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McCain introduces bill to repeal the Jones Act

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U.S. Sen. John McCain has introduced legislation to repeal a 90-year-old maritime law that requires vessels transporting goods between states to have been built in the United States, be crewed and owned by U.S. citizens and fly the U.S. flag.

The law, known as the Jones Act, has been criticized recently for allegedly hampering foreign ships offering assistance in the cleanup of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The White House has asserted that foreign ships are helping and there’s no need to waive the law.

McCain, an Arizona Republican, said today the statute hinders free trade and favors labor unions over consumers.

Hawaii Republican Rep. Charles Djou opposes the law. Democratic Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, and Rep. Mazie Hirono back it.

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