WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, today introduced the “Energizing American Shipbuilding Act.” The legislation would support American shipbuilding by requiring a portion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil exports to be transported on U.S.-built, U.S.-crewed vessels. The legislation was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Garamendi, D-Calif., the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.
“The domestic maritime industry supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs and is critical to our military readiness and national security,” said Wicker. “This bill would strengthen our shipbuilding industry and would recognize the importance of having more American-flagged ships to transport our growing exports of oil and natural gas. China, India, and other nations are investing heavily in their shipbuilding capacity. The United States must keep up.”
“Rebuilding America’s shipbuilding and mariner base is an idea that unites Democrats, Republicans, metallurgical trades, the business community, labor, and our armed forces,” said Garamendi. “These industries are not only vital to our economy—they’re vital to our country’s national security. Congress has neglected our maritime industry for too long, to the point that we’re now several dozen merchant ships and 1,800 mariners short of what’s needed to guarantee sufficient sealift support in times of crisis. This bill seeks to turn the ship around by taking advantage of America’s energy export boom to bring back American shipbuilding, shipyard, and mariner jobs rather than continuing to outsource them to countries like China. I believe this bill is the start of a long-term reinvestment in the idea of America as a maritime, seafaring nation.”
Navy League National President Alan Kaplan: “American mariners and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base are a crucial part of our national security, delivering crucial armaments and supplies the warfighter needs on U.S.-built ships. This bill ensures there will be enough American mariners and U.S.-built ships in the future to support the needs of our men and women in uniform.”
American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association President Chris Cikanovich: “The American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association (ASSA) is in full support of the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act. We are proud to be part of some amazing supporters of this bill and look forward to it being passed to help further benefit and grow our American manufacturing base.”
American Maritime Officers National President Paul Doell: "American Maritime Officers stands in strong support of the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act. This legislation recognizes the critical roles of American shipyards and the U.S. Merchant Marine in national and homeland security and U.S. commerce. It sets a course for the invigoration and expansion of vital American infrastructure and expertise, and for the lasting creation of jobs for American mariners and shipbuilders - a base of professionals upon whom the U.S. military depends for our nation's strategic sealift capabilities."