Competition in International Shipping: What the Administration Misunderstands About the Current Crisis, and How the Jones Act Makes Everyone Worse Off   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "This brief's title, especially the latter part, may seem puzzling at first: How can a policy that makes everyone worse off have stayed around for 100 years basically unaltered? The title portrays a bigger picture, though: American shipbuilders, mariners, and shipping company owners are better off because of the law, but the rest of the population--those not employed in the building or sailing of US-built, -owned, -flagged, and -crewed ships that carry domestic goods by water--is worse off. Without the law, shipping would be less expensive; gas prices and highway congestion might be less too. Despite these facts, and despite multiple recessions, wars, and even a life-altering pandemic over the past 100 years, the Jones Act has enjoyed steadfast bipartisan support. Although 2022's monumental supply chain disruptions are not entirely the fault of the Jones Act, it is not a stretch to say the act has played a pivotal role in exacerbating the crisis. In the wake of a pandemic that, as of this brief's publication, has not yet fully ended, shipping costs have skyrocketed. Wait times for basic goods have increased too, with staple home appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators taking months to arrive in stores"

Mercatus Center
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