Act aims to reserve some U.S. energy exports for U.S.-built ships

Senator Wicker (L) and Rep Garamendi Senator Wicker (L) and Rep Garamendi

MAY 22, 2018 — Under legislation introduced today by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, (R-MS), a portion of U.S. exports of LNG and crude oil would have to be transported on U.S.-built, U.S.-crewed vessels.

The legislation, the "Energizing American Shipbuilding Act," was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Garamendi, (D-CA).

Senator Wicker is Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. Congressman Garamendi is the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

"The domestic maritime industry supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs and is critical to our military readiness and national security," said Wicker. "This bill would strengthen our shipbuilding industry and would recognize the importance of having more American-flagged ships to transport our growing exports of oil and natural gas. China, India, and other nations are investing heavily in their shipbuilding capacity. The United States must keep up."

"Rebuilding America's shipbuilding and mariner base is an idea that unites Democrats, Republicans, metallurgical trades, the business community, labor, and our armed forces," said Garamendi. "These industries are not only vital to our economy—they're vital to our country's national security. Congress has neglected our maritime industry for too long, to the point that we're now several dozen merchant ships and 1,800 mariners short of what's needed to guarantee sufficient sealift support in times of crisis. This bill seeks to turn the ship around by taking advantage of America's energy export boom to bring back American shipbuilding, shipyard, and mariner jobs rather than continuing to outsource them to countries like China. I believe this bill is the start of a long-term reinvestment in the idea of America as a maritime, seafaring nation."

Download the text of the legislation HERE

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