More than 10,000 hardworking maritime and longshore workers literally help to keep our state going by bringing in the goods we rely upon. Without their commitment to transporting cargo and people, our islands would come to a standstill. In Hawaii especially, the maritime industry is an essential economic mover, generating more than $4.7 billion annually into Hawaii’s economy and providing more than $1.1 billion in wages and benefits for our people.
On this day, we also pay tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marines who work to transport cargo to ports around the world. Their service and sacrifice have helped to defend our nation by connecting servicemembers to the supplies they need, often in treacherous and unstable situations. In addition, the efforts of our Merchant Marines enable American exports to enter the global marketplace, maintaining essential domestic and international trade networks that strengthen our national economy.
The maritime community reminds us of the importance of the Jones Act to ensure efficient, reliable shipping to Hawaii. Warmest mahalo to all who work on our waterways and around the world on this National Maritime Day.