Granite City - To ensure that the U.S. Merchant Marine fleet remains able to support America’s national interests, St. Louis Port Council Agent Becky Sleeper met with Vice President Joe Biden during his recent trip here to encourage the Administration’s continued support of the Jones Act – a key law that foreign shipping interests are trying to sink.
Passed in 1920, the Jones Act requires, among other things, that American Merchant Marine ships and seamen move domestic cargoes and deliver material to our troops overseas.
Since 1775, Sleeper reminded the vice president, our military has relied on the Merchant Marines to bring food, equipment, ammunition, weapons, and troop reinforcements needed at the war fronts.
She noted, for example, that in 1991’s Operation Desert Storm, Merchant Mariners accomplished one of the largest sealifts in history, transporting military supplies, weaponry, and equipment for the military deployment. This pre-invasion supply build-up was four times the amount for the Normandy invasion in World War II.
The vice president was visiting Granite City to mark completion of the America’s Center Port’s South Harbor project, which was funded in part through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.