Two-way trade between the U.S. and other countries totaled over $5 trillion last year. Most of it was transported by sea, but very little moved on American-built, American-operated or American-crewed vessels. The U.S. shipbuilding and seaborne shipping industries have largely ceased participating in international trade, thanks to the unfortunate confluence of foreign mercantilism and domestic free-market ideology. Chances are, President Trump will soon begin moving to change this. Trump’s strategy of restoring America’s industrial sinews must eventually include the commercial maritime sector, because we need a robust shipbuilding base and merchant fleet to secure the global supply chain of vital industries and provide the military with logistical support in wartime. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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