birdwatcher (birdwatcher) wrote,
birdwatcher
birdwatcher

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One of the most significant contributors to the high cost of living in Hawaii is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also known as the Jones Act), which prevents foreign-flagged ships from carrying cargo between two American ports (a practice known as cabotage). Most U.S. consumer goods are manufactured in East Asia at present, but because of the Jones Act, foreign ships inbound with those goods cannot stop in Honolulu, offload Hawaii-bound goods, load mainland-bound Hawaii-manufactured goods, and continue to West Coast ports. Instead, they must proceed directly to the West Coast, where distributors break bulk and send Hawaiian-bound Asian-manufactured goods back west across the ocean by U.S.-flagged ships. Hawaiian consumers ultimately bear the expense of transporting goods again across the Pacific on U.S.-flagged ships subject to the extremely high operating costs imposed by the Seamen's Act.
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