Recent Hurricanes Remind Us Why We Should Scrap Out-Of-Date Shipping Rule

Nearly every time a major hurricane hits the United States, the Department of Homeland Security issues a temporary waiver of the Jones Act. The most recent example of the Secretary of Homeland Security issuing these waivers was this month in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but waivers were also released following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The justification is always the same — waiving the Jones Act makes it possible for ships to transport necessary supplies, such as oil from other parts of the United States to affected areas. A valid reason, but it begs the question of why the Jones Act exists in the first place.

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