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Impact of the U.S. Jones Act on Puerto Rico

The Jones Act: The Foundation of the U.S. Domestic Maritime Industry

The Jones Act, section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (46 U.S.C. ยง 883), has long been regarded as a cornerstone of U.S. maritime policy.

The Jones Act governs the waterborne transportation of merchandise between two points in the United States, requiring it take place on vessels built in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens (at least 75 percent), and manned by U.S. citizen crews. This federal law, along with related cabotage laws, ensures that companies engaging in domestic trades or services compete equally and are fully subject to U.S. laws and regulations.

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