Secretary Pena Tout's Mar Ad's Record At Industry Event In New Orleans
In addressing the Maritime Trades De- sea." partment, AFL-CIO 1995 Biennial Convention, Touching on the bill the administration re- Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena introduced to Congress that would allow told the audience that this is a time of great America to maintain a modern fleet; provide hope and optimism in America — an unusual sealift for national emergencies; ensure a contime when we have both peace and prosperity, tinuing American presence in the transporta- Secretary Pena used the opportunity to talk tion of our commerce; and preserve jobs, about the administration's record. "We have a Secretary Pena said that he still supports it long list of accomplishments," he said. "The and so does the President. He also voiced his longer we've been in office, the longer it gets." support of the Jones Act.
The Secretary said that two and a half years "For 200 years, the Jones Act and its predeago "you sent the President to Washington to cessors have worked on a very simple theory," generate jobs, to cut the deficit, to give America he said. "If you move from one American port to a better, stronger future." Since then, he said, another, you use American-flagged ships so our 14 million working Americans, who could afford country can maintain reliable domestic shipit least, have had a tax cut under President ping services." He said that it is a law that "pro- Clinton and for 1.5 percent of the wealthiest vides jobs for Americans ... protects the envi- Americans, the tax rate went up slightly. At the ronment... ensures our national security — and same time, the deficit has been reduced by 40 does it at no expense to the taxpayer and withpercent and 7.5 million jobs have been created out a dime of subsidies from Washington." He 400,000 in transportation. Alluding to a mentioned that Germany, Canada, France, "healthier" maritime industry, he said, "I con- Mexico, Japan and 35 other trading partners tended, from the day I took office, that revital- have a law like this, so "why shouldn't we?" izing America's maritime industries is essen- Reminding the audience of how hard tial. Essential to rebuilding America's econo- Michael Sacco and Lane Kirkland fought to my; essential to our transportation infrastruc- up-grade the industry's technology, to end ture; essential to fortifying our national securi- unfair foreign subsidies, to make loan guaranty." tees possible, and preserve American jobs, Secretary Pena pointed out that American Secretary Pena said, "Do you realize, right carriers move 40 percent more cargo today than now Greece, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, China, 25 years ago, and that in 25 more years, the Indonesia, and Vietnam are all shopping world will have 300 percent more trade than we around American shipyards, for American-built have now. He told the audience that U.S. ports vessels?" have to be ready to handle it and to that end, He told them that U.S. shipyards have "we've worked to improve them, dredging a moved from 30th place among the busiest in the number of them to allow better access from the world to 23rd.