AWO's Allegretti Touts Merits of Domestic Maritime Industry

Marinelink.com
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
American Waterways Operators President & CEO, Tom Allegretti

During an address today in New York City at the TradeWinds 2013 Jones Act Shipping Forum, American Maritime Partnership Chairman and American Waterways Operators President & CEO Tom Allegretti hailed the nation’s domestic maritime industry as a crucial element of America’s economic, national and homeland security, calling the Jones Act, which serves as the industry’s foundation, both a commercial and a public policy success.
 

In his remarks, Mr. Allegretti highlighted the thriving industry’s role in the nation’s economy.  


“The American maritime industry is a thriving economic engine and a jobs creator.  Companies have made, and are making today, multi-billion dollar investments in vessels, in shoreside facilities, and in technology to meet the needs of their customers in every sector of the U.S. economy. Ours is one of the largest, most vibrant domestic maritime industries in the world, and will continue to adapt and grow to meet America’s transportation needs.”  


Mr. Allegretti’s address also focused on the critical role American maritime plays in the helping to protect U.S. national and homeland security.


“The domestic maritime industry supports U.S. national and homeland security at zero cost to the federal government.  The Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy strongly support the domestic maritime industry – and the Jones Act as its statutory foundation – because strong vessel operating companies, a skilled, available supply of mariners, and a robust shipyard industrial base are critical force multipliers that the U.S. government must have, but could not sustain, without the commercial domestic maritime industry.”  

Mr. Allegretti’s full address to the 2013 TradeWinds Conference:

The Jones Act – A Commercial and Public Policy Success

Tom Allegretti, President
The American Waterways Operators
September 18, 2013

Thank you, Aaron. It’s great to be with you today. I am particularly pleased to share the podium with Acting Administrator Jaenichen – soon to be Administrator Jaenichen, I hope. I suspect I speak for everyone in this room in saying how pleased we were to hear of your nomination as Maritime Administrator, and how supportive we are of your confirmation.  Thanks for all you are doing to support a strong American maritime industry.

I want to thank TradeWinds for the opportunity to be here.  I speak to you today as president of the American Waterways Operators and as chairman of the American Maritime Partnership. Let me tell you just a little bit about AWO and AMP.

AWO represents the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry, which operates 5,000 towing vessels and more than 27,000 barges on our nation’s inland waterways, Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts, the Great Lakes, and ports and harbors around the country. Our industry moves more than 800 million tons of cargo each year in the domestic commerce of the United States, and does so safely, securely, and with a deep commitment to environmental stewardship.

AWO is also a long-standing member of the American Maritime Partnership. AMP is a broad-based coalition that represents, essentially, the entire American domestic maritime industry – vessel operators, shipyards, maritime labor, and pro-defense organizations. Just as AWO advocates for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, AMP serves as the voice of U.S. domestic maritime – one of the largest, most vibrant domestic maritime industries in the world.

The statutory foundation of this vital and essential industry is the Jones Act – technically, section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which requires that vessels moving cargo in the domestic commerce of the United States be owned by American companies, built in American shipyards, and crewed by American mariners.  This law, now nearly century-old, is a remarkable example of a statute that is both a commercial success for the American economy and a public policy success for our country.   And, that’s what I want to focus on with you today.

Underpinned by the Jones Act, the American domestic maritime industry is an economic engine and a jobs creator.  More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards and crewed by American mariners ply our domestic waterways, from the North Slope of Alaska to the island of Puerto Rico; from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine; from St. Paul, Minnesota to New Orleans. The economic value of that activity is an astonishing 500,000 jobs and $100 billion in economic output, including $29 billion in labor compensation, with those wages spent in every corner of the country. Additionally, the domestic maritime industry generates more than $11 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local treasuries.

And, let’s look at the human impact that exists behind those numbers. In the tugboat, towboat, and barge industry, a young man or woman can come to us out of high school and not just get a job, but embark on a ladder of career opportunity.  He or she can start out as a deckhand making $45,000 a year and rise through the ranks, earning more than $100,000 as a captain or pilot in just a few short years.  The domestic maritime industry offers a career to be proud of and the compensation and benefits that enable a mariner to support his or her family.  Jobs like that are good for American families, for American communities, and for the American economy.

Let’s talk more about the contributions of the domestic maritime industry to the American economy, which is a remarkable story of a sector that is thriving.  

Underpinned by the Jones Act, companies in the domestic maritime industry have made, and are making today, multi-billion dollar investments in vessels, in shoreside facilities, and in technology to meet the needs of their customers in every sector of the U.S. economy.  You don’t have to look far to find examples.  Over the last two decades, the U.S. tank barge industry has transformed and renewed its fleet, building state-of-the-art double-hull barges and larger, more powerful tugboats and towboats to propel them.  

In the past five years alone, Kirby Corporation, one of the sponsors of today’s conference, has invested over $2.1 billion in fleet replacement, acquisitions and capital improvements to its existing vessels. TOTE is building new state-of-the-art vessels powered by liquefied natural gas for the Puerto Rico trades which are expected to be the largest LNG-powered vessels in the world.

Another great example from the industry is Crowley Maritime, which has just completed a new build program, investing more than $1 billion in 17 articulated tug-barge units ranging in size from 155 to 330,000 barrels. Crowley has also announced plans to build up to eight 330,000-barrel product tankers to be delivered between 2015 and the end of 2017.

Companies are not only investing in their fleets, but in the industry’s future. Bouchard Transportation, based not too far from here in Melville, has also had a substantial fleet modernization and expansion plan underway, having made it its own investments in excess of $1 billion. Bouchard also recently announced a $750,000 donation to SUNY Maritime to establish a tug and barge simulation center for cadets to learn the skills to operate today’s modern tugs and barges.

