Capitol Hill Briefing

Keeping Up with the Jones Act

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Date and Time
385 Russell Senate Office Building
Featuring Daniel Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Colin Grabow, Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Jeff Vanderslice, Director of Government & External Affairs, Cato Institute.

The Jones Act is back in the news, with legislation introduced this year to repeal the law and the White House said to be considering a limited waiver of the law for the transport of liquefied natural gas. It’s about time. For nearly 100 years, the Jones Act has served as a burden on the U.S. economy and has raised transportation costs, damaged the environment, and even harmed U.S. exports. In the course of doing so, it has also manifestly failed to achieve its stated policy goals, with U.S. shipbuilding and the Jones Act fleet itself in a decades‐​long decline. Questions also abound about the law’s contribution to national security, as illustrated by the shortage of merchant mariners to crew the government‐​owned vessels in times of war and the Navy unable to afford ships from vastly uncompetitive U.S. shipyards to meet its sealift needs.

Join us on Tuesday, June 4, to hear from Daniel Ikenson and Colin Grabow of the Cato Institute about the Jones Act’s flaws and why reform should be on Congress’s agenda