AMPR Releases Study on Jones Act
Crowley is a member of The Puerto Rico Maritime Alliance, which consists of representatives of U.S. flag carriers and labor unions constituting the US Merchant Marine.
The Maritime Alliance of Puerto Rico (AMPR) has announced that the GAO Study released yesterday determined the Jones Act does not increase rates or prices for the Puerto Rican consumer. The economic study was requested in 2012 by the resident commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi, and the delegate of the Northern Marianas Island, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.
GAO (General Accountability Office) is the independent non-partisan agency that works for the U.S Congress and its audit, evaluation, and investigative arm. The Jones Act determines the exclusive use of American-flag vessels for the commerce between the United States and Puerto Rico.
According to AMPR’s secretary, José F. Nazario, “GAO’s study has found that shipping prices have dropped dramatically over the last two decades and consumers have benefited from regular, reliable service,” added Nazario. “It also validated that the Jones Act enhances national security.”
The importance of GAO’s economic study is that it’s reliable, comprehensive and prepared by a respected independent government agency. Eduardo Pagán, AMPR’s Treasurer, stated, “There is no guarantee that shipping rates would go down if the Jones Act was changed.”
Nazario and Pagán, recognized the other results stemming from GAO’s study:
- Previous estimates of the “cost” of the Jones Act have no basis and, in fact, are not verifiable and cannot be proven.
- It found that shipping rates for Jones Act companies dropped as much as 17% between 2006 and 2010.
- Jones Act operators have provided regular and reliable service that has been extremely beneficial to the economy of Puerto Rico.
- The Jones Act in Puerto Rico has been beneficial to the Department of Defense and national security.
- The contributions of American commercial shipyards are more important than ever as the number of new military vessels being constructed is reduced and the new-vessel construction planned for the Puerto Rican trades is a benefit for national security.
- There are fully compliant Jones Act vessels available to transport LNG and bulk to Puerto Rico.
- Puerto Rico Maritime Alliance consists of representatives of U.S. flag carriers and labor unions constituting the US Merchant Marine.