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Sail-In highlights maritime industry's importance, priorities on Capitol Hill
Leaders and representatives from all aspects of the American maritime industry gathered on Capitol Hill May 13, working together in a united effort to communicate the vital roles served by the U.S.-flag fleet to the nation's commerce, defense and security and to highlight the key legislative priorities common to all U.S. maritime interests.

Following an opening breakfast featuring addresses by Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda and former Maritime Administrator Vice Adm. Albert Herberger, the gathered maritime industry spokespersons assembled into groups and fanned out across The Hill, conducting meetings with 124 Senators, Congressional representatives and their staffs.

"This effort was a tremendous success," said Brenda Otterson, legislative consultant for American Maritime Officers Service (AMOS). "In some cases, we were introducing our industry and our principle priorities to elected representatives and staff members. In many instances, we were meeting with members and staff who were acquainted with the important service to our nation provided by American merchant mariners and the U.S. merchant marine.

"In every case, we as an industry created an opportunity to acquaint our elected leaders with the immense value of the U.S.-flag fleet to the economy and to national security and to bring our legislative priorities to the fore," Otterson said. "The Sail-In reminded Capitol Hill that we recognize the powerful link between political action and the continued success of the U.S. maritime industry."

AMOS President and Chairman Anthony Naccarato and Director Edward Hanley were both group leaders participating in the Sail-In, as was Otterson. Participating in the event from American Maritime Officers were AMO National President Tom Bethel, AMO National Secretary-Treasurer Jose Leonard, and AMO National Executive Board Members David Weathers and Daniel Shea.

Some of the primary messages conveyed on Capitol Hill during the Sail-In included:
  • More than 1.6 million Americans are employed in the U.S. maritime industry keeping our economy strong and our nation secure
  • Everyday, we use our seaports and waterways to move trillions of dollars worth of export, import and domestic cargo
  • 85 percent of defense and military cargoes transported to the conflict theaters of Afghanistan and Iraq have been delivered by U.S. mariners sailing aboard U.S.-flagged vessels
  • 80 percent of our nation's humanitarian aid is delivered by the U.S. merchant marine, supporting more than 13,000 American jobs and assisting people in need around the globe
Key legislative and regulatory priorities addressed during meetings with elected representatives and staff members included:
  • Support for the Jones Act and other U.S. cabotage laws
  • Support for the Maritime Security Program and the fleet of 60 U.S.-flagged commercial ships enrolled in the MSP
  • Support for U.S.-flag cargo preference statutes, which reserve portions of U.S. government impelled cargoes for U.S.-flagged vessels
  • Support for the Title XI shipbuilding loan guarantee program, which provides loan guarantees to commercial interests to assist in obtaining financing for building vessels at U.S. shipyards
  • Support for the maritime industry as new environmental regulations are drafted and implemented, such that U.S.-flag shipping can continue to serve the nation as the greenest form of transportation
In all, the Sail-In was supported by a wide range of elements from the maritime industry, including international and domestic ocean carriers, Great Lakes carriers, terminal operators, labor unions and labor organizations.

The Sail-In was organized by the U.S. Maritime Coalition, a volunteer committee of representatives from the U.S. maritime industry representing the U.S. merchant fleet, maritime labor unions and other maritime companies -- including American Maritime Officers and American Maritime Officers Service.

Maritime Sail-In Sponsors

America Cargo Transport Corporation
American Bureau of Shipping
American Maritime Congress
American Maritime Officers
American Maritime Officers Service
American Roll-On Roll-Off Carriers
Intermarine / US Ocean
International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots
K&L Gates
Liberty Maritime Corporation
Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association
Marine Firemen'sUnion
Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development
Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc.
Pacific Merchant Marine Council
PHB Public Affairs
Sailors' Union of the Pacific
Seafarers International Union
Sealift Inc.
Shipbuilders Council of America
The Transportation Institute
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association-Houston Chapter

Maritime Sail-In Registrants

Acacia Strategies LLC
American Bureau of Shipping
American Great Lakes Ports Association
American Maritime Officers
American Maritime Officers Service
American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier
American Steamship Company
APL Ltd.
APL Maritime Limited
APM Terminals Americas
Bridge Terminal Transport, Inc.
Coastwise Coalition
DCI Group
Dredging Contractors of America
Federal Maritime Commission
Gilbert Company
Grand River Navigation Company
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company
Gulf States Maritime Association
Hapag-Lloyd USA, LLC
Hoffman Silver Gilman & Blasco
Horizon Lines
Interlake Steamship Company
Intermarine / US Ocean
Intermodal Marine Lines, LLC
Jones Walker
K&L Gates
Kincaid Maritime Consulting
Lake Carriers' Association
Liberty Maritime Corporation
Louisiana Maritime Task Force
Maher Terminals LLC
Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association
Marine Firemen's Union
Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development
Masters, Mates & Pilots
Metro Group Maritime
National Association of Maritime Organizations
New York Shipping Association, Inc.
Propeller Club of New York / New Jersey
Rand Logistics, Inc.
Royal Netherlands Embassy
Safmarine Container Lines
Sailors' Union of the Pacific
Seafarers International Union
Sea Streak, LLC
Seward & Kissel LLP
Shipbuilders Council of America
SSA Marine
T.L. Willis LLC
Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc.
Trailer Bridge
Transportation Institute
U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association
Venable LLP
West Gulf Maritime Association
Winston & Strawn LLP
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