The American Waterways Operators (AWO) is commending the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates on the recent passage of a joint resolution expressing “resolute support” for the Jones Act, the federal law that requires vessels transporting cargo between two U.S. ports be American-built, American-owned and American-crewed.
The Virginia resolution highlights the importance of the Jones Act as it “continues to foster a strong domestic maritime industry that is critical to Virginia’s and the nation’s economic prosperity and national security,” and notes the vital importance of the domestic maritime industry to the projection and deployment of military forces globally, the readiness of military installations domestically, and—as demonstrated during the COVID pandemic—the preservation of resilient domestic industries and transportation services for Virginia’s citizens.
Also noted in the resolution:
- The Jones Act fleet supports nearly 650,000 family-wage jobs nationwide; and
- The Jones Act fleet contributes over $154 billion in economic output nationally and over $4 billion to Virginia’s economy.
Virginia is home to over 19,000 maritime jobs supported by the Jones Act.
Brian Vahey, AWO’s Director – Atlantic Region, commented: “The American maritime industry—and the tugboat, towboat and barge industry that makes up a substantial part of it—is a critical economic engine for the Commonwealth of Virginia and is indispensable to the Commonwealth’s longtime status as a key transportation hub for the United States. The Jones Act is the foundational law that makes it possible for American maritime to make so many contributions to Virginia’s and America’s economy, security, and quality of life. AWO applauds Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr. and Delegate Cliff Hayes, Jr. for introducing this resolution, and commends the Virginia General Assembly for recognizing the importance of the American maritime industry and the central role of the Jones Act in its continued vitality.”