Is the Jones Act in Danger?

United States Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is proposing an amendment that could repeal the Jones Act, which has been a part of maritime law since 1920. Part of the Jones Act requires that ships that work in the U.S. and in our ports, be completely American made. Because of this, the national maritime community, including maritime unions, are upset, as striking down this law could affect the maritime industry.

McCain and his supporters claim that the Jones Act is out of date and that it is a hindrance to free trade. The senator cited a twelve-year-old study by the U. S. International Trade Commission showing how shipping costs could be lowered without the Jones Act, as buying and operate American made ships is more costly than using vessels from other countries.

Naturally, maritime unions and the shipbuilding industry oppose the senator, as do many politicians representing districts with shipbuilding companies, including members of the senator’s own party.

The Jones Act is strongly supported because it has helped injured Merchant Seamen for almost a century.

What is the Jones Act?

In this video, Jones Act attorney David Anderson explains the Jones Act and how it applies to injured seamen. The Jones Act places the blame on the employer if unsafe work conditions or a fellow crewmember injures a worker.

Follow our firm on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on the developments of the Jones Act debate and on other national maritime legal news.

Latti & Anderson LLPNationwide Maritime Attorneys