Followers of this blog know that the Jones Act is a significant piece of maritime legislation. However, it has also been a recent source of debate for some. The American Maritime Partnership took a strong stance against a plan to remove Puerto Rico from the mandates of this act.
The controversy centers around the relationship between the U.S. and the island territory, and may also impact the crew decisions companies can make in the future. According to Splash 24/7, Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer introduced a possible addition to the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act.
This would have approved foreign crews and vessels for shipping runs to and from Puerto Rico, as opposed to the U.S. ownership requirements supported by the Jones Act. On June 12, the same source reported that this proposal did not pass, even while the parent bill did.
"The controversy centers around the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico."
In a press release from just a few days before, the AMP argued that changing the amendment would not benefit the Puerto Rican economy, despite the intentions behind it. Tom Allegretti, the organization's chairman, specifically addressed this while also highlighting the impact the act has on security.
"The Jones Act is not a cause for the island's financial woes," Allegretti said. "While other industries have fled the island, the domestic maritime industry has made significant capital investments to service the economy and support thousands of family-wage jobs for Puerto Ricans." He added that "weakening the Jones Act would harm, not help, the Puerto Rican people and the Commonwealth's economy."
Marine contractors may not want to rely on insurance providers who don't know their area of expertise of well. Instead, a company with experience writing policies for marine work is preferable, since they will already know the impact of important legislation.