Blame bad Biden policy, not the Jones Act

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

The train wreck of historic proportions known as the Biden administration is still more than a month shy of marking its one-year anniversary and collateral damages as a result of its horrifically misguided and shortsighted decision making has negatively affected virtually every sector of the US economy.

These actions began immediately upon the democrats’ seizure of power, as on his first day on the job, the new president signed an unprecedented flurry of executive orders into law, cementing his reputation as a president who will aggressively stretch the limits of his authority at every opportunity.

An example of terrible Biden policy was his executive order that caused reverberations felt by virtually all Americans where it hurts the most – their wallets. The order, which the White House called the “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” effectively shut down the Keystone Pipeline and led to an immediate surge in energy costs.  These surges directly resulted in price hikes everywhere from the grocery store to the pump and all points in between, in addition to killing thousands of high-paying American jobs.

The misguided reasoning for these energy-related EO’s stems from the left’s pandering to climate change activists and lobbyists in the green energy industry. Now these activists are turning their attention to the Jones Act – a 100-year-old federal statute that bolsters America’s shipping industry and establishes the development and maintenance of a merchant marine fleet (in order to support commercial activity and serve as a naval auxiliary in times of war or national emergency).

A number of left-leaning media sites have now taken to attacking the Jones Act.  One particular op-ed that was published by the Bloomberg Editorial Board argued that “the Jones Act harms the very people it purports to help. Because oceangoing Jones Act-compliant ships are more expensive, and there aren’t that many of them, the law leads to higher prices for goods, more congested roadways, and pipelines,”

The article’s phony alarmism continues with a claim that the Jones Acts’ “market-bending distortions could scarcely be exaggerated. As a direct result of the law, refineries on both coasts can find it cheaper to import foreign oil than to use domestic sources.”

When these kinds of flawed arguments are made they discount the purpose and benefit of the Jones Act.  They attempt to frame the law as a trade regulation when in fact it is vital to our national security.  Now that America imports virtually every vital product from PPE to pharmaceuticals from our frenemy China, the Jones Act is needed now more than ever.  Relying on China is a fool’s errand.

Critics of the Jones Act fail to acknowledge the role that the Democrat’s runaway spending and Biden’s own bad energy policy has had in being the root cause of higher energy costs.  Those same policies – advocated by the left – also are the primary cause of runaway inflation affecting both individuals and businesses in America.

Another ridiculous anti-Jones Act narrative concerns the sparsely patronized Alaskan cruise industry and a desire to put the interests of the Canadian tourism industry above the safety of our domestic ports. Again, another illogical argument given the current global conditions.   We should be expanding the application of the Jones Act, not reducing it.

But perhaps the most delusional of all the Jones Act criticisms being floated today is that the current supply chain crisis plaguing American is somehow Jones Act related. The truth is, this issue is really the byproduct of America having outsourced the production of so many retail products to foreign companies, mostly in China. Delays in the delivery of products and the bottleneck that has been created wouldn’t be aided by outsourcing our domestic shipping to foreigners, but it could certainly be helped by a better taxation and regulatory climate.

It isn’t clear why the critics of the Jones Act don’t recognize that China is the big winner of repealing or emasculating the Jones Act.  Activists need to rally around the Jones Act now more than ever. 

Let’s hope that though the White House has embraced every other awful “Green New Deal” scheme put forward by the left, that scrapping the Jones Act isn’t one of them. 

Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, the Editorial Director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist. His writing, which is focused on cybersecurity and politics, has been published by websites including Newsmax, Townhall, American Thinker and BizPacReview.

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Julio Rivera

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