The Jones Act is a crucial piece of maritime legislation that bolsters U.S. National Security and Economic Security, with zero cost to the federal government

The act ensures a strong domestic fleet and preserves the country’s expertise in shipbuilding and waterborne transportation by ensuring that cargo movement between any two points in the United States is carried out by U.S.-flagged vessels.

American ships crewed by skilled mariners, ship construction and repair yards, and other essential infrastructure are readily available to the armed forces during times of war, national emergency, or even peacetime. American vessels are built and operated to the world’s highest safety standards – no other nation sets a higher standard for mariner credentials.

Beyond its military importance, the Jones Act is essential for economic security – for every direct shipyard job, five indirect jobs are created, resulting in over $41 billion in labor compensation. The industry’s massive cargo movement alleviates congestion on roads and railways, benefiting the nation’s overall transportation system.

The U.S. Navy’s position is clear – repeal of the Jones Act would “hamper [America’s] ability to meet strategic sealift requirements and maintain and modernize our naval forces.”

U.S. National Maritime Statistics

Supported by the Jones Act, the U.S. Maritime Industry ensures:

American Vessels built in American Shipyards
American Jobs Supported
In Labor Compensation
$ 0 B
Annual Economic Output
$ 0 B


Wisconsin is a major Jones Act state, served by the Mississippi River on the west and the Great Lakes maritime trades on the north and east. Some of the largest vessels in the American Jones Act fleet serve Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is home to the largest port (and the largest Jones Act port) on the Great Lakes, the Port of Duluth, MN-Superior, WI.

Northeastern Wisconsin is home to a major U.S. shipyard cluster, constructing and repairing both commercial and military vessels.

The cluster of Great Lakes and Mississippi River maritime states, anchored by Wisconsin, represents an integrated system of Jones Act shipping in the Midwest.  Together these States represent tens of thousands of American jobs and tens of billions of dollars in economic impact.

Wisconsin is the home and the destination for many key elements of the American maritime industry — mariners, shoreside cargo handlers, tugs, barges, massive freighters, ferries, cruise ships, dredging vessels, commercial shipbuilding, military shipbuilding, ship repair yards, charter boats, large yacht construction, ports, shippers, maritime agencies, maritime higher education/training, and maritime heritage sites.