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Jones Act Repeal Sought

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has introduced an amendment to the Senate’s Keystone pipeline bill that would repeal the Jones Act, a 95-year-old law that requires that all goods shipped between US ports move only on US-built, US-owned and US-operated ships. It also requires that at least half of all gov’t-subsidized food aid sent overseas be carried in US-registered vessels. Agencies can seek waivers from the law’s requirements. McCain has been a longstanding opponent of the law, saying it harms free trade and leads to higher prices for goods. There are separate cargo preference rules for military cargo and for goods that receive a federal loan or loan guarantee. Export backers want to see the law off the books, saying it imposes uncompetitive shipping costs on energy shipments.

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