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Could lifting the ''Jones act'' be a help in this mess.


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5 minutes ago, Canuker said:

With the current US administration - not a chance


If you think it has to do with a single administration, then you don’t understand how laws are passed and repealed in the US. The body of government who would first draft and pass the bill is majority opposite this administration, and they’re not proposing this either. 

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57 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

So what this means if the PVSA is repealed that a company that currently has US flagged vessels (such as a ferry operator) could re-flag under a flag of convenience and potentially save money from inspections (in addition to possibly saving money in other areas such as labor and wage law requirements), is that right? 

That is correct.  The Washington State Ferry, the Alaska Marine Highway, and the Red and White fleet in San Francisco and even the Casco Bay Ferry in Portland would be eligible to flag out to a flag of convenience.

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I do not understand why or how changing the act would make cruising any safer in the short term.  Am I missing something?

 

You are not. Those advocating changing the act now are missing something or they want to repeal the act for some perceived convenience for themselves. It won’t help in this mess. I am in favor of making some changes in the act but in the future and slowly and carefully. It is not an emergency to make any changes now in the PVSA.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

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28 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

That is correct.  The Washington State Ferry, the Alaska Marine Highway, and the Red and White fleet in San Francisco and even the Casco Bay Ferry in Portland would be eligible to flag out to a flag of convenience.

 Given how many companies have moved operations overseas in order to save money I think the PVSA is still a good law to have on the books even in today's age. 

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1 hour ago, Aquahound said:

 

No one's bashing the USCG.  I've got 27 years in between my active duty, reserve and civilian service.  

 

My condolences for your father.  He sounds like he was a good man.  Semper Paratus!  🙂 

 

Thank you for the kind thoughts.  Gramps was no slouch either.  As a young apprentice and journeyman,   he crafted his tramp steamer shipbuilding skills under Vickers Maxim on the banks and quays of the river Iffy,  Dublin town.   He emigrated to Canada with Vickers to setup shop in Maisonneuve.    Now,  as foreman, his crew was building the hulls of the submarines class (H1 thru H10) for the government of Canada.   Their job was to provide the hulls for the subs which would be outfiitted in American shipyards.   (The Government of Canada provided a prime location,  tax incentives and other motivations to help put Canada on the shipbuilding map)   Of course he had to apply for and maintain a WWI wartime exemption as his worked was deemed critical to the war effort and I'm sure he wanted to stay out of the trenches in the great war.

 

When he packed up his family and moved to Los Angeles after the  WWI shipbuilding industry faded,   he found himself working for John McCone (check his Wikipedia profile) at Consolidated Steel in San Pedro.  When it became clear to FDR that additional ship tonnage would be required to "build them faster than they could be sunk",   the additional contracts for EC2 Cargo vessels had to be assigned to the west coast shipyards,  the east coast shipyards could not meet the demand.    

The great engineers and steel magnates of the time,  namely the Kaiser/Permanente/Bechtel triumvirate needed the talent that men my like Grandfather possessed.   But they also needed his bean-counting expertise,  so that production could proceed on time and on budget.   He would remain lifelong friends with John McCone.   

 

The rest of the story is US maritime history.   The significance of the sheer tonnage produced at CALSHIPS speaks for itself, Many of the fine accomplishments and innovative high-volume shipbuilding techniques were a direct result of my grandfathers tramp-steamer shipbuilding experience.   I have a picture of my Grandfather working at his superintendent office,  you can see the shipways outside his window,  you can see the clipboards, 1 for each shipway,  hanging on the wall of his office.

 

His work was rewarded by CALSHIPS when my Grandmother swung the bottle and christened one of the later Victory ships. Sir Winston Churchill would probably tell you that this would be my family's finest hour.

 

His lifetime achievements, were rewarded by a genealogist in Dublin,  in 1967 when he was presented our newly established family coat of arms which bears the latin inscription : fama semper vivet.     

 

p.s.

 

Can you can tell I'm proud to come from a family where tackling large jobs involving planning, budgets and manpower,  and allocation of resources for that matter is par for the course.    

 

If it is tough job,  then send an Irishman to do it,  and it will get done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Please show me anywhere in my posting history where I've "bashed" the USCG.

 

 

 

On 4/26/2020 at 3:20 PM, chengkp75 said:

Wouldn't have any idea about "meta-data analysis", just a poor dumb boat mechanic here

 

When you self denigrade your rank this way,  it is not becoming of an officer.

