AWO applauds passage of Jones Act resolution in Washington state

(ARLINGTON, Va.) — The American Waterways Operators (AWO) commended the Washington state Senate on recent passage of Senate Resolution 8611, recognizing the importance of the Jones Act to the state.

The Jones Act – named for its original author, then-U.S. senator for Washington state Wesley Jones – is the federal law requiring that vessels transporting cargo between two U.S. ports be American-built, American-owned and American-crewed.

The bipartisan resolution, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Karen Keiser and co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Mark Schoesler, emphasizes that Washington state is “committed to the development of its maritime industry’s role in achieving a sustainable future and contributions to economic growth, ecological health, and thriving communities,” and highlights the role of the Jones Act in cultivating a strong domestic maritime industry that is critical to Washington’s and the country’s economic prosperity and national security.

The resolution also notes that:

• Washington is home to 22,500 maritime jobs supported by the Jones Act, and the Jones Act fleet supports nearly 650,000 family-wage jobs nationwide.
• The Jones Act fleet contributes over $154 billion in economic output nationally and $6.1 billion to Washington’s economy.

“The American maritime industry – and the tugboat, towboat and barge industry that makes up a substantial part of it – is a critical economic engine and committed leader on environmental sustainability in Washington state and across the United States,” said Peter Schrappen, AWO’s vice president for the Pacific region. “The Jones Act is the foundational law that makes it possible for American maritime to make these and many other contributions to Washington’s economy, security, environment and quality of life. AWO applauds the Washington state Senate for recognizing the importance of the American maritime industry and the law that fellow Washingtonian Sen. Wesley Jones crafted to ensure its continued vitality.”

The resolution in its entirety can be viewed here.

– American Waterways Operators

By Rich Miller