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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Infrastructure Security Special: Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Jones Act

Bolstering the Jones Act Merchant Marine Act of 1920 to protect critical U.S. bridges and enhance U.S. national security

The catastrophic loss of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, and the recent clearing of the bridge structure from the channel, exposed a significant vulnerability of our nation’s critical infrastructure that must be addressed. A great deal of press has focused on the apparent lack of adequate dolphins, or fenders, to protect the pier support structure of the bridge from impact by container ships and other objects. Ensuring such physical protection is installed on key infrastructure is vital as the loss of such infrastructure can cause significant long-term economic and national security impacts. The significant impact of the loss of one bridge is still unfolding in the aftermath of the incident in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the mere presence of physical protection measures, such as dolphins and fenders, is not guaranteed protection against strikes on bridges from large merchant vessels, as the Baltimore incident demonstrates. Accordingly, policy makers may need to look beyond mere physical protection systems and consider other alternatives for protecting key infrastructure. Although it is often ridiculed as an outdated protectionist economic measure and is a regular target of repeal efforts, the potential security protection provided by the Jones Act must not be overlooked. The Jones Act mandates that cargo transiting between U.S. ports must be carried on U.S. built, flagged, and crewed vessels. The Jones Act may actually be providing an additional layer of protection against intentional acts of sabotage and lax safety standards. Decisions on the future of the Jones Act should consider the value of these potential benefits as an additional layer of protection. The vulnerabilities of infrastructure exposed by the complete loss of the Francis Scott Key Bridge from a single ship strike underscores the need for a layered approach to protection.   

Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse and Impact 

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 26, 2024, the Francis Scott Key Bridge suffered a catastrophic failure.i The entirety of the superstructure of the main spans of the bridge collapsed into the shipping channel of the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Maryland.ii The cause of the failure was a vessel strike on one of the two sets of piers that supported the main spans across the channel.iii The vessel, a 100,000 ton container ship, the MV Dali, struck the pier at approximately 8 knots, exerting an estimated impact force of approximately 20,000 tons on the pier.iv The MV Dali failed to hit the first protection mechanisms, the dolphins, on its approach to the bridge and the impact force proved to be too great for the second protection mechanism, the fenders (also addressed in greater detail below), to prevent catastrophic damage to the bridge’s support pier. v  Because of the type of bridge, a three-span truss, the two sets of support piers on either side of the shipping channel were single points of failure for the superstructure. vi Having collapsed one of the two support points for the central truss span, the three-span continuous steel truss superstructure collapsed into the water and completely blocked the shipping channel.vii  

The physical protection mechanisms on the bridge failed to prevent the catastrophic loss. The dolphins were located approximately 100 meters upstream and downstream of the bridge.viii On approach to the main span of the bridge, the MV Dali lost power and left the main shipping channel. ix It then turned back into the channel as it continued its attempt to transit under the bridge.x As a result of this course diversion, the angle of approach of the MV Dali to the bridge piers was not the angle of approach for the bridge’s physical protection mechanisms. As a result, the MV Dali missed the dolphins that were installed for the purpose of deflecting wayward ships back into the center of the channel and away from the bridge piers.xi Having missed the dolphins entirely, the MV Dali then proceeded unabated towards the bridge pier structure. It then struck the fenders mounted around the bridge piers that were designed to reduce the level of impact to the pier from a vessel. Unfortunately, the fenders were not designed to address ships as large as the MV Dalixii The fenders collapsed, the MV Dali struck the bridge pier, which collapsed, and then caused a complete collapse of the main spans.xiii Six construction workers who were working on the bridge at the time of the collision lost their lives in the collapse.xiv 

The loss of the Francis Scott Key Bridge is significant in two respects beyond the cost of the bridge and the tragic loss of six lives. First, the bridge itself is no longer available for passenger and commercial road traffic. Before the incident, the bridge served approximately 30,000 vehicles a day, or roughly 15 percent of the traffic through the region.xv Fortunately, most of the passenger traffic and truck traffic was diverted through nearby tunnels without a significant amount of impact.xvi The same cannot be said for hazardous materials transportation, which previously utilized the Francis Scott Key Bridge in light of cargo restrictions in place for nearby tunnels.xvii Tractor trailers and other vehicles transporting hazardous materials will now need to make a 10-20 mile detour as a result of the bridge failure, adding significant expense and time for such shipments.xviii This loss pales, however, in comparison to the loss of the channel for over 11 weeks. 

The bridge collapse effectively closed the Port of Baltimore to shipping, causing significant economic and national security impacts. By fouling the main shipping channel, the bridge collapse blocked the only point of entry into the port of Baltimore for large shipping vessels.xix Although a second channel was opened, its capacity was severely limited due to its shallower draft which could not support larger ships.xx The channel closure had significant impact on the operations of the Port of Baltimore, which annually processes 50 million tons of goods, with an approximate value of 80 billion dollars.xxi The port ranks in the top 20 ports nationally for tonnage, and top 10 ports nationally for value.xxii Economic losses due to the closed port operations have been estimated at 15 million dollars per day.xxiii The national security implications of the loss of the port, channel, and bridge were also significant. The Port of Baltimore handled nearly one third of the coal volume for international export, which is increasingly relied upon by Europe as a result of tightening of energy markets due to the war in Ukraine.xxiv Much like the pier being a single point of failure for the bridge, the collapse of the bridge was a single point of failure for the Port of Baltimore. The port was rendered inoperable until the wreckage from the bridge was safely cleared and the channel reopened to deep draft ships. 

