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Dec 05

Jones Act vs. Free Markets

According to NPR’s Planet Money: “If you want to send a bunch of oranges by truck from Florida to Baltimore, no one cares who made the truck. Or if you want to fly computer chips across the country, it's fine if the plane is made in France. But if you want to send cargo by ship, there's a law that the ship has to be American made.”

That law is the Jones Act, aka the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The Jones Act mandates that goods shipped by water between two points in the United States must be transported on U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, and at least 75 percent U.S.-crewed vessels.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: “The coastwise laws are highly protectionist provisions that are intended to create a ‘coastwise monopoly’ in order to protect and develop the American merchant marine, shipbuilding, etc.” Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz called the Jones Act “an outrageous restriction on trade in a country that says it believes in free markets.” Join us for a discussion of the Jones Act’s impact.

More About the Speakers

The Honorable John McCain (R-AZ)
Member, United States Senate

And a Panel Discussion with
Charles Drevna
President, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

Gary Clyde Hufbauer
Reginald Jones Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Brian Slattery
Research Associate, Defense and Security Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By

Bryan Riley Bryan Riley

Jay Van Andel Senior Policy Analyst in Trade Policy Read More