Lawmakers from Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam are teaming up to pressure the U.S. government for relief from a maritime law passed in the 1920s.
The Jones Act was designed to protect the domestic shipping industry. It says that only ships made in the U.S. and flying the country’s flags can deliver goods between U.S. ports.
That means that a cargo ship filled with goods from China can only make one stop in the U.S. at a time. It can’t stop in Hawaii to exchange goods before heading to Los Angeles.
Hawaii state Sen. Sam Slom says the law punishes the people of Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam and Hawaii with high costs of living.
Representatives from the impacted states and territories met in a videoconference Thursday.