“Malia Lt Blue top Image”

”Fighting to Restore Competition in the Monopolistic Shipping Industry; Bring Down Prices on Hawaii’s Goods”

Hawaii is the victim of a federal law called the Jones Act, which prevents foreign owned ships from transporting goods between U.S. ports.

This act has created a monopoly in the shipping industry in Hawaii with essentially two companies dominating the market place, leading to higher prices on goods being shipped to and from the Continental U.S. and Hawaii.

These shipping companies have ensured their monopolistic stance by adamantly fighting any repeal or exemption efforts locally and nationally and by being major contributors and supporters of U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye.

But Hawaii’s newest congressman, who often spoke of the problems the Jones Act creates for Hawaii while in the Hawaii State Legislature, apparently isn’t worried about campaign contributions from Matson Navigation or Sea-Land (CSX Lines), which have long had a stranglehold on Hawaii’s lifeline — shipping between Hawaii and the mainland.

Congressman Ed Case, D- Hawaii, Second District, introduced three bills in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday to end a century of closed market cargo shipping to, from and within Hawaii.

*(1) to exempt all shipping between noncontiguous U.S. locations and the U.S. Mainland from the Jones Act;

*(2) to exempt all Hawaii shipping from the Jones Act; and

*(3) to exempt shipping of Hawaii’s agriculture and livestock from the Jones Act.

The bills would exempt Hawaii and other non-contiguous U.S. locations from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, which mandates cargo shipping between U.S. ports exclusively utilize United States owned, not foreign owned, vessels.

Case maintains such a virtual monopoly is never good for consumers, and is also detrimental to all other businesses that depend on the monopolized good or service.

“The Jones Act was enacted in a protectionist era under the excuse that we needed to preserve a strong national merchant marine. But today it is an anachronism: most of the world’s shipping is through an international merchant marine functioning in an open, competitive market. The Jones Act’s only remaining function is as a shield for U.S. companies who benefit from the virtual lack of competition,” he says.

The major effort of the Jones Act today is to control the market and increase prices for westbound shipping from West Coast ports to Hawaii, Case says, and he emphasizes this is where virtually all of Hawaii’s businesses and residents stand to benefit from repeal.

Export industries in Hawaii are hurt by the Jones Act’s restriction on shipping out of Hawaii ports to the Mainland, Case says, citing Hawaii’s cattle industry, which he says is dying because it can’t get its product to market fast and at a reasonable price. Another example is Hawaii’s agriculture/flower industry, he says.

He noted the past concerns with Jones Act modifications of unions representing longshoremen and seamen as well as some environmental groups, but said that all three of his bills address those concerns.

“Each of these bills requires all foreign shipping between U.S. ports to comply fully with U.S. law, including labor and environmental requirements,” he says.

See the full text of Case’s speech on this issue published in Hawaii Reporter yesterday: “Jones Act Stranglehold on Hawaii Must End”

”City Bonds Rated Good on Economic Stability, Despite Near Maximum Debt Load”

The fiscal stability of the city of Honolulu is often debated. Many people in Hawaii, including some of the city council members, believe the mayor’s fiscal policies have put the city in dire straits. Particularly in the case of the debt load, which is now reaching the maximum allowed by the city constitution of 20 percent.

But with the ability to raise taxes and fees at will, the City and County of Honolulu was assigned a good rating by Fitch — AA — on its $250 million general obligation bonds, series 2003 A, and the $1.77 billion in outstanding general obligation bonds.

The agency reports “Honolulu’s rating outlook is stable because Honolulu’s credit strength rests in the ‘sound fundamentals’ of its tourism-based economy, good financial operations and reserves, low debt burden and strong fiscal management.”

The agency also cited Oahu’s commercial areas, presence of a state capital and vast military presence, as having added to that stability.

”Governor Talks Story with Hawaii Communities in First Outreach Effort Since 2002 Campaign”

Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona Jr. are planning a series of 27, 2-hour “Talk Story” sessions throughout the state designed to get community input on issues of importance to the people of Hawaii.

These sessions, which run from July through October, are similar to those the governor held in various communities throughout the state during her campaign in 2002.

The first talk story session is Tuesday, July 29, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Kapolei Middle School with Aiona.