 

On 4/27/2020 at 3:09 PM, chengkp75 said:

And I won't echo your annoying little pedantric ending.

 

I won't say that you are vociferously hauranguing a poster,   as another poster suggested last week and then you vehemently denied it.   But I will tell you that this looks like bad form as you really can't speak to what I do or do not know.

 

I do know that there is a discrepancy in one of your posts  last week with respect to diesel engines being used in the production of EC2s.    If you can handle your self elegantly I will be happy to discuss it with you.  

 

 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, JRG said:

 

 

 

 

When you self denigrade your rank this way,  it is not becoming of an officer.

 

 

I won't say that you are vociferously hauranguing a poster,   as another poster suggested last week and then you vehemently denied it.   But I will tell you that this looks like bad form as you really can't speak to what I do or do not know.

 

I do know that there is a discrepancy in one of your posts  last week with respect to diesel engines being used in the production of EC2s.    If you can handle your self elegantly I will be happy to discuss it with you.  

 

 

 

 

 

Whether I self denigrate myself is my business.  I am a blue collar worker, and everyone on a ship is one, I have no pretensions about my position.

 

I have no idea what you mean by knowing what you know or don't from commenting on your pedantic "Agree or disagree?".

 

Please point out the post where I said anything about a diesel engine being used in Liberty Ship construction.  

 

Sorry if I don't come up to your elegant debate manners.

Edited by chengkp75
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Just now, chengkp75 said:

Whether I self denigrate myself is my business.

 

I have no idea what you mean by knowing what you know or don't from commenting on your pedantic "Agree or disagree?".

 

Please point out the post where I said anything about a diesel engine being used in Liberty Ship construction.  

 

Sorry if I don't come up to your elegant debate manners.

 

 

Just keep on doing your thing ChEng.   You are in my solid Top 5 posters on this web site and I know many others agree.

 

Cole.  USN 77-98.

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7 hours ago, iancal said:

I do not understand why or how changing the act would make cruising any safer in the short term.  Am I missing something?

Less flying and people would feel a little safer being close to home and in the U.S.

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3 hours ago, dolittle said:

Less flying and people would feel a little safer being close to home and in the U.S.

 

I don't understand what you mean.  How would repealing the PVSA result in less flying?  They're already sailing out of copious US ports.  Where they go on their itineraries doesn't change the fact you still have to get to the embarkation port. 

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On 4/20/2020 at 5:56 PM, dolittle said:

I know many on this site (me also) are sick of the Jones Act but getting rid of it fro a year or two  might be a good thing in this mess.You could have cruises doing the east and west coast keeping all that money in the U.S .It would help many states tourist inds. and many would go to places they would have never been . Just look at the map and there are many great stops on both coasts . It would help with those who are fearful of flying in this new world. Ships could start in the east and go south and in Fla. the reverse . Think of N.Y.city as a stop . It would be great on the west coast . I know the down side is the linear nature of the coasts ,it is a long haul but they could leave from many cities along the coasts . What do you think ,would you be interested in these ports . I think many would like to see these parts of the U.S. .What places on the coasts would you like to see.

I listened to an expert on tv the other night who explained the Jones Act is needed for national security, if keep China from get taking over our shipping business, given our current situation it is apparent we do not need this to happen.  

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13 hours ago, dolittle said:

Less flying and people would feel a little safer being close to home and in the U.S.

 

10 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

I don't understand what you mean.  How would repealing the PVSA result in less flying?  They're already sailing out of copious US ports.  Where they go on their itineraries doesn't change the fact you still have to get to the embarkation port. 

Yeah, Paul, I don't understand this either, nor the OP's suggestion that waiving the PVSA would "keep all that money in the US".  Ports do not make significant amounts of money from cruise ships, unless they are embarkation/debarkation ports.  If foreign flag ships were doing coastwise cruises, the crew salary would still be leaving the US, and the corporate profits would still be leaving the US.

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7 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

 

Yeah, Paul, I don't understand this either, nor the OP's suggestion that waiving the PVSA would "keep all that money in the US".  Ports do not make significant amounts of money from cruise ships, unless they are embarkation/debarkation ports.  If foreign flag ships were doing coastwise cruises, the crew salary would still be leaving the US, and the corporate profits would still be leaving the US.

The port may not make money bit the town you are visiting will.

