Commercial Shipbuilding

The United States has a long tradition of producing some of the most modern and sophisticated vessels in the world. Today, U.S. shipyards of all sizes deliver a wide variety of commercial vessels including patrol boats, tugs, barges of all sizes, ferries, ocean going container and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessels, tankers, and oil and gas development support vessels among many others. The U.S. commercial shipyard industry, as well as its supplier base, is essential to maintaining the government shipbuilding and ship repair industrial base. In an effort to ensure robust and competitive U.S. commercial shipyard industry, SCA focuses advocacy on the following core issues:  

The Jones Act Bollinger_Commercial_New Construction.JPG

SCA strongly supports the Jones Act, the U.S. law that ensures a U.S. Merchant Marine and shipyard industrial base. The Jones Act is vital to America’s economic, national and homeland security. Additionally, SCA strongly supports consistent enforcement of the Jones Act, which is critical to the stability of new vessel construction markets. 

The Jones Act requires that all vessels operating between United States ports must be owned by American citizens, built in United States Shipyards and operated by United States citizen merchant mariners.  The construction and operation of vessels for the domestic trades generates hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for American workers and billions of dollars in economic output. 

Equally important, the Jones Act provides significant homeland and national security benefits to the United States though the operation of U.S.-built, owned and crewed vessels. It maintains and supports a critical domestic shipyard mobilization base, including ship construction and repair industries, and guarantees that American vessels and their U.S. citizen crews will be available to support the United States defense requirements, whenever and wherever needed. 

For these reasons, all recent Presidents from both political parties, and the Navy have strongly and consistently supported the Jones Act. 


SCA strongly supports the Small Shipyard Assistance Program, which is a competitive grant program that funds projects related to infrastructure improvements and modernizing equipment to increase the efficiency, competitive operations, and quality construction of vessels in U.S. shipyards.  Additionally, the program supports important workforce development issues.  Over the past five years, SSAP has created and retained thousands of American jobs. SCA was instrumental in securing approximately $160 million in SSAP funding between 2007 and 2012. 


The Title XI program provides loan guarantees for construction and reconstruction of aging U.S. merchant vessels in U.S. shipyards and for certain capital improvements to U.S. shipyards.  Substantial and consistent funding is necessary so that operators and shipyards can engage in projects with confidence.  This confidence is crucial for creating and maintaining jobs within the maritime sector. The Title XI program has strong return for the government, as each Title XI dollar can leverage up to 20 dollars of private investment.  Supporting a well-funded Title XI Program stimulates the economy, creates American maritime jobs, and grows the domestic fleet. 

reauthorization of the maritime security program maintenance & repair Language

Reauthorizing the Maritime Security Program (MSP) Mandatory U.S. Maintenance and Repair Program will ensure the mandatory maintenance and repair of a limited amount of MSP vessels to be performed in U.S. shipyards. In addition to making the maintenance and repair program mandatory, the program covers 100% of the cost differential for MSP ships performing work in U.S. shipyards compared to the cost of the same work performed in subsidized foreign yards. 

capital construction fund

SCA supports the expansion of the Capital Construction Fund (CCF) for maintenance and repair.  Enabling U.S.-flag vessel owners and operators to establish CCF funds for maintenance and repair of any U.S.-flag vessel in U.S. shipyards will help sustain the shipyard infrastructure at little or no cost to the nation's taxpayers. A modest expansion of the CCF program will help U.S. shipyards compete on a more level playing field against subsidized foreign shipyards and will result in additional job creation at America's ship repair yards. 

Offshore Oil and Gas Development

Over the past 40 years, U.S. shipyards have innovated for the offshore oil and natural gas industry competitively delivering the most state of the art support vessels in the world. SCA continues to advocate for the development of America’s offshore energy resources. 

Offshore Renewable Energy 

SCA strongly supports efforts to develop America’s offshore renewable potential. U.S. shipyards are poised to innovate and build for this emerging market. 

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Short Sea Shipping

SCA believes that America's Marine Highways (AMH) can be an energy efficient, environmentally friendly mode of domestic freight transportation. SCA advocates for legislation and policies to suppor the development of the American Marine Highway, including efforts to repeal the double taxation of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) on vessels operating on Marine Highways between U.S. ports.

Commercial Fishing Industry

SCA works closely with the Congress to clarify certain maritime laws to allow for the replacement and rebuilding of large, complex fishing vessels operating in the North Pacific

FOR MORE INFORMATION on commercial issues

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