Congressman Larsen Speaks Out for Jones Act

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Washington) recently spoke on the House floor in support of the Jones Act, a maritime law that is vital to protecting U.S. national, economic and homeland security.

A longtime backer of the American maritime industry, Larsen delivered his brief remarks April 18.

He stated, “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my continued support of American maritime jobs through enforcement of the Jones Act. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is more commonly known as the Jones Act, named for the primary sponsor at the time Wesley Jones from my home state, Washington state. The Jones Act exists for good reason. It sustains and protects a strong domestic maritime and shipbuilding industry.

“It creates job opportunities for U.S. mariners, many of whom are veterans,” the congressman continued. ““It underpins U.S. maritime defense policy and is essential to preserving national security interests at home and abroad. The Jones Act requires the use of American owned and operated vessels to move all waterborne cargo between points in the U.S.”

Larsen added, “I have long maintained that the Jones Act ensures domestic industries can remain vibrant contributors to the global shipping industry. At its core, the Jones Act is a critical labor standard that helps put U.S. seafarers to work and maintains important workplace rights…. In 2012, I called on the then-administration to protect American jobs by adhering to the Jones Act in response to rising gas prices and the proposed release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Last year I spoke up to support the Jones Act fleet in its heroic response to the natural disaster that hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

He concluded, “As a senior member of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, I am committed to working with my colleagues to uphold the longstanding tenets of the Jones Act to safeguard the important role maritime industries play in our economy. The Jones Act exists for good reason. We should use it to good effect.”

A video of Larsen delivering the remarks is available on his website.