With all the years of studies and analyses showing the benefits of short sea shipping on America's 96,000 miles of coastline and 22,000 miles of inland waterways, there is still no federal policy on development of America's Marine Highway. In fact, the Administration has tabled discussions about maritime initiatives until 2017, which essentially means maritime policies will wait until the next administration takes office.
Congress and the Administration do not understand the relationship between the U.S. merchant fleet, the military and trade. This lack of understanding has created haphazard policies that are gutting the fleet and inhibiting the private sector's ability to recapitalize our aging maritime industry. The time for action is now. Congress and the Administration are considering budget proposals that, if unopposed, would destroy the U.S. maritime industry and hand over our maritime supremacy to foreign carriers.