The Jones Act: Charting a New Course after a Century of Failure

Conference
December 6, 2018
9:00AM to 5:00PM EST
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

For nearly 100 years the Jones Act has restricted the transportation of cargo between two points in the United States to ships that are U.S.-built, crewed, owned, and flagged. Meant to bolster the U.S. maritime industry and provide a ready supply of ships and mariners in times of conflict, the act has instead presided over a steady deterioration in the number of ships, sailors to crew them, and shipyards to build them. While failing to provide its promised benefits, the law has imposed a huge economic burden that manifests itself in various ways, ranging from higher transportation costs to increased traffic and pollution. This full-day conference examines these costs in greater detail, discusses the validity of the Jones Act’s national security argument, and evaluates options for reform.

Each conference participant has contributed an essay to discuss various aspects of the Jones Act. These essays will be available here to read and share.

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Schedule

8:30–9:00AM Registration

9:00–9:15AM Opening Remarks

Peter Goettler, President & CEO, Cato Institute

9:15–10:30AM Session I: The Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear

Daniel Griswold, Senior Research Fellow & Co-Director of Trade and Immigration, Mercatus Center
Manuel Reyes, Executive Vice-President/CEO, Puerto Rico Food Marketing, Industry and Distribution Chamber (MIDA)
Bryan Riley, Director, Free Trade Initiative, National Taxpayers Union
Moderator: Colin Grabow, Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

Download the Video of the Event
Download the Podcast of the Event
Transcript for “Session I: The Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear”

10:30–10:45AM Break

10:45AM–Noon Session II: The Economic Costs of the Jones Act

James W. Coleman, Professor, Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University
Jennifer Danner Riccardi, Senior Trade Advisor, Delegation of the European Union to the United States
Ted Loch-Temzelides, Professor of Economics, Rice University
Moderator: Daniel J. Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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Download the Podcast of the Event
Transcript for “Session II: The Economic Costs of the Jones Act”

Noon–1:15PM Lunch

1:15–2:30PM Session III: National Security and the Maritime Industry

Steve Ellis, Executive Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense
Nick Loris, Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow in Energy and Environmental Policy, Center for Free Markets and Regulatory Reform, Heritage Foundation
Rob Quartel, CEO & Chairman, NTELX
Moderator: Christopher A. Preble, Vice President, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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Download the Podcast of the Event
Transcript for “Session III: National Security and the Maritime Industry”

2:30–2:45PM Break

2:45–4:00PM Session IV: Charting a New Course: Options for Jones Act Reform

Keliʻi Akina, President & CEO, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Thomas Grennes, Professor of Economics Emeritus, North Carolina State University
Howard Gutman, Former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and Managing Director, the Gutman Group
Michael Hansen, President, Hawaii Shippers Council
Moderator: Inu Manak, Visiting Scholar, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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Download the Podcast of the Event
Transcript for “Session IV: Charting a New Course: Options for Jones Act Reform”

4:00–5:00PM Session V: Debate

George Landrith, President & CEO, Frontiers of Freedom
Rob Quartel, CEO & Chairman, NTELX
Moderator: Brett Fortnam, Inside U.S. Trade

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Download the Podcast of the Event
Transcript for “Session V: Debate”


5:00–6:00PM Reception