The coronavirus crisis will lead to a great deal of reflection on how America deals with the rest of the world, particularly China. One area where Washington needs to reclaim lost ground is the commercial shipbuilding and shipping industry, where the U.S. has retreated while China has grown by leaps and bounds. Today the U.S. builds less than 1% of the world’s oceangoing commercial vessels, and only 1% of U.S. trade is carried on U.S.-flag vessels. Meanwhile, the biggest carrier of containerized cargo into U.S. ports is owned by the Chinese government. Policymakers need to fashion a framework for rebuilding America’s waning global maritime presence. The Jones Act and other existing measures are a start, but Washington needs to strengthen cargo preferences for federally-supported shipments and restore a construction differential subsidy so U.S. shipyard compete on a level playing field. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: