Governors Raise Concern over Foreign Cruise Rules
Hawai‘i Governor Linda Lingle and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff urging him to reject proposed federal rule changes that would adversely impact the Hawai‘i and California cruise industries and harm the economies of the two states, reports said. The two Governors also state in the letter that the Office of Management and Budget should require an economic impact statement be completed before any rule changes are implemented.
The Governors cite proposed criteria on international cruise ships that would disrupt an industry that brings billions of dollars and more than 50,000 jobs to Hawai‘i and California, as well as jeopardize an estimated $17 billion in cruise spending and endanger more than 300,000 jobs nationwide that are generated by the international cruise lines industry.
In December, Governor Lingle sent a similar letter to Commissioner Ralph Bashman of Customs and Border Protection asking that changes be made to the proposed rules that balance the need to protect U.S.-flagged cruise ships, while continuing to allow foreign cruise ships to service Hawai‘i.