Lingle, who says she plans to do a lot of listening during these sessions, will lead 14 gatherings in communities on six different islands to provide residents the opportunity to express their concerns and offer recommendations on key statewide and local issues.

“It’s important for government leaders to hear directly from the people what concerns they may have in their communities and neighborhoods, as well as what they believe are the most important issues facing our state,” the governor says.

The governor also plans to use the sessions to update residents on what her administration is doing in specific communities as well as on a statewide level.

Saying he wants to hear feedback from the people of Hawaii on his plan to fight climbing drug use in the state, the lieutenant governor will hold 13 of his own targeted where he will present the Hawaii Drug Control Strategy. The information gathered from the community during these sessions will be reported during the Hawaii Drug Control Strategy: A New Beginning summit he will convene on Sept. 15 to 17.

Lingle and Aiona say they look forward getting out into the community, and encourage everyone to join them in these sessions to share their thoughts about what good things are happening in their neighborhoods, as well as what challenges they’re facing.

”Schedule for the Talk Story Sessions is as follows:”

*Tuesday, July 29, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Ewa, Kapolei, Kunia, Makakilo and Barber’s Point communities at Kapolei Middle School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*2. Wednesday, July 30, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Waimanalo to Kahaluu communities at Enchanted Lake Elementary School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*3. Thursday, July 31, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Nanakuli to Waianae communities at Nanakuli High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*4. Tuesday, August 5, the governor will meet with the Waimanalo, Kailua and Kaneohe communities at Kualoa Kailua High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*5. Tuesday, August 5, the lieutenant governor will meet with Hilo residents at Hilo High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*6. Thursday, August 7, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Pearl City to Waipahu communities at Pearl City Elementary School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*7. Saturday, August 9, the governor will meet with the West Maui (Lahaina) community at the Royal Lahaina Hotel from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

*8. Tuesday, August 12, the governor will meet with the Halawa to Kalihi communities at Farrington High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*9. Tuesday, August 12, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Wailuku to Kahului communities at Maui High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*10. Thursday, August 14, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Waikiki to Hawaii Kai communities at Kalani High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*11. Wednesday, August 20, the governor will meet with the Wahiawa to Kunia to Mililani communities at Mililani High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*12. Tuesday, August 26, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Kona community at Kealakehe High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*13. Wednesday, August 27, the governor will meet with the Waipahu to Aiea communities at Pearl City High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*14. Thursday, August 28, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Halawa to Kalihi communities at Farrington High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*15. Tuesday, Sept. 2, the governor will meet with the Wailuku to Kahului communities at Kahului School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*16. Tuesday, Sept. 2, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Lihue community at Kauai High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*17. Thursday, Sept. 4., the governor will meet with the Downtown to Waikiki communities at McKinley High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*18. Tuesday, Sept. 9, the governor will meet with the Hilo community at Hilo High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*19. Tuesday, Sept. 9, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Kahuku community at the BYU Auditorium from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*20. Wednesday, Sept. 10, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Mililani community at Mililani High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*21. Tuesday, Sept. 16, the governor will meet with the Kona community at Konawaena High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*22. Tuesday, Sept. 23, the governor will meet with the Ewa community at Kapolei Middle School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*23. Tuesday, Sept. 30, the governor will meet with the Lihue community at the Kauai High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*24. Tuesday, Oct. 7, the lieutenant governor will meet with the Aina Haina to Hawaii Kai communities at Kalani High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*25. Tuesday, Oct. 14, the governor will meet with the Downtown and Manoa to Kahala communities at McKinley High School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*26. Tuesday, Oct. 21, the governor and lieutenant governor will meet with the Molokai community at Kaunakakai School from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

*27. Tuesday, Oct. 28, the governor and lieutenant governor will meet with the Lanai community at Hale Kupuna from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

”Governor’s First Fundraising Ball Scheduled”

Brennon Morioka, chairman of the Republican Party in Hawaii, says the party is planning its 1st Annual Governor Linda Lingle’s Ball, which is a fundraiser for the party’s efforts to boost Hawaii’s Voter Registration, Voter Identification, and Get-Out-The Vote Programs, in preparation for the 2004 election.

The event, scheduled for October 2 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballroom, will be “elegant, yet upbeat,” with a dinner, dancing and a live band, Morioka says.

