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Yes, it has been a very rough winter for most people in the United States and Canada.

After several mild winters in a row, the harsh weather with its well-below average temperatures and snowfall came as quite a shock. A lot of people forgot what winter weather is capable of producing – and that may include the state of New Jersey.

The Garden State was running low on road salt earlier this month. To show it was on the case, the state’s transportation department declared it could get more salt from Maine, but was blocked in doing so by the Jones Act, the federal law that declares goods moved from one domestic port to another must be carried aboard U.S.-owned, flagged, built and crewed vessels. Only problem with this declaration is U.S.-flag vessels were available to move the product south while the state’s claim that a foreign-flag vessel was standing by proved false. However, the media continued to report the New Jersey transportation department claim despite evidence to the contrary.

To set the record straight, Tom Allegretti – chairman of the American Maritime Partnership (a coalition of U.S.-flag maritime labor and industry) – submitted the following opinion piece which was published in the Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ, on February 26.