About AMC - The Maritime Security Act
The Jones Act, MSP, and cargo preference are the primary programs that keep the American merchant marine afloat. AMC is committed to educating Congress and the public on those programs, while at the same time exploring new ways to expand our maritime industry. These future programs have the potential to revolutionize our industry, and AMC is playing a key role in ensuring their future success.
Short Sea Shipping (Coastwise Trade) - As our nationís highways continue to fill up with passenger and freight traffic, the maritime industry has been exploring ways to solve our Americaís growing transportation needs. One of the most obvious ways is to rebuild our national coastwise trading industry.
Short Sea Shipping, historically referred to as the coastwise trade, would effectively remove thousands of trucks from major coastal and inland highways. This reduces the burden on our highways and railways, and lowers the cost and time of transportation for shippers. Instead of cargo entering mega-ports on each coast and then loading containers and freight on trucks and rail, the cargo is transshipped to smaller ports for distribution closer to the eventual destination: the consumer.
Coastwise trading is being effectively utilized in Europe today. However, because of unnecessary government regulation and outdated tax policy, short sea shipping has yet to take hold in the United States.
One of the major barriers to short sea shipping is the Harbor Maintenance Tax. This tax, which was designed as a user-fee to pay for the dredging and upkeep of ports across America, taxes each individual cargo that enters a port. When the cargo is transshipped to another destination, that cargo is taxed again. The resulting multiple taxation of the cargo significantly reduces whatever direct savings would have been realized by the shipper.
AMC is working with the Administration and Congress to address this problem and remove all of the barriers to rebuilding an effective coastwise trade in the United States
Liquefied Natural Gas Importation - Reliable access to energy has been a major issue within America the last few years, especially in todayís uncertain world. AMC has been working on a variety of energy related issues with maritime implications. Paramount of these has been the rebuilding of our Liquefied Natural Gas fleet.
America pioneered the ocean transportation of liquefied natural gas back in the 1970s. However, since that time, our share of that trade has dwindled. The last U.S.-Flag LNG tanker left our fleet in 2000.
Since that time, however, the world has changed, and with our renewed emphasis on national and homeland security, the return of America to the LNG trade is critical to our nationís energy independence and security needs.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Oil Exploration - As America continues to find ways to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy, it is increasingly important than we utilize sources available at home. AMC and the maritime industry have long advocated the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration. Thanks to modern exploration techniques, ANWR can be explored and the oil removed in a way that both protects the environment and helps to decrease our dependence on overseas oil. Moving the equipment, materials and eventually the oil will require the use of U.S.-Flag shipping, which will provide hundreds of jobs and dozens of ships for American mariners to crew and American operators to run.