Sen. John McCain has introduced legislation to "fully repeal" the Jones Act, which he said is preventing non-U.S.-flag vessels from helping clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The Arizona Republican said the 1920 law, which restricts domestic waterborne transportation to U.S.-flag, U.S.-owned ships crewed, built and owned by Americans, "hinders free trade and favors labor unions over consumers."
McCain said the law restricts shipping and raises costs to consumers in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam. He cited a 1999 U.S. International Trade Commission Study that suggested Jones Act repeal would cut shipping costs in those markets by 22 percent.
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