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Right-wing radio gabbers, anti-worker Republican politicians and conservative think tanks are at it again. This time they charge that the Jones Act, a U.S. maritime law, is the culprit standing in the way of Gulf clean-up efforts. The Jones Act says that ships operating between U.S. domestic ports—for example from New York to Miami—be crewed, built, owned and flagged American. Most if not all other major maritime nations have laws that basically require the same thing.
Those behind the campaign attacking the Jones Act have two aims: To discredit the federal response to the disaster and to attack unions. They falsely state that the Jones Act is keeping ships that fly foreign flags from the Gulf operations and that the Obama administration has turned away offers of aid from many nations because the maritime unions want to skim up all the disaster-related profits.
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