Federal Government Issues New Guidance on “Ship American” Laws

Jones Act / Top News / US Merchant Marine / June 25, 2021

On June 11, 2021 the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that clarified the Biden Administration’s stance on the concept of “Buy America”. Building on President Biden’s Executive Order 14005, the Memo mandates explicit guidelines for governmental agencies to ensure that the spirit of the Buy America E.O. is implemented, and reinforces both the Jones Act and Cargo Preference Act as pillars of the Buy/Ship America framework. Among specific guidelines, each agency must be more transparent in its waiver processes when determining that no U.S. flagged ships are available to carry U.S. commerce. Additionally, each agency must name a Senior Accountable Official that reports directly to the Administrator of the Made in America Office, Celeste Drake, whose sole responsibility is to ensure that federal agencies comply with the intent of cargo preference, Jones Act and other “Buy/Ship American” laws.

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