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Jones Act may cost U.S. up to $15B per year

New York residents who have ever found themselves in gridlock and looked around to see a host of semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles carrying goods may logically wonder why so much commercial transport still relies on ground transportation. Even though the New York City area has designed truck routes in an attempt to alleviate some of the problems and dangers, the number of trucks on the road does pose issues on a daily basis.

Some people who have been urging either some amendments to or even a full repeal of the Jones Act point to this type of congestion as one reason such legislative reform is needed. First enacted nearly a centure ago, the Jones Act prevents cargo from being transported from one American port to another American port by any ship that is not operated by an American company and that was not built completely in America.

For the past several decades so many ships have been built in Asia rather than in the U.S. that today there are a mere 93 ships eligible under the Jones Act terms. At least in part because of this law, the country today looks to ground transportation or even air transportation as the way to move materials from one place to another. When it comes to truck shipments, this adds tremendous load not just on traffic but on highway and road maintenance as well.

New Yorkers who want to better understand the Jones Act and its potential reach and implications may want to talk with an attorney who is experienced in this legislation.

Source: Quartz, “An arcane American law protected by powerful interests is causing insane traffic jams,” Erik Olsen, August 7, 2017

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