No time to weaken maritime laws

In a recent New York Times article, Senator John McCain described the Jones Act as a “protectionist” law serving only U.S. shipping companies and maritime unions. He said the argument that the Jones Act is needed for national security is “laughable.” He would have us believe that foreign shipping companies are as patriotic as American companies trading on U.S. coastlines and inland waterways.

The world is a dangerous place where international laws are breaking down, and geopolitical change is unpredictable and carries all sorts of risks. The Arab Spring, which fostered hope, has turned into a bloody winter of discontent, and Americans have been killed in the sanctuary of their own embassies.

Meanwhile, the U.S.’s strategic objectives and mission abroad are also changing rapidly. China and Russia are now building massive military complexes as “defensive” measures against the overwhelming presence of U.S. military capability in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe. China is expanding its national security perimeters and has threatened war with its neighbors over natural resources and maritime borders. The Russian leadership, including Vladimir Putin, is preparing for war and plans to spend nearly a trillion dollars over the next decade on intercontinental ballistic missiles, fighter aircraft, submarines and sophisticated warships.

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Article written by Tony Munoz, courtesy of The Maritime Executive.

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