On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 3829, the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act. Recently introduced, by Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), this bipartisan legislation will help to revitalize the U.S. maritime industry and create thousands of jobs.
Since WWII, the size of the fleet of U.S.-owned, built, and crewed ships has declined precipitously, from over 1,200 ships to less than 80 today. This loss in commercial sealift readiness capability and American jobs affects the maritime industry’s ability to support critical military and humanitarian operations around the world.
At the same time, the U.S. is ramping up its production of natural gas, producing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) than any other nation. As things stand today, 100% of the LNG we export, as well as 100 percent of crude oil, will sail on foreign vessels that are built in heavily state-subsidized foreign shipyards that stifle international competition.
By requiring that a modest percentage of domestically produced LNG and crude oil be exported on U.S. built, U.S.-flag ships, the bill will provide the certainty that American companies require to begin constructing these new ships in domestic shipyards.
Requiring domestic construction and crewing of these vessels will create good paying jobs and help to revive an industry that we cannot afford to lose. The mariners and employees in the shipbuilding sector represented by TTD-affiliated unions are ready for a new dawn in the domestic maritime industry. By cosponsoring H.R. 3829, you can help provide the U.S. maritime industry and its workers with the opportunity to compete in a burgeoning market.
To cosponsor the bill, contact Iain.Hart@mail.house.gov in Rep. Garamendi’s office. Thank you for your consideration.
Larry I. Willis