Jones Act

Stephen Hanemann

Watch the Replay

First introduced by Washington Senator Wesley L. Jones, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 was largely intended to buffer the First World War’s shockwave to international trade and preserve the U.S. shipping industry. Effected into law by the 66th U.S. Congress on June, 5 1920, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, established coastwise-trade perimeters for domestic cabotage — the transportation of merchandise or passengers between two U.S. points. Surviving revisions, recodification, and attempted repeal, the Jones Act has become the subject of fierce controversy. Opponents continue to question its effective application while Jones Act advocates staunchly defend its protectionist purpose and valid intent. This retrospective will examine the historical foundation and theme of the Jones Act, as well as provide insight and timely commentary regarding the coastwise law’s application, enforcement, and future viability.

Stephen C. Hanemann, Esq.

Partner, Kean Miller LLP

Stephen C. Hanemann, Esq., is a partner in the New Orleans office of Kean Miller LLP. His career and passion both maintain deep roots in the maritime and shipping industry. Hanemann’s practice focuses on domestic and international trade, which requires an extensive understanding of both the Jones Act and international-cabotage regulations. In addition to advising clients on matters concerning trade and vessel finance, Hanemann offers unique expertise in the arena of coastwise-law compliance. He works with and provides essential elements of legal and operational support to vessel owners and operators, exploration companies, and pipeline constructors and operators. Hanemann’s professional engagements have spanned the entire U.S. coastline, and extended to many overseas trade zones, including Central and South America, numerous island nations, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Arctic.

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