Lawmakers from Hawaii, Alaska Put Pressure on Feds to Reconsider Jones Act


Back in May 2013, Reason TV brought you the story of how protectionist shipping laws created under the Jones Act were damaging the Hawaiian economy. Now, lawmakers from Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Guam are putting pressure on the U.S. government to mend the maritime law

Passed in 1920, the Jones Act was created to protect the U.S. shipping industry by mandating that only ships made in the U.S. and flying the American flag can deliver goods between American ports. This means that a ship from China can only make one stop in the U.S. at a time – it would be unable to unload goods in Hawaii on the way back from Los Angeles. 

The law has negatively impacted the Hawaiian economy and now lawmakers are fighting back. 

To learn more about the Jones Act, watch "How Protectionism Hurts Hawaii: Why It's Time to Repeal the Jones Act," produced by Zach Weissmueller.

About 4 minutes. Original release date was May 2, 2013 and original writeup is below.


"What would an enemy want to do to the people of Hawaii during war time?" asks Ken Schoolland, professor of economics at Hawaii Pacific University and scholar at the Grassroot Institute. "They would want to cut us off from international shipping. Well, this is what the law does to us all the time."

Reason TV sat down with Schoolland to talk about the Jones Act, federal legislation that restricts non-US shipping vessels from engaging in commerce in domestic shipping lanes. Schoolland argues that this protectionist measure is crippling the Hawaiian economy. 

Attorney John Carroll petitioned to overturn the Jones Act, but the petition was dismissed by the court with prejudice. Carroll says he intends to mount a vigorous appeal.

About 4 minutes.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Sharif Matar, Paul Detrick and Weissmueller.