Our domestic maritime fleet provides capacity and manpower that our armed forces routinely draw upon to support U.S. military operations. Critical assets such as American ships, crews to man them, ship construction and repair yards, intermodal equipment, terminals, cargo tracking systems and other infrastructure are available to our military in times of war, national emergency and peacetime.
Without American maritime, the U.S. would be completely dependent on foreign-owned and flagged vessels for the transport of all waterborne commerce in and around the country. A report by the Lexington Institute stated that without the domestic maritime industry and the Jones Act, “the Department of Homeland Security would be confronted with the difficult task of monitoring, regulating and overseeing all foreign-controlled, foreign-crewed vessels in internal U.S. waters.”
Our domestic maritime industry has a distinguished legacy of helping to feed, fuel and move our nation as it has grown and expanded, while also boosting our national and economic security. American maritime is as vital today as it was when President Adams helped lead our young nation. So as you put gas in your car, feed your family or flip on a light switch, be sure to remember the hundreds of thousands of American maritime men and women who safely, efficiently and proudly work to make those moments a routine part of our everyday life.
Thomas Allegretti is chairman of the American Maritime Partnership.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.