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House coalition backs Jones Act exemption for Hawaii

Jones Act opponents want Jones Act carriers like Matson to have competition so they don't have a monopoly on the marketplace

House Speaker Joe Souki is among seven legislators supporting a resolution that asks Congress to give Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico an exemption from the Jones Act.

Other House members joining the resolution include Representatives Tom Brower, Romy Cachola, Richard Creagan, Cindy Evans, and Bert Kobayashi.

The Jones act requires American made ships with American crews transport goods and services between American ports.

Opponents say the 1920s law restricts foreign competition and increases the cost of goods and services to Hawaii by about 35 percent.

Proponents say the bill ensures a stable economy and a ready fleet in war time.

A Senate version is also pending.

Michael Hansen, President of the Hawaii Shippers Council said in response to the introduction of the four companion resolutions in the Hawaii State Legislature, “We are grateful that key members of the State Senate and  House of Representative have seen fit to introduce a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to enact meaningful Jones Act legislation to benefit the residents of the noncontiguous jurisdictions of Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and Puerto Rico.  We are certainly looking forward to hearings this session in the Senate and House so that the issues may be fully ventilated and the public made aware of the need for substantive reform.  By adopting the resolution, the Hawaii State Legislature would be jointing those legislatures in Alaska, Guam and Puerto Rico seeking Jones Act reform."



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