Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today introduced the Open America’s Waters Act of 2017, legislation that would repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or the Jones Act. The Jones Act requires that all goods shipped between waterborne ports of the United States be carried by vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans.
“I have long advocated the repeal of the Jones Act, an archaic and burdensome law that hinders free trade, stifles the economy, and ultimately harms consumers,” said Senator McCain. “My legislation would eliminate this regulation, freeing American shippers from the requirement that they act against their own business interests. By allowing U.S. shippers to purchase affordable foreign-made carriers, this legislation would reduce shipping costs, make American farmers and businesses more competitive in the global marketplace, and bring down the cost of goods and services for American consumers.
“The protectionist mentality embodied by the Jones Act directly contradicts the lessons we have learned about the benefits of a free and open market. Free trade expands economic growth, creates jobs, and lowers costs for consumers. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and finally repeal the outdated and protectionist Jones Act.”
As a strong supporter of free trade, Senator McCain has been working for years to reform and repeal the Jones Act. He first introduced legislation to repeal the Jones Act in the Senate in the 111th Congress in 2010, and mostly recently introduced an amendment in the 114th Congress in January 2016 that would waive Jones Act requirements for oil and gasoline tankers.
The legislation is here.