Maritime Security: DOT Needs to Expeditiously Finalize the Required National Maritime Strategy for Sustaining U.S. -Flag Fleet, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 4MB]
From the Highlights: "The U.S. government relies on U.S. - flag vessels that trade internationally to transport cargo and to provide a pool of U.S. mariners who could be called upon in times of crisis for DOD's reserve fleet. Through financial support and cargo preferences, the United States has supported the viability of the U.S. -flag fleet. However, in recent years concern has grown about the sustainability of the U.S. -flag fleet, and in 2014, Congress statutorily mandated that DOT develop national strategies related to the sustainability of the U.S. -flag fleet including recommendations for the future. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review U.S. government support for these U.S. -flag vessels that trade internationally. This report discusses: (1) the effect the U.S. government's support for the U.S. -flag fleet has had on national defense needs and other government programs; (2) the challenges identified by stakeholders in sustaining the U.S. flag fleet for defense needs; and (3) the status of the mandated national strategies related to the U.S. -flag fleet. GAO reviewed relevant laws and analyzed DOT and DOD documents and government cargo data for fiscal years 2012- 2017. GAO also interviewed officials from DOT [Department of Transportation], DOD, and other federal agencies subject to cargo preference; MSP [Maritime Security Program] vessel operators; and other stakeholders "
United States Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/