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18 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

I don't understand what you mean.  How would repealing the PVSA result in less flying?  They're already sailing out of copious US ports.  Where they go on their itineraries doesn't change the fact you still have to get to the embarkation port. 

If no ships are in Europe and so forth ,there would be more ships on the coasts and more cities to embark from. The east coast does have a lot it seems the west does not.

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56 minutes ago, dolittle said:

If no ships are in Europe and so forth ,there would be more ships on the coasts and more cities to embark from. The east coast does have a lot it seems the west does not.

 

Sorry to be blunt, but this dream of yours gets more and more bizarre with each comment.  Even if the PVSA were repealed, why in God's name would the cruise lines want to abandon the rest of the world?  You think it's a good idea to have hundreds of massive ships cruising up and down our coasts, and only our coasts?  In fact, that's so bizarre, I have to wonder if you're even being serious or messing around. 

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2 hours ago, dolittle said:

The port may not make money bit the town you are visiting will.

Tell that to the Portland Chamber of Commerce.  Cruise passengers spend an average of $62 per person during their port calls in Maine, which is about half of what the average spending for tourists coming to Portland spend.

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Below is a post I made earlier in the "Which cruise lines sail under the US banner" thread and I was asked to repost it here.  So, OK, I'll repost it here.  Unchanged except a few proof reading-type fixes to hopefully reduce embarrassment.  Below the repost I've added some additional thoughts:

 

===============

For a bit of clarification, the key is whether the vessel is operating in foreign trade or purely domestic or other protected trade.  For example, all the river boats and others mentioned above are purely in domestic trade.  No foreign flag ships are allowed by law to serve domestic routes; thus, any ship that serves such routes must be US flag, but also by definition is protected from competition from foreign flag ships.  This includes domestic offshore trades such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii (important there for cargo services not pax services). 

 

The reason the only US flag major cruise ship (Pride of America) even exists is because there is no practical way to offer weekly inter-island cruises around Hawaii (PofA's business model) and also call at any foreign ports, so there is no practical way to do it except by using a US flag ship.

 

Why does flag matter, and why are there no US flag full-size cruise ships except PofA?  CLIA and others offer a long list of "reasons," but they downplay or don't even mention the real reason, which is cost.  Due to US laws and regulations regarding ship design/build and particularly operations, it is simply not possible to operate under the US flag and be competitive, mainly due to the US citizen crew requirement. Anyone who tried to compete using a US flag ship would be out of business before the ship got wet. That is the true bottom line, i.e. why there are no US flag cruise (or cargo) ships operating in any route where foreign flag ships can also operate, which is basically everywhere except those protected domestic routes mentioned above and when carrying certain protected cargos. Note -- it has essentially nothing to do with safety or tax dodging, as is often alleged. Operating cost is the driver. (but see below)

 

In essence, due to their high costs no ship can operate under the US flag without either direct or indirect subsidy.  There used to be direct subsidies for cargo shipping, but those were eliminated long ago, and that was the death-knell for US flag international liner cargo services.  But there are still two important forms of indirect subsidy: (1) exclusion of foreign flag ships from domestic routes, thus protecting higher cost US flag ships from lower cost foreign flag shipping (e.g. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, river shipping, and coastal US shipping which today is mostly tankers), and (2) dedicated US cargos reserved only to US flag ships such as US food aid shipments and military cargos -- the famous "Capt. Philips" ship was a US flag vessel carrying protected US food donation shipments IIRC. It is mostly this reserved cargo shipping where foreign-built ships operating under the US flag are found, as mentioned earlier by chengkp75; interestingly that ship was beneficially owned by AP Moller, a Danish company, and complied with US ownership requirements through shell companies.

 

It's complicated.

 

===========

A couple of additional thoughts.

 

US required safety and quasi-safety requirements do increase the cost of operating under the US flag; how much is impossible to say.  But  those who defend these requirements present it as a given that they are worthwhile. I don't buy that at face value; there is some correct/reasonable level of safety requirements, equipment, inspections that is optimal, and I am not aware of any evidence that the level called for in international agreements (under IMO for example) and adhered to by most foreign flag ships are not adequate and appropriate.  I am aware of no data showing that the US requirements are not actually excessive and amount to job preserving actions hiding behind "safety" as a cover.  Costa Concordia was a case of a crazy captain showing off to his mother/drinking buddies -- it had nothing to do with safety requirements that I know of. And if US safety requirements are so great, tell me about El Faro.  The truth is  that these marine disaster incidents are exceptionally rare, and below the threshold of where there is statistical validity to draw conclusions about whose safety regime is the most appropriate.  

