Any maritime insurance specialist will tell you that the Jones Act is an important piece of legislation for the way marine crew are treated. However, there's a difference in opinion raging between professionals in the energy industry and marine authorities.
According to the Maritime Executive, the head of the American Maritime Partnership, Tom Allegretti, has taken aim at anyone who might denigrate the Jones Act by calling it essential to modern marine activity.
On the other side, some, like Charles Drevna of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, have said that this ruling is outdated, having been enacted nearly a century ago. This has led to questions of whether or not repealing Jones would save shipping companies money.
But when Allegretti spoke at the TradeWinds Jones Act Forum earlier this week, he said that the Act is crucial to hundreds of thousands of domestic jobs, and that it has the support of both Congress and President Obama.
"The rapid increase in the domestic supply of oil has been accompanied by exponential growth in the waterborne movement of these products," he said. "The domestic maritime industry, with the Jones Act as its statutory foundation, is investing heavily to meet the transportation demands of this new energy economy."
Allegretti also openly criticized Drevna's issues with the Jones Act, saying that the current system is safer, more compliant with American business law and ultimately more in the interest of the country's maritime pursuits. He ends by calling it "good for America and good for Americans."
No matter where your business operates, American-flagged vessels need to be covered by a boat insurance broker and prepared for their particular routes.