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The difference is that cruise ships aren't owned by brown people who grow casaba, and raise chickens for their daily diet.

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1 hour ago, Expat Canuck said:

Never underestimate a profit-driven company. The more exemptions, the weaker the net, the closer PR finally gets to the statehood for which they voted.

Assuming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nydia Velaszquez don't work to scuttle it again to protect their special interests ... https://truthout.org/articles/aoc-opposes-new-puerto-rico-statehood-bill-says-puerto-ricans-should-decide/?amp

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4 hours ago, Excoded Tom said:

If the cruise industry can't get rid of that cronyist relic, perhaps the oil industry can. Someone should.

There is no reason for any shipbuilding in the US.   We should take full advantage of Chinese subsidies and environmental rules, relying on them for all future construction.   Our ability to build something not painted gray is already virtually zero.   Even the inland shipping on the Great Lakes averages half a century of age, with better economics then buying new native built ships.   

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Not sure I'd want to throw in our lot with China to build all our ships for the US coastwise trade because we could no longer build them ourselves. 

It's traditionally been an (expensive I will admit) hedge against wartime possible scarcity of tonnage, and a dearth of trained US mariners.  And a big nod by the politcos to the unions in shipyards and on the bridge or engine room of tankers. 

It sure could be done cheaper elsewhere.  A new panamax (600x105) US-built tanker costs upward of $100 million, versus about $30 million for South Korea or China.

We have chartered in foreign-flag ships during the middle east in the recent past (Gulf wars).  And could again, depending on who is still our friends in some future wise or unwise war.  But that's merchant ships.  Gray ships may be harder to come by with no remaining US shipyards and a China-dominated world.  

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10 minutes ago, nolatom said:

Not sure I'd want to throw in our lot with China to build all our ships for the US coastwise trade because we could no longer build them ourselves. 

It's traditionally been an (expensive I will admit) hedge against wartime possible scarcity of tonnage, and a dearth of trained US mariners.  And a big nod by the politcos to the unions in shipyards and on the bridge or engine room of tankers. 

It sure could be done cheaper elsewhere.  A new handysize (600x105) US-built tanker costs upward of $100 million, versus about $30 million for South Korea or China.

We have chartered in foreign-flag ships during the middle east in the recent past (Gulf wars).  And could again, depending on who is still our friends in some future wise or unwise war.  But that's merchant ships.  Gray ships may be harder to come by with no remaining US shipyards.  

Well put.  Realpolitik has its place. 

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In related protectionism/cronyism news, Biden Signs Bill Waiving PVSA for Alaska Cruises
 

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President Joe Biden Monday signed a bill into law that will allow cruise ships to return to Alaska this summer, apparently ignoring that it was our own terrible federal maritime regulations that made the bill necessary in the first place.

Rep. Don Young and Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, all Republicans who represent Alaska, introduced the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act in March. The bill allows 51 specifically named cruise ships to bypass Canadian ports and go directly from Washington to Alaska and back.

Anybody who has taken Alaskan cruises in the past on these major cruise ships has stopped at ports in Canada. They might not have realized that a federal law—the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 (PVSA)—essentially requires Canadian detours.

The PVSA is a protectionist maritime law that requires that large vessels owned by American companies, transporting passengers between U.S. ports, be made in America and crewed by Americans. It is similar to the Jones Act, which establishes similar laws for cargo transportation.

It is a hamfisted attempt to heavily tip the scales in favor of American shipping and maritime interests. It's not even subtext: An explainer from Customs and Border Protection states outright that its intent is to provide a "legal structure that guarantees a coastwise monopoly to American shipping and thereby promotes development of the American merchant marine." The purpose of the law is to "advance the United States merchant marine and fleet by restricting the use of [non-compliant] vessels in the United States territorial waters."

But 135 years later, that's not how things have panned out. Colin Grabow, a trade policy analyst with the Cato Institute, points out that this law has not resulted in an American cruise ship manufacturing base. America has not built a cruise ship since 1958; the law is protectionism for an industry that doesn't exist.

Instead, cruise ship companies work around the law by stopping in foreign ports between U.S. ports. For the Alaska cruise, that means stops in Canada. This, amusingly, means that a federal law that supposedly exists to protect American maritime interests has in reality led to cruise ships having to make stops in Canada and increasing that country's tourism revenue instead. No wonder the Canadian government lobbies to keep the PVSA intact.

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19 hours ago, nolatom said:

But that's merchant ships.  Gray ships may be harder to come by with no remaining US shipyards and a China-dominated world.  

We build our own gray boats. The Jones Act is about merchant shipping. You know, like the vessels that bring propane to Hawaii from Africa because we don't have a ship that can legally do it.

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3 hours ago, Excoded Tom said:

In related protectionism/cronyism news, Biden Signs Bill Waiving PVSA for Alaska Cruises
 

 

We build our own gray boats. The Jones Act is about merchant shipping. You know, like the vessels that bring propane to Hawaii from Africa because we don't have a ship that can legally do it.

True for now.  But many of the shipbuilders who build the gray ships depend also on Jones Act construction to remain in business.  Take that away, and see what happens.  Maybe they'll be okay, but maybe they won't, and there will be fewer yards, and at higher cost to all of the taxpayers since less competition to underbid them. 

Fast forward a few years. China might look at that lack of capacity, and outbuild the US while pressuring yards in erstwhile friendly Countries not to take on that work for Uncle Sam. 

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1 hour ago, nolatom said:

True for now.  But many of the shipbuilders who build the gray ships depend also on Jones Act construction to remain in business.  Take that away, and see what happens.  Maybe they'll be okay, but maybe they won't, and there will be fewer yards, and at higher cost to all of the taxpayers since less competition to underbid them. 

Fast forward a few years. China might look at that lack of capacity, and outbuild the US while pressuring yards in erstwhile friendly Countries not to take on that work for Uncle Sam. 

Global and diverse supply chains are more resilient than local crony ones.

We have exactly one sorta PVSA compliant vessel, as the article I posted notes.

Quote

"There is only one PVSA compliant large cruise ships in the entire country, Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America which operates out of Hawaii," Grabow tells Reason via email. "However, that ship required a special waiver to operate under the PVSA as it was mostly built in Germany. That waiver was secured with the help of a major lobbying effort."

and it was built in Germany.

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