Thursday, August 11, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, November 4, 2019
​Want Americans to Buy U.S. Products? Dump the Jones Act
By Selected News Articles @ 10:06 PM :: 2674 Views :: Jones Act

Want Americans to Buy U.S. Products? Dump the Jones Act.

by Colin Grabow, Cato Foundation, November 4, 2019

Jones Act supporters often argue that the law, which mandates the use of U.S.-flagged, U.S.-built vessels that are at least 75 percent U.S. owned and crewed for purposes of domestic transport, epitomizes President Trump’s philosophy of “America First.” But as a new Wall Street Journal editorial points out, the truth is perhaps closer to the opposite:

[The Jones Act is] a particular problem for liquid natural gas, since there are zero LNG tankers that meet Jones Act rules. That means Puerto Rico effectively is barred from importing gas from LNG terminals in Georgia or Louisiana. As a result, it apparently turned to Siberia. The same happened two winters ago in New England, where gas is short due to a lack of pipeline capacity. A tanker of Russian gas was unloaded in Boston. How is this an “America First” policy?

The problem goes well beyond LNG. There are no Jones Act-compliant liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers either, so Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Puerto Rico must meet their propane needs by importing it from as far away as West Africa. This is happening even though the United States is the world’s top LPG exporter. The United States is also one of the world’s leading exporters of asphalt, but the absence of Jones Act asphalt carriers means that Hawaii must import it from abroad.

Even when the appropriate Jones Act ships actually exist, they are typically much more expensive to use. Their high costs are such that California imports oil from Nigeria—going around the tip of South America—instead of the Gulf Coast. The journey may be far longer, but the cost of Jones Act shipping helps tip the math in favor of African oil.

That’s no surprise. A 1999 GAO report found that it was three times more expensive to send oil from Alaska to the Gulf Coast than to the Jones Act-exempt U.S. Virgin Islands. Amazingly, that’s despite the latter journey, via Cape Horn, taking twice as long (84 versus 41 days). A 2014 Congressional Research Service report found that shipping oil aboard Jones Act tankers from Texas to refineries in the Northeast was up to three times more expensive than shipping the oil to Canada.

A 2013 GAO report examining the Jones Act’s impact on Puerto Rico, meanwhile, described expensive Jones Act transport being a decisive factor in the decision to source products such as corn, potatoes, and fertilizer from abroad instead of domestically. The importation of jet fuel from Venezuela was also mentioned. This, according to the report, was due to the “difficulty in finding available Jones Act vessels to transport jet fuel and, when vessels are available, the high cost of such shipments compared to shipping the product from foreign countries.”

Let’s be clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with Americans purchasing foreign products. Access to imports raises both productivity and consumer welfare. But just as the United States should not shun goods made abroad, neither should the U.S. government effectively place its thumb on the scale in favor of imports through misguided policies such as the Jones Act. At the very least, Americans should have the option of buying U.S. products, which is a current de facto impossibility for many given the Jones Act fleet’s decayed state.

Truly putting "America first" should mean substantial reform or repeal of the Jones Act.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT