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Carriers: Jones Act could ruin trans-Atlantic deal

The ECSA fears that the US Jones Act rules could muddle up the important US-EU trade negotiations currently underway. International carriers need unrestricted access to US ports, the association says.

Negotiators from the EU and the US are meeting these days to discuss the trans-Atlantic deal set to reduce trade barriers between the two regions. But the American Jones Act rules, which prevent non-US controlled ships from carrying goods and persons between US ports, could stand in the way of the agreement, according to European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).

“Whilst it is true that restrictions on pure domestic cargoes may not constitute a prime barrier to international maritime trade, the Jones Act does have implications for the delivery of international cargo. Today’s reality is that very often international cargo must be transhipped from one vessel to another, often smaller, vessel, in order to reach its end destination. Under the Jones Act, this ‘feedering’ of international cargo is currently restricted,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary-General, says in a press release.

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