The Jones Act: High Steaks

March 7, 2019

Those burgers you picked up at the grocery store may have originated in Hawaii. Hawaii’s long-standing cattle trade is hampered by the Jones Act. 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.

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Blame the Jones Act Blame the Jones Act

Justified on national security grounds as a means to bolster the U.S. maritime industry, the unsurprising result of this law has been to impose significant costs on the U.S. economy while providing few of the promised benefits.

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