.

    What good does the Jones Act still do for the U.S. today, a century later?

    I wonder if the Jones Act is on the mind of President-elect Trump?
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Honolulu, Hawaii USA

    Default Re: Jones Act affects foreign goods shipped to Hawaii

    The Jones Act definitely needs to be repealed. It is one of the major contributors to Hawaii's high cost of living.
    I'm still here. Are you?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Jones Act affects foreign goods shipped to Hawaii

    I wonder if the Jones Act is on the mind of President-elect Trump?
    I doubt it. I don't think he'll be able to see beyond the job losses. The fact that this would have a significant impact on consumers probably isn't on his radar.


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