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U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) took to the House floor on June 5 to praise the value of the Jones Act 95 years to the day that it was enacted as part of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.

The Jones Act is the nation’s freight cabotage law, declaring that cargo moved from one domestic port to another must be carried aboard U.S.-flag, U.S.-owned, U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed vessels.

“That law, known as the Jones Act, was the anchor that allowed the United States to launch a highly trained and skilled group of mariners who can serve to protect our nation in times of national emergency,” stated Kilmer. “It supports our shipyard industrial base and preserves our capacity to defend our homeland, patrol the seas and promote American jobs.

“Ninety-five years later, it’s clear that the Jones Act has stood the test of time.”

He added that he looks forward to working with the members of Congress to maintain and support the measure to make sure American-built vessels crewed by U.S. citizen mariners continue to ply the waterways.

The Jones Act is named for U.S. Senator Wesley Jones (from the same state as Kilmer) who served as the principal author of the 1920 legislation.