Executive Briefings

Why No Interest in Low-Interest Loans for the Merchant Marine Fleet?

A recent S&P credit-rating report on the end-of-life of the U.S. merchant marine fleet over the next few years read more like an obituary than a financial analysis: "Weak credit quality, challenging capital market conditions and reduced access to government-guaranteed loans could spell doom for many U.S. shipowners," said S&P analyst Funmi Afonja.

This particular report was particularly poignant because, while it is common knowledge that Capitol Hill is completely apathetic about the existence of the U.S. maritime sector, facing the sobering reality of mortality has never been easy.

Most U.S. industries have failed against foreign competitors because of lower wages overseas and the cost of health and retirement benefits at home. Yet Washington has always stepped in to level the playing field with low-interest loans or direct subsidies - with the exception of the U.S. maritime industry, which has not been assisted in any manner since the Reagan era. Today, even basic protections like Cargo Preference laws have been attacked by exporters, including the agricultural industry, which get billions of dollars each year in subsidies.

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Keywords: Ocean Transportation, Transportation & Distribution, Third-Party Logistics, Global Logistics, Logistics, Legal, Govt. & Regulatory Issues, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, Cargo Preference Laws, Beleaguered US Maritime Sector

This particular report was particularly poignant because, while it is common knowledge that Capitol Hill is completely apathetic about the existence of the U.S. maritime sector, facing the sobering reality of mortality has never been easy.

Most U.S. industries have failed against foreign competitors because of lower wages overseas and the cost of health and retirement benefits at home. Yet Washington has always stepped in to level the playing field with low-interest loans or direct subsidies - with the exception of the U.S. maritime industry, which has not been assisted in any manner since the Reagan era. Today, even basic protections like Cargo Preference laws have been attacked by exporters, including the agricultural industry, which get billions of dollars each year in subsidies.

Read Full Article


Keywords: Ocean Transportation, Transportation & Distribution, Third-Party Logistics, Global Logistics, Logistics, Legal, Govt. & Regulatory Issues, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, Cargo Preference Laws, Beleaguered US Maritime Sector