Keeping Up With the Jones Act
News Release from HVCA Jul 27, 2012
HVCA and ThinkTech Hawaii will explore the ins and outs of the Jones Act at our next luncheon meeting on August 23, 2012. The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in 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 goal was to prevent large shipping companies from circumventing U.S. labor and trade laws by using cheap labor in the construction of ships or transport of goods at the expense of U.S. shipbuilders and sailors.
Though the law has been amended several times over the last 90 years, and exemptions have been granted, some wonder whether this protectionist policy is still in the best interest of the United States and Hawaii in particular. Some argue that the Jones Act should be repealed to help reduce Hawaii’s cost of living by allowing foreign built and operated ships to stop to and from Hawaii on their way going and coming back to the mainland. Others argue that in the long term, repealing the Jones Act would result in the demise of the U.S. shipping industry. The Jones Act will clearly be a contentious point of debate in the upcoming congressional election.
As Hawaii’s non-tourism economy continues to suffer, the Jones Act is clearly a discussion that we need to have. Foreign oil is being brought to Hawaii on foreign ships thanks to an exemption, and certain cruise lines have been granted exemptions to be able to travel among the islands. Is this fair to other businesses that depend on shipping, especially considering that we ship in 95% of everything we consume in Hawaii?
Join us on August 23, 2012 at the Plaza Club for an enlightening discussion about the Jones Act by a panel of experts. Get informed, enjoy good food, camaraderie and first class networking. Register at www.hvca.org or call 382-4638.
Members, affiliates (including faculty and government) attend at the member rate of $29, students are $20 and all others $39. If you don’t find your organization listed, sign up as one of the affiliate categories. Parking is available in the Pioneer Plaza, entrance on Merchant Street, but we do not validate. Thanks to our program sponsors Hawaii Business Magazine, Pacific New Media and KMH, LLP.