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The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO joins with the Hawaii Ports Maritime Council to counter the misleading report issued by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and U.S. Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) dismissing the value and benefits of the Jones Act to the citizens and businesses of the Aloha State.

“This is just another attempt to mislead and misinform the people of our state on the importance of the Jones Act,” stated PMC President Randy Swindell. “This was yet another rehashing of mistruths whose only purpose is to confuse.”

“We know what the Jones Act means — good jobs as well as economic and national security for Hawaii and the United States,” added PMC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Hazel Galbiso.

The report, released last month, attempted to explain why Hawaii would be better off being served by foreign-crewed, foreign-owned commercial vessels rather than the dedicated fleet of 20 U.S-flagged, U.S.-owned, U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed ships that provide regularly scheduled service to the islands.

The Jones Act is America’s cabotage law, which means cargo moved from one U.S. port to another U.S. port must be carried aboard ships that follow the nation’s labor and safety standards. The Jones Act celebrated its 100th anniversary in June. It constantly comes under attack from foreign-flag interests hiding behind the sails of “economic savings” while ignoring what eliminating the law would cost American workers and interests.

More than 90 nations have some type of cabotage law on their books.

“The Jones Act provides job creation and economic opportunities for the people of Hawaii,” stated MTD President Michael Sacco. “In these stressful and trying times, why would anyone want to eliminate good-paying American jobs?”

The Jones Act is responsible for approximately 13,000 jobs in Hawaii, providing $787 million in annual workforce income and a $3.3 billion economic impact.