 

Further to the Pride of America, that is a domestic trade and normally would require use of a US built ship.  There was no such ship, and the deal was given a special dispensation by Congress to allow use of a foreign-built ship(s). Without that it simply wouldn't have happened

 

Another example of a beneficially foreign-owned vessel in US domestic trade is about to come into existence with Viking's entry into river cruising on the Mississippi. The boat(s) are being built in Louisiana and will be "owned" by a US company but long term chartered to Viking; it's obvious that the arrangement was set up by lawyers to comply with the law (PVSA) but in fact the economics and business relationships are such that they will be controlled in all substantial ways by Viking just as if Viking were the owner of record, similar to the AP Moller arrangement noted above.

 

The requirement of US flag shipping in the case of Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska comes at a real cost to those places.  High cost US flag shipping has a real impact on the cost of living for citizens in those places; they complain about being stuck with the bill for US protectionism with some cause, especially Puerto Rico which doesn't have Alaskan oil or tremendous Hawaiian tourism revenues to make up the difference.

 

 

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9 hours ago, jan-n-john said:

Below is a post I made earlier in the "Which cruise lines sail under the US banner" thread and I was asked to repost it here.  So, OK, I'll repost it here.  Unchanged except a few proof reading-type fixes to hopefully reduce embarrassment.  Below the repost I've added some additional thoughts:

 

===============

For a bit of clarification, the key is whether the vessel is operating in foreign trade or purely domestic or other protected trade.  For example, all the river boats and others mentioned above are purely in domestic trade.  No foreign flag ships are allowed by law to serve domestic routes; thus, any ship that serves such routes must be US flag, but also by definition is protected from competition from foreign flag ships.  This includes domestic offshore trades such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii (important there for cargo services not pax services). 

 

The reason the only US flag major cruise ship (Pride of America) even exists is because there is no practical way to offer weekly inter-island cruises around Hawaii (PofA's business model) and also call at any foreign ports, so there is no practical way to do it except by using a US flag ship.

 

Why does flag matter, and why are there no US flag full-size cruise ships except PofA?  CLIA and others offer a long list of "reasons," but they downplay or don't even mention the real reason, which is cost.  Due to US laws and regulations regarding ship design/build and particularly operations, it is simply not possible to operate under the US flag and be competitive, mainly due to the US citizen crew requirement. Anyone who tried to compete using a US flag ship would be out of business before the ship got wet. That is the true bottom line, i.e. why there are no US flag cruise (or cargo) ships operating in any route where foreign flag ships can also operate, which is basically everywhere except those protected domestic routes mentioned above and when carrying certain protected cargos. Note -- it has essentially nothing to do with safety or tax dodging, as is often alleged. Operating cost is the driver. (but see below)

 

In essence, due to their high costs no ship can operate under the US flag without either direct or indirect subsidy.  There used to be direct subsidies for cargo shipping, but those were eliminated long ago, and that was the death-knell for US flag international liner cargo services.  But there are still two important forms of indirect subsidy: (1) exclusion of foreign flag ships from domestic routes, thus protecting higher cost US flag ships from lower cost foreign flag shipping (e.g. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, river shipping, and coastal US shipping which today is mostly tankers), and (2) dedicated US cargos reserved only to US flag ships such as US food aid shipments and military cargos -- the famous "Capt. Philips" ship was a US flag vessel carrying protected US food donation shipments IIRC. It is mostly this reserved cargo shipping where foreign-built ships operating under the US flag are found, as mentioned earlier by chengkp75; interestingly that ship was beneficially owned by AP Moller, a Danish company, and complied with US ownership requirements through shell companies.

 

It's complicated.

 

===========

A couple of additional thoughts.

 

US required safety and quasi-safety requirements do increase the cost of operating under the US flag; how much is impossible to say.  But  those who defend these requirements present it as a given that they are worthwhile. I don't buy that at face value; there is some correct/reasonable level of safety requirements, equipment, inspections that is optimal, and I am not aware of any evidence that the level called for in international agreements (under IMO for example) and adhered to by most foreign flag ships are not adequate and appropriate.  I am aware of no data showing that the US requirements are not actually excessive and amount to job preserving actions hiding behind "safety" as a cover.  Costa Concordia was a case of a crazy captain showing off to his mother/drinking buddies -- it had nothing to do with safety requirements that I know of. And if US safety requirements are so great, tell me about El Faro.  The truth is  that these marine disaster incidents are exceptionally rare, and below the threshold of where there is statistical validity to draw conclusions about whose safety regime is the most appropriate.  

