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During testimony before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration Administrator Ann Phillips announced two efforts meant to support federal compliance with cargo preference requirements.
The efforts are an extension of MARAD's goal of sustaining and growing American shipping capacity, as the U.S. commercial shipping industry is critical to the country's economy and national security, according to a Sept. 16 Maritime Administration news release.
“Cargoes paid for by American taxpayers belong on American ships. Cargo preference requirements are not just ‘Buy America’ requirements, they are requirements that also help to strengthen America,” Phillips testified during the hearing, titled Cargo Preference: Compliance with and Enforcement of Maritime’s Buy American Laws, according to the release.
According to Phillips, MARAD is set to issue a request for information from stakeholders on cargo preference requirements, the release reported. Phillips also announced that MARAD will resume publishing comprehensive federal cargo preference data, a move intended to increase interagency efficiency and provide transparency regarding the movement of government-impelled cargo on both U.S.-flagged and foreign-flagged vessels. Under current federal cargo preference laws, the U.S. Department of Defense must move all of its cargo on U.S.-flagged vessels.