Underpinned by the Jones Act, which provides the level playing field and the certainty that enables companies to make these multi-billion dollar investments, the domestic maritime industry continues to demonstrate that it can, and will, adapt and grow to meet America’s transportation needs.  This is a dynamic marketplace, and this is a dynamic industry.

We’ve talked about the domestic maritime industry’s role as an economic engine and a jobs creator.  As we meet here in New York City, just one week since the twelfth anniversary of 9/11, I also want to focus on our industry’s role as a partner with government in protecting our country’s national and homeland security.

We saw the industry’s contributions dramatically on that fateful day, when the maritime community came together and spontaneously carried out the largest sea evacuation in history, bringing more than 500,000 Americans to safety from the terror that struck lower Manhattan. On one of the nation’s darkest days came some of its most heroic moments, and the 9/11 Boatlift is a reminder of the domestic maritime industry’s role in keeping our country safe.

And, there’s more to that story.  

Underpinned by the Jones Act, the domestic maritime industry supports U.S. national and homeland security at zero cost – let me repeat, zero cost – to the federal government.  The Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy strongly support the domestic maritime industry – and the Jones Act as its statutory foundation – because strong vessel operating companies, a skilled, available supply of mariners, and a robust shipyard industrial base are critical force multipliers that the U.S. government must have, but could not sustain, without the commercial domestic maritime industry.  

The United States has adopted a multi-layered approach to homeland security, and many new layers have been added over the past 12 years.  The American-owned, American-crewed, and American-built domestic maritime industry is a foundational element of that homeland security strategy.  Here’s what one expert, Dr. Daniel Goure of The Lexington Institute, has written:

“Although the Jones Act was not written with today’s threats to homeland security in mind, its provisions provide an important base on which to build the systems, processes and procedures needed to secure America.  The provisions in the Jones Act regarding vessel ownership and manning simplify efforts to ensure that rogue regimes and international terrorists cannot strike at this country via its ports and waterways.  One could readily assert that were there not a Jones Act, Congress would have to invent one.”

I know from my conversations with AWO members that the men and women who crew their vessels see themselves as the eyes and ears of our nation’s homeland security as they work on the water every day. It is a responsibility they feel innately as Americans and it is an integral part of who they are and what they do.  

There really is no doubt. The Jones Act made sense when it was enacted nearly a century ago, and its value to our country has deepened, not diminished, over the last century. It underpins an industry that serves the broad needs of the modern U.S. economy.

It provides certainty to an industry that is an engine of economic growth and a creator of high quality, family wage jobs. And it serves important national public policy priorities at no cost to the federal government. That is a win, win, win, and why I’m so proud to represent the domestic maritime industry in both AWO and AMP.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to be with you today.


Finance

SOS from Hanjin Shipping

The creditors' extended help is crucial for survival of Hanjin Shipping Co as its negotiations with owners of chartered ships over a cut in leasing rates and to

NParks, Keppel in S$2.08 mln Partnership for Restoring Singapore Forest Wetlands

The National Parks Board (NParks) and Keppel Corporation today unveiled plans for a partnership to restore the freshwater forest wetland ecosystem historically

Skaugen Goes to Red Again

Norwegian Marine Transportation Service Company I.M. Skaugen SE reported interim losses but cautiously positive and expecting a gradual recovery of trading opportunities

Maritime Security

Indian Warships Visit Port Victoria

In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Seychelles and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ships Kolkata, Trikand and

White House: Iranian Ships' Actions in Gulf Increase Risk of Miscalculation

Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with U.S. warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday.

Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach

Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines,

News

Coast Guard Foundation Awarded 128 Scholarships

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Keppel to Deliver First North Sea FPSO

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M)'s wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard) is on track to deliver a Floating Production Storage and Offloading

NASA May Send Submarine to Titan

NASA has unveiled plans to send a submarine into the depths of the largest ocean of Saturn's biggest moon, Titan in a bid to explore the depths of its largest ocean.

Vessels

C-Job Designs Flettner Freighter for Switijnk

The Dutch shipping company family Switijnk has contracted C-Job Naval Architects to develop a Rotor Sail-equipped design to meet their specific loading and sailing profile.

Damen Trading Sale hits 500th Vessel

30 years and 500 vessels later, Damen Trading is just getting started. Damen Trading’s story begins in 1986, with Damen Shipyards Group responding to growing market demand for used vessels.

Matson Orders Two ConRo Ships from NASSCO

Matson Navigation Company, Inc., a subsidiary of container shipper Matson, Inc., has signed a contract with U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO to build two

People in the News

Coast Guard Foundation Awarded 128 Scholarships

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Keppel to Deliver First North Sea FPSO

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M)'s wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard) is on track to deliver a Floating Production Storage and Offloading

Michelle Obama Sponsors Attack Submarine

General Dynamics Electric Boat has delivered to the U.S. Navy an attack submarine that is sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and will be named for her home state, reports AP.

Logistics

SOS from Hanjin Shipping

The creditors' extended help is crucial for survival of Hanjin Shipping Co as its negotiations with owners of chartered ships over a cut in leasing rates and to

How Rapid is the Fleet Growth?

During July 2016, the containership fleet reached a landmark 20 million TEU in terms of aggregate capacity, says Clarksons Research.   To many it only seems

Maersk Line's Innovative Smart Reefers

Have you heard about Maersk Line's smart reefers that can listen and talk? Cutting edge technology that reduces risk in customer supply chain, claims Maersk Line.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2405 sec (4 req/sec)