Morioka says in addition to the fundraising efforts that will provide the party and candidates with resources they need to win Republican seats, they are in full force trying to find quality candidates for the state Legislature.

In a letter to Republican supporters, Morioka says: “You are our eyes and ears in the community. We rely on you to help identify those leaders in your community, whether they are in your neighborhood or in a social or business group of yours. You never know. The next great legislator could be right under your nose. They just haven’t been asked.”

”Wishing Well, But Missing Hawaii’s 25th Infantry”

More than 7,000 of Hawaii’s men and women from Hawaii’s 25th Infantry Division (Light) are being deployed in six month rotations next year to Afghanistan in the largest combat deployment from Schofield Barracks since the war in Vietnam.

The 2nd Brigade, as a combat team of about 3,500 soldiers with helicopters and artillery, will leave in February 2004, and be followed in August 2004 by the 3rd Brigade of 3,500 soldiers. The mission will be to join the 7,500 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan to conduct combat patrols and provide continued protection and humanitarian assistance.

The Army deployment could be followed the deployment of the 29th Separate Infantry Brigade of the Hawaii Army National Guard.

They’ll be missed.

When soldiers deploy from Hawaii, the communities in which they live suffer. Not only do their families and friends miss them, and worry about their safety, the businesses in the surrounding areas see a big drop in business as they did during Desert Storm when members of the 27th Infantry “Wolfhounds” deployed for Desert Storm in 1991.

Fortunately for Hawaii’s frail economy, approximately 100 soldiers from the Schofield-based unit were sent to Operation Iraqi Freedom, while the majority of the Hawaii division, or 15,000 soldiers, remained in Hawaii because of tensions in North Korea.

”Marketing Hawaii: DBEDT’s Marketing Guru to Speak at Small Business Hawaii Sunrise Breakfast”

Steve Bretschneider, nationally known corporate marketer, recently appointed chief marketing officer of the state’s Department of Business Economic Department & Tourism by Director Ted Liu, will discuss current and future marketing strategies for Hawaii and how businesses in Hawaii can benefit.

Bretschneider, who has extensive United States, Asia and global marketing experience with many Fortune 500 companies including Coca-Cola; Procter & Gamble; Dell; IBM and L’oreal, will keynote Small Business Hawaii’s next monthly Sunrise Networking Breakfast, Thursday, July 31, in Macy’s Pineapple Room at Ala Moana Center from 7 to 8:30 am.

Though Bretschneider is known in Hawaii for assisting Gov. Linda Lingle on the effort to use Kona Coffee in The White House, he has been heavily involved in marketing research, strategy, creative development and some of the most memorable campaigns including: “Coke Is It!” “Mm Mm, Good!” (Campbell Soup); “L’oreal, Because I’m Worth It!” and “Ring Around Your Collar” (Unilever-Whisk).

The public is welcome to attend, but advanced paid reservations are required. The cost is $20 for SBH members and their guests if paid in advance, and $30 for non-members or at the door, provided space is available. A complete buffet breakfast, program and networking are included. Call 396-1724 for more information and to make reservations or fax confirmations to 396-1726.

”Interested in Doing Business with China?”

For anyone interested in doing business with China, Hai Wen, Ph.D., an Inchcape Professor of Economics and Deputy Director with the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University in Beijing, will give an update on “China Economic Status & Trends” on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2003,
from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Buffet 100 Restaurant in Ward Warehouse.

The event, which is $20 per person, is sponsored by the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, Peking University Alumni Association of Hawaii, Hawaii Department Business Economic Development & Tourism, JAIMS, Center for Chinese Studies – University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chinese Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and the China Club.

Wen, who has written more than 20 books in the areas of International Economics, Development Economics and Transitional Economics, obtained his Ph.D. & MA in Economics, University of California Davis and BA in Political Economy, Peking University, China.

Organizers say reservations must be made by Aug. 1, 2003, by either calling Johnson Choi at (808) 222-8183 or making checks payable to Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, Attn: Johnson Choi, 55 Merchant St, Suite 1813, Box C127, Honolulu, HI 96813. Additional information can be found at http://www.hkchcc.org/

”’Send any tittle or tattle you might have to Malia Zimmerman at”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com ”’Send complaints elsewhere. Compliments and news tips accepted here.”’

Comments

comments