Congressman Steven Palazzo recently led a group of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in a letter to President Trump expressing strong opposition to temporarily waiving the Jones Act for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
The Jones Act requires ships moving between U.S. ports to be American-crewed, American-owned, American-built, and American-flagged. The act helps ensure thousands of shipbuilding jobs aren’t lost to overseas competition while also protecting the national defense interests.
Palazzo said the letter follows a short-sighted Congressional proposal to permanently repeal the Jones Act.
“Protecting our national defense is a sworn responsibility of every member in our legislative body,” said Palazzo. “I believe that there are very few industries that are as important to the economic health and security of our nation as those who comprise our maritime industries. Understanding the potential ramifications associated with waiving the Jones Act and allowing foreign imports of any sort could seriously harm our national security. From both an economic perspective and a national security perspective, we cannot sit idly by as uninformed individuals in Congress attempt to erode our American maritime industry.”
The letter which was sent to President Trump was signed by Palazzo and 18 other members of Congress including freshman Mississippi Congressman Michael Guest.