The American Maritime Partnership (AMP), the voice of the domestic maritime industry, and federal lawmakers, have announced California as the fourth largest domestic maritime state in the United States.
According to the findings of a new report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of Transportation Institute (TI), the Jones Act fuels a strong domestic maritime industry in California. The industry employs more than 51,450 individuals, produces $12.21 billion for the local economy and generates $3.6 billion in worker income in California alone.
California is an important shipyard state. A recent study of shipbuilding by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), covering both commercial and military ship construction, found a $3.67 billion annual economic impact in California with 34,810 associated jobs and more than $2.38 billion in worker income.
The Jones Act study findings were announced on Saturday, June 15, in San Diego at the christening of Lurline, the newest combination container/roll-on, roll-off (“con-ro”) ship of Matson, Inc. (NYSE: MATX) and General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. Lurline is the largest “con-ro” ship ever built in the United States.
The Jones Act is not only a vital anchor for economic strength and job creation in California but also a pillar of the nation’s security and military capability. Specifically, this law states that the transportation of merchandise between U.S. ports is reserved for U.S. -built, -owned and -documented vessels.
“A strong domestic maritime industry is vital for our national security and economy,” said U.S. Rep. John Garamendi. “The PwC study demonstrates the importance of a robust maritime shipping industry to America’s economic prosperity. As a senior Democratic member of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation — and as a former Ranking Member of the Subcommittee — I am committed to re-energizing America’s maritime and shipbuilding industry, so we can put more Americans to work and bolster our nation’s sealift capacity.”
Maritime leaders are also recognizing the economic impact of the Jones Act.
“The state of California is a leader in the domestic maritime industry, supporting nearly 52,000 family-wage jobs and contributing over $12.21 billion to the local economy,” said James L. Henry, Chairman, and President of Transportation Institute. “The findings in our most recent study demonstrate the strength and necessity of the Jones Act, which serves as the backbone of the American maritime industry, the U.S. industrial base, and job creation for the hardworking men and women that crew the vessels delivering both in times of war and peace.”
“Quite simply, the Jones Act is American security,” added Matt Woodruff, President of the American Maritime Partnership. “In addition to the job creation benefits detailed in this study, our American mariners are relied on by defense leaders to project American force overseas in a national emergency. Alongside our waterfront workers, they are the eyes and ears of homeland security on our nation’s coasts and waterways. Our American controlled fleet provides economic security, ensuring that our nation’s internal freight transportation system is not subject to foreign interference. American maritime jobs always have and will continue to be vital in the never-ending task of keeping America safe, strong, and prosperous for generations to come.”
For Californians, the industry’s impact is far-reaching.
“As the fourth largest domestic maritime state in the U.S., California’s 51,250 maritime, shipbuilding and repair jobs continue to demonstrate the strength our industry brings to the economic and national security of our nation,” said Matthew Paxton, President of the Shipbuilders Council of America. “The men and women who work in shipyards in California build, maintain and repair some of the most innovative commercial and military vessels in the world, and represent a strong industrial base that reaches across the nation.”
Through the Jones Act, the domestic maritime industry sustains approximately 650,000 American jobs across all 50 states, creates $41 billion in labor income for American workers, and adds more than $154.8 billion in annual economic output each year. There are more than 40,000 American vessels — built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies — that operate in U.S. waters 24-hours a day, seven days a week.