Sam Slom and Representative Gene Ward legislators from Hawaii, SKYPE with Guam and Puerto Rico in a forum to discuss legislative developments on the Jones Act for their respective jurisdictions. Shippers Council President Mike Hansen began with taking about the “Cabotage Laws: Wall to Economic Development.”

Hawaii Senate Minority Leader Senator Sam Slom, who has advocated for Jones Act reform for decades, acknowledged disagreement over the Jones Act’s effect on costs but highlighted the economic indicators uniformly affected in Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico: competition and cost of living. He also mentioned the Jones Act reform page on the Senate Minority website and a petition to be started by the Senate Minority for use in all jurisdictions to garner support.

Ward  Jones Act SkypeHouse of Representatives Minority Leader Emeritus Rep. Gene Ward made the point that when the Jones Act was enacted 95 years ago, it served its purpose and was relevant to national security.  In 2015 however, the effect of the law is to punish the non-contiguous trades with oppressive shipping costs. Rep. Ward’s suggestion was to continue the public awareness vital to successful reform of the Jones Act by publishing white papers on common misconceptions about what could happen if an exemption is granted, namely that reform would threaten national security, or labor unions.
For more information on the Jones Act, http://hawaii-senateminority.com/jones-act.html

Contact: senslom@capitol.hawaii.gov and repward@captol.hawaii.gov

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