Voices on Capitol Hill call for Jones Act repeal, but Louisiana industries would stand to lose
The widespread devastation that hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked on Puerto Rico has renewed a long-running debate on Capitol Hill over a 97-year-old piece of legislation requiring ships shuttling between U.S. ports or offshore businesses be built in the U.S. and largely staffed by Americans.
But any proposals to modify the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act, will meet stiff resistance from Louisianans in Congress, with the state's U.S. senators and congressmen vowing this week to fight any efforts to weaken the law or lift it outright.
That's largely because few states, if any, benefit as much as Louisiana from the protections the Jones Act creates for American ships and shipbuilders from cheaper foreign competition.
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