Washington, D.C. — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues the following statement on the proposed amendment to exempt the Jones Act as part of H.R.5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stabilization Act (PROMESA).
“Exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act is an old, tired idea that should be rejected by responsible lawmakers. Instead of pushing serious measures that will help Puerto Rico fairly restructure its debt and provide much-needed aid for the 3.5 million U.S. citizens facing a humanitarian crisis, extremists are offering red meat attacks on the Jones Act to satisfy ideological grudges.
“The Jones Act has served as an indispensable role in promoting American economic and national security since 1920. Exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act not only threatens our military sealift capabilities and thousands of domestic seafaring and shipbuilding jobs, but potentially further damages Puerto Rico’s already fragile economy. This amendment could increase shipping rates for Puerto Rico, erode an important, dedicated Northbound route for exports and undermine ‘just in time’ delivery methods for goods traveling in both directions.
“This amendment, which has nothing to do with Puerto Rico, is part of a long-term plan by bad-faith actors to demonize the Jones Act and harm the American businesses and workers that rely on a strong U.S. maritime industry. From Hurricane Katrina to the BP oil spill, special interests have exploited national crises to justify their anti-Jones Act agenda. Congress must reject hostile attacks on this critical law and instead focus on helping the people of Puerto Rico. If this amendment is reported out by the Rules Committee, it must be rejected on the House floor.”
Lawmakers Must Reject Legislative Assaults on the Jones Act (183kb)