Statements of Support

The Jones Act has long been supported by the Executive Branch, Congress and military leaders.

Presidential Support:

“America needs a strong and vibrant U.S.-Flag Merchant Marine. That is why you can continue to count on me to support the Jones Act (which also includes the Passenger Vessel Services Act) and the continued exclusion of maritime services in international trade agreements.”

Barack Obama, August 28, 2008

“It’s important for Presidents to embrace the Jones Act. I have, [for] five–and–a–half years as the President, supported the Jones Act, and will continue to do so”

President George W. Bush, 2006

“The United States needs a maritime policy tailored to 21st century needs. Programs that have contributed to the growth of our domestic fleet, such as the Jones Act ... should be maintained.”

President George W. Bush, 2004

“My Administration ... continues to support the Jones Act as essential to the maintenance of the nation's commercial and defense maritime interests.”

President William J. Clinton, 1997

“Sealift is essential to both executing this country’s forward defense strategy and to maintaining a wartime economy... . [T]he U.S.-owned commercial ocean carrier industry ... will be relied upon to provide sealift in peace, crisis and war.”

President George Bush, 1989

“I can assure you that a Reagan Administration will not support legislation that would jeopardize this long-standing policy ... embodied in the Jones Act ... or the jobs dependent on it.”

Candidate Ronald Reagan, 1980

Congressional leaders from both parties are likewise staunch advocates:

“ I've always been for the Jones Act and I will not change. I believe it is important for America to control its own shipping and maintain labor and environmental standards within the industry. There is no appetite for a significant change in the Jones Act. There are occasionally exemptions that are pursued, but those are on a one-off basis. As a matter of national policy, the Jones Act is critical in terms of labor and environmental standards and in terms of our own national and economic security.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), 2013


“[The Jones Act] prevents our economy from being dominated by foreign interests who don't pay American taxes, hire American workers, or even follow our health, safety, and environmental laws. I would expect all patriotic Americans to support the Jones Act...”

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), 2010

“The Jones Act is a cornerstone statute of the United States maritime industry... The American maritime industry also provides a critical commercial and military service to our country.”

Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-MN), 2005

“We must preserve the Jones Act. The Jones Act ensures the United States that it will always have a safe,reliable, and economically efficient domestic transportation system -- providing America the vital waterborne commerce it needs and deserves.”

Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), 1997

“Rest assured that I will continue to support the men and women who contribute to the Jones Act’s continued success.”

Rep. Don Young (R-AK), 2000

America’s military leaders and establishment recognize the value of the Jones Act:

“When it comes to backing the Jones Act, from my standpoint, it's a no-brainer. We need a strong maritime industry, and part of a strong industry is highly trained merchant mariners, so many of whom are employed on Jones Act ships. We need a strong shipbuilding industry. We can't let the generations that follow us forget what America was capable of when the call went out for Liberty and Victory ships during World War II. We need the current shipping capacity to move the lifeblood of this country where it needs to go, when it needs to go. The Jones Act supports all these things. It's vital to our national security.”

Rear Admiral Mark Buzby, Commander,
U.S. Military Sealift Command, 2012

“The [Jones Act trailership] SS NORTHERN LIGHTS made 25 voyages and 49 port calls [to the Iraqi war zone]. She carried 12,200 pieces of military gear totaling 81,000 short tons and covering over 2 million square feet. Those statistics clearly demonstrate the value that the U.S.-flag shipping industry brings to the Defense Transportation System.”

General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF, Commander in Chief,
U.S. Transportation Command, 2005

“I have no doubt that as long as America maintains the Jones Act as the foundation of our maritime policy, U.S.-flag vessel operations will meet the needs of waterborne commerce. And it will sustain the maritime infrastructure - the builders, the owners, the mariners - whose labors always have and always will ensure our security. USTRANSCOM, Military Sealift Command, The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and MARAD support the maintenance of a viable U.S.-flagged fleet and U.S. mariner pool. We can't do business without either.”

Lt. General Gary Hughey, USMC, 2004

“The Jones Act is one of the original foundation blocks of our nation’s maritime security.”

Admiral James Loy, Deputy Secretary,
Department of Homeland Security, 2003

“First the Jones Act... My bottom line is: The Jones Act is a proven performer that supports both our nation's military security and its economic soundness. I can't put it any simpler than that.”

General Charles T. Robertson, USAF, Commander in Chief,
U.S. Transportation Command, 1999


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