Heritage hosts Jones Act panel
by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, Feb 23, 2018
The Heritage Foundation hosted on Friday, February 23, 2018, a panel discussion, “Time to Reform the Jones Act?,” which was cosponsored by the Regulatory Transparency Project of The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. The hour-long panel discussion was held at The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium in Washington, D.C., between 12:00 Noon and 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
The event’s moderator was Nicolas “Nick” Loris, Fellow in Energy and Environmental Policy, The Heritage Foundation.
There were three panelists.
D. Robert “Rob” Quartel, currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NTELX, Vienna, Virginia, and was formerly a member of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in the early 1990’s and President of the Jones Act Reform Coalition (JARC) between 1994 and 2001.
Jonathan K. ”Jon” Waldron, Esq., currently Partner, Co-Chair, Maritime and International Trade Practice Group. Blank Rome LLP, Washington D.C., and a nationally prominent Jones Act industry attorney, formally a 20-year U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) officer and general counsel to Marine Spill Response Corporation.
James W. Coleman, currently Assistant Professor of Law, Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, where he focuses on the regulation of North American energy companies.
The Hawaii Shippers’ Council hosted Rob Quartel several times during the second half of the 1990’s for a series of events in Honolulu, Hawaii, including a couple of informational briefings at the Hawaii State Legislature, a major conference on the Jones Act, and a speech to the Waikiki Rotary Club.
The description of the discussion provided by the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society:
Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, colloquially known as the Jones Act, requires that shipments between two U.S. ports be on U.S.-built, U.S.-manned, and U.S.-owned vessels. Because of the Jones Act, it is often more expensive to ship supplies between U.S. ports than it is to ship supplies abroad. The Act was adopted in 1920 to support naval preparedness by boosting the U.S. shipbuilding industry.
But is it time to scale back the Jones Act? The U.S. energy export boom is leaving U.S. consumers behind because it is cheaper to ship oil and liquefied natural gas all the way to Europe or Asia than to the U.S. East Coast. And the Jones Act, long a drag on Puerto Rico’s economy, is also raising the cost of all the aid necessary to help the island recover from Hurricane Maria. This expert panel will explain the Jones Act controversy and discuss whether it can be reformed without endangering national security.
The discussion starts at the 20 minute mark on the video posted to YouTube.