New study strongly defends Jones Act

The influential Lexington Institute has released a study that strongly defends the Jones Act’s role in protecting US borders and defending against international terrorism.

Written by Dr Daniel Goure, the study credits the Act for its significant role in homeland security, especially since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Without the Act, writes Dr Goure, the Department of Homeland Security would face a much more complicated task in monitoring foreign-controlled and foreign-crewed vessels on US coastal and inland waters.

The Jones Act dates back to 1920 and requires any internal cargo deliveries – on US waters and between US ports – to use vessels that are US-made, US-flagged and US-owned, as well as employing crews of US citizens or US permanent residents.

This study follows a similar paper issued by the Institute in March this year in response to a wave of calls from politicians and businessmen to revoke or amend the Act.

Those critics claim the Act constitutes an economic burden to states and territories that are not part of the lower 48 states – in particular Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The Lexington Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank based in Arlington, Virginia.


Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.


  1. Naysayers will continue to blame the Jones Act for the financial collapse of Puerto Rico. Here in my home of Hawaii, the Jones Act can be blamed for just about anything bad here…namely the high cost of living.

    Facts won’t change the perception of the public. It’s up to the industry to teach the reality. We don’t do a very good job of that.

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