Pros & Cons
The detractors of the Jones Act argue that it drives up costs for the transport of cargo between U.S. ports as the restrictions result in higher costs for ship owners and also because of the resultant lack of market competition. As a consequence, it is felt, the U.S. shipbuilding industry has suffered. Ancient ships are kept at sea because replacing them is expensive, and American shipyards have priced themselves out of the market for international contracts due to the expense of maintaining an all-American workforce. Only 1% of the world’s large commercial ships are built in U.S. shipyards.
The supporters of the Act, in response, state that it benefits the U.S. economically and in wartime. It enables the US, they say, to safeguard the nation’s ability to produce commercial ships and maintain a workforce of trained merchant naval officers. It also guarantees a level of quality and comfort on board the ship that cannot be guaranteed, they say, on foreign builds. Furthermore, they say, allowing foreign-flagged ships to make commercial trips using American sea lanes would give them an advantage due to their not having to live up to the same standards as U.S.-registered crafts.
Infact as you can see for yourself after reading the above arguments both in favour of, and against, the Merchant Marine Act that both sides of the coin have a strong case. Yet the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and hence the reason of continuation of the Act