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Midyear Symposium Luncheon, 9 June, Wrapup

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    Dear Members and Friends, I think all who attend our luncheon Monday had an enjoyable time. We sure had great fellowship, a fine meal, and an interesting
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 17 8:38 AM
      Dear Members and Friends,
      I think all who attend our luncheon Monday had an enjoyable time. We sure had great fellowship, a fine meal, and an interesting program.
      It is my express intent to use these luncheons as a means of sharing news and items of interest. We covered the waterfront with the diversity of topics.
      With the sound of 8 bells, I called the luncheon meeting to order. Fr. Jim Wade, our council chaplain,  was prepared with a thoughtful invocation. Mike Roberts, our guest from Washington D. C., posted the colors and Admiral Johnson led us in the pledge. Let me touch on some of the items shared by the members.
      Guests Julio Blea, along with his wife, brought attractive prints of the USCG Cutter BERTHOLF and sold three. The sale of the prints will assist the ship's welfare and recreation fund.
      Captain Chick Gedney, quite involved with the Master Mariners, shared some news of the group's national conference in Reno.
      Don Hale gave an update on region news. He is encouraging Navy Leaguers who are interested in serving the League as a national director to apply.
      Others talked on upcoming events, Festival of Sail, Golf Tournament, Fleet Week, etc. Most everything has been announced in Captain's Call and on this website.
      The program was well presented and I thank all who participated. The subject was possibly too large but a few individual cases showed the ramifications of the Jones Act.
      The council for the first time had a silent auction to accompany the drawing - three model illuminated lighthouses and lighthouse jewelry donated by Phelps. For the drawing we thank Norman Freitag for Jim Shaw's large format book Tugboats, Jim Wade for the bottle of wine, and Phelps for the AMMV caps. First prize was $50; Catherine Gedney had the winning ticket. Bless her, she gave it back to the council to help cover future expenses.
      Our luncheons will remain on a quarterly schedule. Circle Monday, 8 September and 8 December for our next ones.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Edward Dangler
      To: pmmc@...
      Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:18 AM
      Subject: Midyear Symposium Luncheon

      President :Phelps--I thought the panel you assembled for the Cabotage topic was a good cross section of current coastwise shipping issues of Jones Act impact and complexities of enforcement. The below items reflect, in my view, what were the key points developed from the panel.  We did not get much attendee discussion, which would have enabled the panelists to bring out more aspects of Jones Act provisions as related to national security and related US transportation needs..


      The Pacific Merchant Marine Council helds its Midyear Symposium Luncheon at the Quinn's Lighthouse Restaurant in Oakland, CA on June 9, 2008.  The topic of the Symposium was United States Cabotage Laws in the 21st Century.  Panelists were Mr. Mike Roberts, Esq. of the Venable Law Firm of Washington, D.C., counsel for the Maritime Cabotage Task Force and legal representative for the Crowley Corporation, Captain Don Rose, USCG, Staff Judge Advocate- USCG Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific, Captain Ed Dangler, USN (ret), Esq. Adjunct Professor of Admiralty Law, Lincoln Law School, San Jose, CA, and Mr. Mark Seidenberg, retired Maritime Transportation expert, US Dept. of Agriculture and currently journalist of The New American Magazine.  Moderator for the Symposium, was RADM Frank X. Johnston, USMS (ret), former Director Western Region MARAD.

      From their respective perspectives each of the panelists provided a brief overview as to the historical development of cabotage law in US from the original thirteen colonies to the current status of coastwise shipping regulatory provisions and enforcement.  It was pointed out that the original Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly called the Jones Act has evolved over time through congressional legislation to address the needs for maintaining US flag and controlled shipping assets to enable rapid expansion for national security and emergency sealift.  Panelists also discussed the complexities of enforcement of these provisions, particularly as concerns provisions for repair and construction work performed on US flag vessels in foreign shipyards and how such work could effect the status of US flag vessels in obtaining coastwise documentation.  A recent case for which two of the panelists were parties, provided a real world example of these complexities.

      Captain Dangler provided a thumbnail summary as to current viewpoints of the pro- cabotage stakeholders where primary concerns are national defense interests, maintenance of strong US shipyard capabilities, US flag vessels, and US maritime industry labor employment levels. These positions are strongly supported and advocated by the Maritime Cabotage Task Force.  The pro Jones Act Reform Coalition on the other hand advocates more free trade in a global economy, and has support from US port cities, agricultural interests concerned about lower cost shipping for their products, travel and tourism agencies, and foreign flag cruise line interests.  Moderator, RADM Johnston provided an update of the Maritime Security Fleet Program (MSP) and its relationship to Department of Defense needs for national emergencies.

      The symposium concluded with the best approach to establish a national maritime policy for the US would be to have all stakeholders work together on developing a comprehensive long term plan for US shipping needs taking into account the needs of our major export / import commerce and national defense requirements and surge capabilities needs.

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