House Approves $ 1.35 Billion For Maritime Reform

Money raised by increasing duty on ships visiting U.S. ports The final piece of a comprehensive, bipartisan initiative authored by Rep. Gerry E. Studds(D-Mass.) to reform and revitalize the U.S.

maritime industries was approved by a vote of 294 to 122 by the U.S.

House of Representatives. Passage of the bill — H.R. 4003, the Maritime Administration and Promotional Reform Act — provides funding offset required to enact the ship operating and ship building programs agreed to by the House last November to aid the U.S. maritime industries.

"The House voted to ensure that American flags continue to fly from vessels carrying this nation's commerce.

That American shipyards will someday soon build another commercial vessel," said Rep.

Studds, who is the chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee.

The final version passed by the House represented a compromise between the original proposal for $1.7 billion, from the Studds committee, and a version for only $1 billion adopted by the Ways and Means Committee.

The amendment would increase the existing duty from nine cents per ton (assessed on vessels calling from Western Hemisphere ports) and 27 cents per ton (vessels calling from other world ports) to a flat 38 cents per ton. The amendment also raises from five to 25 the number of times the duty can be assessed each year.

Of the U.S. maritime initiative, Rep. Jack Fields, the ranking Minority Member of the Committee, said, "If we do not act now to pass H.R. 4003 to fund maritime reform, our own government will do what our wartime enemies have never been able to do — sink the U.S.

merchant marine and remove the American flag from the world's oceans."

Other stories from September 1994 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.