U.S. Rep. Ed Case of Hawaii said today he has reintroduced three bills in Congress to reform the Jones Act, which many critics say is responsible for artificially inflating the cost of shipping goods to the state.
“These three bills are meant to end a century of monopolistic closed market domestic cargo shipping to and from my isolated home state of Hawai‘i as well as the other island and separated jurisdictions of our country that lie outside the continental United States,” Case said. “The bills aim directly at one of the key drivers of our astronomically high cost of living in Hawai‘i and other similarly located jurisdictions.”
Case said because the Jones Act severely limits the supply of shipping to and from Hawaii’s communities, it has allowed a few companies to control the state’s lifeline to the outside world and, as a result, “command shipping rates way higher than the rest of the world.”
The 1920 Jones Act requires all cargo moved between two U.S. ports to be carried by vessels that are built in the country, owned by a U.S. entity and manned by an American crew.