Thursday, August 06, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Guam Legislature passes Jones Act reform resolution
By Michael Hansen @ 6:44 PM :: 4883 Views :: Jones Act

Guam Legislature passes Jones Act reform resolution

by Michael Hansen, President, Hawaii Shippers Council

The Legislature of Guam adopted Tuesday, April 15, 2014, by a decisive twelve to three bipartisan floor vote Resolution 138-32 (COR) calling on Guam’s Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU-D) to introduce federal legislation exempting the noncontiguous jurisdictions of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico from the U.S. build requirement of the Jones Act.

 Guam Legislative Hearing on Jones Act, 2013

Although Guam is de jure exempt from the U.S. build requirement of the Jones Act and other such U.S. cabotage laws, it’s functionally shackled to the domestic build requirement de facto. This because the natural trade lane from the U.S. West Coast to Guam passes through Hawaii, which is subject to the U.S. build requirement, and shipping lines must call both at Hawaii and Guam to mount a financially successful voyage.

Resolution 138-32 (COR) was introduced May 14, 2013, on a bipartisan basis in the unicameral Guam Legislature by its chief sponsor, Senator Rory J. Respicio (D), who is Majority Leader and Chairman of

the Committee On Rules; Federal, Foreign & Micronesian Affairs; Human and Natural Resources; And Election Reform.  Senator Respicio was joined by two co-sponsors, Senator V. Anthony “Tony” Ada (R), Minority Leader, and Senator Thomas C. “Tom” Ada (D), Chairman, Port Oversight Committee.

Senator Respicio’s Committee heard and adopted the Resolution on June 4, 2013.   The eleven member committee (including the chairman) voted 6 to adopt, 3 to report out, and 2 were not present.  Those voting to adopt the Resolution included Senator Judith Won Pat (D), Speaker of the Guam Legislature.  The Hawaii Shippers Council had the opportunity to provide testimony to the committee.

Following Senator Respicio’s committee hearing, the major daily newspaper on Guam, the Pacific Daily News, published five opinion-editorial pieces supporting Resolution 138-32 (COR) on Sunday, June 30, 2013 including the paper’s own editorial and pieces by Senator Respicio and the Hawaii Shippers Council.

In advance of the floor vote in the Guam Legislature, Senator Respicio wrote on March 26, 2014, to Congresswoman Bordallo exhorting her to seek an exemption from the domestic build requirement of the Jones Act for the noncontiguous trades and issued a press release on March 27, 2014.

A similar measure, Resolution No. 571-31 (COR), was introduced in the Guam Legislature during the 2012 session by then Senator Frank F. Blas, but was not heard in committee, did not go to a floor vote and is no longer pending.

Guam’s Resolution is part of a larger effort involving all four of the noncontiguous jurisdictions collectively seeking an exemption from the Jones Act’s domestic build requirement.  This solidarity was demonstrated on March 13, 2014, when a press conference was held at the Hawaii State Capitol with participation from Alaska State and Puerto Rico Territorial Senators by teleconference.  All called for Jones Act reform in the noncontiguous trades to lower freight costs, increase shipping options and improve ocean transportation services.

The press conference was occasioned by four companion resolutions (HR 113, HCR 153, SR 45, SCR 93) concurrently introduced in the Hawaii State Senate and House on Friday, March 7, 2014.  The Hawaii Resolutions are similar to the Guam resolution and call upon the Hawaii congressional delegation to collaborate with their colleagues from the other noncontiguous jurisdictions and introduce federal legislation to exempt the noncontiguous trades from the domestic build requirement of the nation’s cabotage laws.

Hawaii State Senator Sam Slom (R) and Hawaii State Representatives Gene Ward (R) and Cindy Evans (D) hosted the press conference.  Participating were Alaska State Senator John Coghill (R), Majority Leader, andSenator Fred Dyson (R).  And, Puerto Rico Senator Rosanna Lopez Leon (PDP / PPD), Majority Whip and Committee Chairwoman.  Guam Senators Rory Respicio and Tom Ada were unable to participate due to the time difference and prior commitments.

Rep. Ward was the chief sponsor of the two companion resolutions introduced in the 2014 session of the Hawaii State House of Representatives and was joined by six Democratic cosponsors including the Speaker of the House, Representative Joseph M “Joe” Souki (D).  Despite the support, the first referral was to the House Committee on Transportation, whose Chairman Ryan I Yamane (D) refused to hear the resolution.  This is the same fate of two virtually identical  companion resolutions (HR 119, HCR 150) introduced in the Hawaii State House met during the 2013 session.

On April 1, 2013, Rep. Yamane wrote in an email to supporters of Resolutions HR 119/HCR 150, “The Committee is taking this issue very seriously and are in talks with our Federal, State and shipping companies to discuss the overall impact of the Jones Act.  We are not taking these issues lightly and will be taking the time to explore the full scope of the Acts impact, meet with various stakeholders and even tour our States harbors.  Due the seriousness of the issue, we are taking all the precautions to investigate and gather stakeholder information before making a decision to proceed.”  This is obviously a dodge as the Hawaii State Legislature along with other state and territorial legislatures regularly adopts resolutions on federal issues, and obviously Rep. Yamane did nothing in the interim to bring the stakeholders together despite his representations.

Meanwhile Senator Lopez introduced Senate Resolution No. 237 on April 12, 2013 directing the Puerto Rico Senate to investigate the impact of the Jones Act on the Commonwealth.  Senator Lopez, jointly with Senator Ángel R. Rosa Rodriguez, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Efficiency and Economic Innovation, held extensive hearings from January 27, 2014 through February 10, 2014, and heard from the various stakeholders.  The Committee staffers are currently reviewing the testimony and will issue a report later this year detailing the impacts and recommending a way forward for the Puerto Rico legislature.

The participation of the Alaska senators with the Hawaii press conference has spurred interest there in taking legislative action with respect to Jones Act reform.

The adoption of Resolution 138-32 (COR) on April 15, 2014, by the Legislature of Guam is a significant step forward and will spur the adoption of similar resolutions by the Hawaii and Alaska State Legislatures and the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly.

---30---

Attachments:

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

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

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

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 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

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

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

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

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

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

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

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