From the Wall Street Journal -The President Does A Jones Act
Blame it on the protectionist Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also called the Jones Act, that requires ships working in U.S. waters to be built, operated and owned by Americans.
This is pure poppycock of course. Non-Jones Act ships can work in U.S. waters. What they can not do is load cargo in one U.S. port and discharge it in another. U.S. airlines enjoy the same protection.
Building specialized clean-up vessels in the U.S. is too expensive because of high union labor costs, and unions don't want ships built with foreign labor to be used in U.S. watersThis is pure nonsense as well. Every major port in the United States is filled with ships built with foreign labor.
I wonder what percent of the U.S. vessels currently working on the oil spill are union manned? My guess is that the number is close to zero.
As for the nonsense about "accepting help" from foreign countries, these are not good Samaritan acts, they expect to get paid. No doubt American companies are trying to push their company equipment and vessels to the forefront as well.