 

Further to the Pride of America, that is a domestic trade and normally would require use of a US built ship.  There was no such ship, and the deal was given a special dispensation by Congress to allow use of a foreign-built ship(s). Without that it simply wouldn't have happened

 

Another example of a beneficially foreign-owned vessel in US domestic trade is about to come into existence with Viking's entry into river cruising on the Mississippi. The boat(s) are being built in Louisiana and will be "owned" by a US company but long term chartered to Viking; it's obvious that the arrangement was set up by lawyers to comply with the law (PVSA) but in fact the economics and business relationships are such that they will be controlled in all substantial ways by Viking just as if Viking were the owner of record, similar to the AP Moller arrangement noted above.

 

The requirement of US flag shipping in the case of Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska comes at a real cost to those places.  High cost US flag shipping has a real impact on the cost of living for citizens in those places; they complain about being stuck with the bill for US protectionism with some cause, especially Puerto Rico which doesn't have Alaskan oil or tremendous Hawaiian tourism revenues to make up the difference.

 

 

A couple of random thoughts. Cheng has mentioned several times that CLIA has stated that their members don't see the benefit of waiving the PVSA because they don't see it increasing their bottom line at all. PofA was one of three ships initially built to sail exclusively in Hawaii and many, many strings had to be pulled in Congress in order for it all to happen (cheng knows the history much better than I do and might fill in the blanks). NCL found that three ships were untenable for that itinerary and reduced it down to one. I know that Carnival offers 9 to 12 day cruises to Hawaii from California with a stop in Canada or Mexico, and those cruises are much less than what it costs to sail on PofA, especially when you factor in the air fare to get out to the islands. You are right that no foreign flagged ships may operate and the reason they aren't allowed to is the PVSA for passengers and the Jones Act for cargo. Repeal either and any vessel currently plying US waters could conceivably be reflagged to a flag of convenience. I am certainly no expert but the folks on this board affiliated with the industry are better informed that I am and they bring up many valid points for why it would be a bad idea. And it also wouldn't help in the current situation, which is what this thread is about.

Edited by sparks1093
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I'll make a few comments on your "additional thoughts".

 

I've worked on both international and US ships, and seen the quality of some emergency equipment, and I feel that the US requirements lead to a safer ship.  JMHO.  One of the problems with the El Faro is one of the problems I've mentioned regarding USCG Marine Inspection, is their outsourcing of Marine Inspection to class societies via the "Alternative Compliance Program", which the El Faro was under. Now, are all USCG approval requirements completely necessary, or in some cases merely to continue a consistency of standards across all US industry by requiring testing by US standards agencies, well that can get right into the weeds.

 

The Pride of America was originally being built in a US shipyard, for a US owner, for the Hawaiian trade.  That owner went bankrupt, and the US government was left guaranteeing the loan to the shipyard for an unfinished hull.  While she was completed in Germany, I would love to see how much of her structure is of US origin, as even Jones Act or PVSA compliant ships are allowed significant foreign content.

 

With regards to AP Moeller and Viking, and NCL as well, these are not "shell corporations", which are defined as corporations without active business operations or significant assets.  All of these corporations have formed subsidiaries in the US (US incorporated), that have business operations in the US, and which either own or lease significant assets (the vessels).  As I've said before, it is quite common in the maritime world for each ship to be "owned" by a separate corporation that is a subsidiary of the parent, and is leased or chartered to that parent.  This has nothing to do with flag state.

 

And, the GAO has not found any conclusive evidence that the Jones Act or PVSA increases the cost of living in those areas of the US you mention.  There is no restriction that says goods from overseas have to go to the mainland first, and then be shipped to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or Alaska only on Jones Act shipping.  If there was significant savings to be made, both retailers and shippers could arrange for direct importation on foreign bottoms, and there is already existing this foreign trade to those locations.

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I'll make a few comments on your "additional thoughts".

