The American Petroleum Institute (API) has criticized plans to amend some aspects of the Jones Act, saying they could cost thousands of jobs in the offshore oil and gas field and related businesses.
API, a US national trade association for the oil and natural gas industries, commissioned a study of proposals by the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). Changes touted in the CBP document would reduce or remove exceptions to Jones Act protections pertaining to the offshore industries.
Effectively, says the API-commissioned study, the proposals would prevent foreign-flagged vessels from carrying certain items essential to pipeline, platform and wellhead repair work.
Presently those items are exempt from the Jones Act which requires most other merchandise shipped between US ports to be done on US-flagged and US-crewed ships.
API’s report says the changes would lead to reduced oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico, slowing development of projects and sowing uncertainty because US vessels alone would not be able to meet the needs for transporting this necessary equipment.
This would have serious knock-on effects to the industry and ancillary industries, costing a potential 30,000 jobs.