Obama signs USCG and Maritime Transportation Act

The U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law on December 19 the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014. Earlier this month, this bipartisan legislation passed both U.S. Chambers of Congress by unanimous consent.

The law reauthorizes funding for the United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Federal Maritime Commission. It also provides policy direction and certainty for these entities and the entire maritime sector.

“With this law, we are modernizing the Coast Guard and strengthening businesses that depend on maritime transport – which is almost every business. We’re also strengthening American shipbuilding, the backbone of our maritime sector,”  said U.S. Congressman John Garamendi, co-author of the law.

The law also incorporates the Growing American Shipping Act, which requires that the U.S. Department of Transportation develop policies that enhance the national security and port safety of the United States by encouraging to the maximum extent practicable the transport of liquefied natural gas on U.S.-built and U.S.-flagged vessels when it is decided to export.

This law aims to maintain the technological ability of the United States shipbuilding industry to build and repair vessels for the Navy and the Coast Guard by maintaining the critical industrial infrastructure and skilled human workforce necessary to build such vessels.

“When we export LNG, it should be on ships built in America with American crews,”  Garamendi said. “So long as we choose to export LNG, it should be creating good American jobs in the process, and the revitalization of America’s shipbuilding industry has spiraling impacts that go far beyond this commodity. I’m proud of the work we put into creating this law, and I thank everyone in Congress and the Administration who was supportive through this process.”

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