 

I've worked on both international and US ships, and seen the quality of some emergency equipment, and I feel that the US requirements lead to a safer ship.  JMHO.  One of the problems with the El Faro is one of the problems I've mentioned regarding USCG Marine Inspection, is their outsourcing of Marine Inspection to class societies via the "Alternative Compliance Program", which the El Faro was under. Now, are all USCG approval requirements completely necessary, or in some cases merely to continue a consistency of standards across all US industry by requiring testing by US standards agencies, well that can get right into the weeds.

 

The Pride of America was originally being built in a US shipyard, for a US owner, for the Hawaiian trade.  That owner went bankrupt, and the US government was left guaranteeing the loan to the shipyard for an unfinished hull.  While she was completed in Germany, I would love to see how much of her structure is of US origin, as even Jones Act or PVSA compliant ships are allowed significant foreign content.

 

With regards to AP Moeller and Viking, and NCL as well, these are not "shell corporations", which are defined as corporations without active business operations or significant assets.  All of these corporations have formed subsidiaries in the US (US incorporated), that have business operations in the US, and which either own or lease significant assets (the vessels).  As I've said before, it is quite common in the maritime world for each ship to be "owned" by a separate corporation that is a subsidiary of the parent, and is leased or chartered to that parent.  This has nothing to do with flag state.

 

And, the GAO has not found any conclusive evidence that the Jones Act or PVSA increases the cost of living in those areas of the US you mention.  There is no restriction that says goods from overseas have to go to the mainland first, and then be shipped to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or Alaska only on Jones Act shipping.  If there was significant savings to be made, both retailers and shippers could arrange for direct importation on foreign bottoms, and there is already existing this foreign trade to those locations.

 

I'll respond to your comments, and any differences we have really aren't major.  But first kindly allow me to mention, reluctantly, that I am a retired transportation economist who, long ago and far away, specialized in ports and maritime transportation, and even once testified before Congress (the House Maritime Sub-committee) on the subject of US flag competitiveness. I even once taught some courses in the subject at that other maritime academy across the sound.  I've been away from it all for a long time;  things do change and I haven't necessarily kept up, but at least do have a faint flicker of knowledge where these issues are concerned.

 

On safety, I agree -- let's not get into the weeds on safety inspections.  I'll just stand by my earlier comments. In effect my point is that the safety regime of the US is likely not more effective in promoting safety that that of other nations, but it can and does impose some extra costs which, while not necessarily deal-breakers, does add to the cost burden of operating under the US flag.   The main thing remains crew costs.

 

Regarding Pride of America, the main takeaway is only that, contrary to what some might think, its existence is based on some very special circumstances and as such it in no way supports the idea that a US flag cruise ship could be competitive in any "normal" cruise market.

 

Regarding AP Moller and Viking, there's no value getting into the definition of what is or is not a shell company.  If you wish,  I used the term loosely because folks understand the basic idea behind it. The real takeaway there is that the US citizen ownership provision of US domestic shipping laws can easily be structured around, rendering the policy ineffective in application and fundamentally pointless since the true economic owner can be and sometimes is a non-US entity.

 

Regarding "conclusive evidence of Jones Act impact on prices", that's a little mealy-mouthed don't you think?  As an alternative to GAO, ask the people of Puerto Rico or Hawaii what they think; you'll get an ear full.  Of course those places can be served directly from international points, but the reality is they are Americans and act like Americans, meaning they don't import gallon jugs of milk or boxes of Pop Tarts from Japan or the UK.  That stuff and thousands of tons of other stuff comes from the mainland, and the shipping cost is artificially, and some would say needlessly, inflated by the US flag requirement, and it may not be just raw cost but also the resulting lack of competition (we could have a separate discussion on how transportation rates get made, a topic near and dear to my heart).  In effect, the people in those places are being forced to pick up a lot more than their fair share of the tab for the high-cost US shipping industry, the maintenance of which is always being justified primarily as a readiness issue benefiting all Americans.  Whether it really is, and whether there are better ways to accomplish that goal or even whether it's really necessary, are topics for another discussion but that would be well beyond Cruise Critic.

 

PS  As an aside, one of the jobs I did in the distant past was to manage a port master plan study for the Port of San Juan.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by jan-n-john
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On 4/28/2020 at 10:36 AM, chengkp75 said:

However, these standards allow the manufacturer themselves to conduct the testing to determine if their product meets the standards.  

Egads!

We all know how well that system works out....just consider Boeing and their "Max"...🙄

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