Shipping Industry Sails toward Subsidies While Congress Appears Close to Approving Aid for Hard-Hit Shippers, Some Lawmakers Say Maritime Business Gets Too Much Already

By Max Boot, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 25, 1994 | Go to article overview

Shipping Industry Sails toward Subsidies While Congress Appears Close to Approving Aid for Hard-Hit Shippers, Some Lawmakers Say Maritime Business Gets Too Much Already


Max Boot, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


SINCE the late 1970s, the federal government has released the trucking and airline industries from its grip. But another major transportation industry, shipping, isn't following in their footsteps. Instead, Congress appears to be close to approving new subsidies for maritime business.

Late last year, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation that would offer $1.2 billion over 10 years to operators of large commercial vessels in foreign commerce - less than the $240 million shipowners now get annually, but those New Deal subsidies are due to expire by the end of the decade. The bill also may offer hundreds of millions of dollars for shipyards, which have not received direct subsidies since 1981.

The Senate appears set to approve the legislation as soon as its sponsors, Sen. John Breaux (D) of Louisiana and Rep. Gerry Studds (D) of Massachusetts, reach agreement with the Clinton administration on the funding mechanism for the payments. A plan appears near, sources close to the negotiations say. Gale-force economic winds

Backers of the legislation say it is necessary at a time when the United States maritime industry is being battered by gale-force economic winds.

There are now 377 oceangoing vessels and 77 Great Lakes boats under the US flag - less than half the number just two decades ago. The number of jobs aboard US oceangoing ships has plummeted from more than 50,000 in 1965 to less than 10,000 today - a decline that corresponds with a concomitant fall in related occupations, such as longshoremen and port pilots.

US shipyards have been similarly hard-hit. The number of vessels under construction in the US fell from 97 in 1974 to one in 1992, according to the National Shipbuilding Initiative. If that trend continues, the number of shipyard workers will drop from roughly 100,000 today to 28,000 in 1997, according to the Shipbuilders Council of America.

A large part of the decline is due to dwindling Pentagon spending, shipping executives say. With fewer Navy ships to build and fewer Army divisions to transport, the maritime industry has been forced to look to the private sector. But attracting customers isn't easy, since US-built vessels cost more than those built abroad, and foreign-flagged vessels are typically much cheaper to operate than ships flying the Stars and Stripes.

Maritime-industry executives say they're not responsible for their lack of competitiveness in the world marketplace. Shipbuilders place the blame on foreign subsidies. South Korea, Germany, and Japan - the world's three biggest shipbuilders - each provide roughly $2 billion annually in ship-construction subsidies.

"As long as the foreign practices exist, it's impossible for us to enter the market," says John Stoker, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America.

In 1989, US shipbuilders filed a formal complaint against the foreign handouts, and US officials have been negotiating with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ever since to eliminate the subsidies. To spur along the Paris-based talks, Rep. Sam Gibbons (D) of Florida has introduced legislation that imposes punitive fees at US ports on vessels built with foreign subsidies.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Shipping Industry Sails toward Subsidies While Congress Appears Close to Approving Aid for Hard-Hit Shippers, Some Lawmakers Say Maritime Business Gets Too Much Already
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.