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McCain targets Jones Act again

July 19 - For the second time in less than two years, US senator John McCain has introduced legislation that would revise the Jones Act, which requires that all goods shipped between US ports be carried on US-built, owned and operated ships.

"I have long advocated the repeal of the Jones Act, an archaic and burdensome law that hinders free trade, stifles the economy, and ultimately harms consumers," McCain said in a statement.

"My legislation would eliminate this regulation, freeing American shippers from the requirement that act against their own business interests.

"The protectionist mentality embodied by the Jones Act directly contradicts the lessons we have learned about the benefits of a free and open market. Free trade expands economic growth, creates jobs, and lowers costs for consumers. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and finally repeal the outdated and protectionist Jones Act."

For many years McCain has been working to revise and repeal the Jones Act. He first introduced legislation to repeal the Jones Act in the Senate in 2010, and most recently introduced an amendment in the 114th Congress in January 2016 that would waive Jones Act requirements for oil and gas tankers.

Supporters of the Jones Act have repeatedly defended it, claiming its revision or removal would harm US national security, as well as damage the US shipbuilding and merchant marine sectors.

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