On 1 May, US President Trump met with congressional leaders both from the Senate and the House to discuss US maritime policy. President Trump assured the congressional leaders that he is in no way seeking to make changes to the Jones Act, nor is he seeking any waivers.
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the US. It requires that goods and services shipped between US ports are to be transported on ships that are built, owned and manned by US citizens.
“President Trump had the Jones Act matters all under control from the get-go”, said William P. Doyle, CEO and executive director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Trump is all about jobs and national security — he’s never wavered on this. We appreciate the President’s support for the Jones Act”.
Previously, the US government has issued temporary waivers to the Jones Act, this was done mostly in response to natural disasters, such as storms or hurricanes, to provide assistance and goods to the affected areas.
The Jones Act dredging companies have maintained, deepened or widened strategic seaports across the country this past year. The American dredging industry is currently going through a USD1.5 billion fleet expansion. Four large cutter suction dredgers, two large hopper dredgers and around 50 barges are being built in shipyards across the US.