Vessel Strikes are a Well-Known and Studied Risk to Bridges 

While the catastrophic failure of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was not itself expected, the risk of vessel strikes to bridges is well known. In fact, in 1980, a collision between a cargo ship and the Tampa Bay Bridge, a three span truss bridge not unlike the Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulted in a nearly identical failure.xxv In its analysis of the collision, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) noted that “[c]ontributing to the loss of life and to the extensive damage was the lack of a structural pier protection system which could have absorbed some of the impact force or redirected the vessel.”xxvi The recommendations of the 1981 NTSB report would appear to apply equally well in the aftermath of the Francis Scott Key Bridge failure: 

In cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, develop standards for the design, performance, and location of structural bridge pier protection systems which consider that the impact from an off-course vessel can occur significantly above as well as below the water surface. (Class II, Priority Action) (M-81-15) 

In cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, conduct a study to determine which existing bridges over the navigable waterways of U.S. ports and harbors are not equipped with adequate structural pier protection. (Class II, Priority Action) (M-81-16) 

Distribute a copy of the results of the Coast Guard’s studies regarding bridge and pier protection systems to each appropriate member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. (Class II, Priority Action) (M-81-17)xxvii 

The vessel strikes on the Tampa Bay Bridge and Francis Scott Key Bridge were not an aberration. In various studies conducted on historic U.S. bridge failures, between one sixth and one quarter of the failures were caused by vessel strikes.xxviii In a review of 79 bridge failures that occurred between 1951 and 1988 in the U.S., 19 were caused by vessel strikes.xxix Similarly, in a review of 59 bridge failures between 1980 and 2000 that were caused by collisions in the U.S. 10 were the result of vessel strikes.xxx Moving outside of U.S. infrastructure, between 1960 and 2002, 31 major bridge collapses have occurred worldwide as a result of vessel strikes with an accompanying significant loss of life.xxxi As a result, researchers have cautioned that “[i]n general, for bridges spanning navigable waterways, vessel collision presents a serious threat to public safety.”xxxii   

As a result of these well-known risks, models have been developed to assess risks of vessel strikes to help determine the levels of physical protection measures that are needed for particular bridges. To provide an accurate assessment of risk, such models must account for three key variables on each bridge. First, the model must take into account the probability of a ship collision with the particular bridge at issue. The probability of collision considers both powered collisions as well as drifting collisions, in order to account for loss of propulsion or loss of steering. Models typically take into account failure rates of engines and equipment (but, apparently, not intentional attacks). Second, the model must account for the probability of a complete bridge collapse resulting from such a collision. This will consider not only the type and location of impact, but also the type of bridge and the protection measures in place. Third, the model must take into account the broader consequences of such a collision. Based on the analysis of such models, decisions on costs versus benefits can be made regarding the levels of physical protection that must be equipped on and around the bridge piers and channel approaches.xxxiii A number of options exist for physical protection mechanisms. 

Overview of Existing Physical Protection Measures  

Bridge physical protection systems can be grouped into two main categories. The first category includes protection systems that have force resistance greater than a vessel’s crushing force.  Such protection systems are designed to be physically robust, resulting in significant damage to the vessel while the protection system remains largely intact. These systems include dolphins and island protection systems, which are islands of rocks and sand built around bridge piers.xxxiv   

The second category of physical protection mechanisms includes protection systems with force resistance lower than a vessel’s crushing force. These protection systems are intended to be sacrificial, absorbing the force of the vessel and deforming on impact. Examples include fender systems, pile-supported systems, and floating protection systems.xxxv Each category of protection system has a use case which is informed by design standards, costs, risks of collision, and collateral effects of loss.xxxvi The physical protection mechanisms also have limitations on their effectiveness. 

Physical Protection Measures Provide Inadequate Bridge Protection Against Vessel Strikes  

As demonstrated by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, physical bridge protection mechanisms alone are likely to be insufficient to prevent catastrophic bridge strikes because of a number of inherent limitations in such systems.  

First, the selection and design of physical protection measures is based on a number of assumptions that could ultimately be flawed. Following the 1980 bridge collapse in Tampa Bay, industry standards were developed to address the need for, and design of, physical protection systems for bridges to guard against vessel strikes. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO, which was mentioned by name in the 1981 NTSB report discussed above) was tasked with promulgating these standards. Most recently updated in 2010, the standards—AASHTO’s Guide Specifications and Commentary for Vessel Collision Design of Highway Bridges, 2nd Edition—set forth design criteria for physical bridge protection systems. The standards specify accepted methods for calculating risks of collision and collapse, assumptions that can be made based on the types of vessels likely to strike a particular bridge, and options for physical protection mechanisms based on those risk calculations.xxxvii Any one of these assumptions could be mistaken for a given bridge, or the assumptions that were true at the time of design may not continue to be true for the useful life of the bridge. Further, the risk of intentional strikes by terrorist groups or adversary nations potentially upends a number of risk assumptions, especially where risks of strike calculations traditionally have focused on equipment failure and random collisions rather than an intentional attack. 

Second, believing the assumptions that determine risk are correct, the designs of bridge protection mechanisms must take into account cost and the level of acceptable risk. Depending on whether a bridge is “critical” or “typical,” the risk acceptance rate for collapse varies. For “critical” bridges, the risk of collapse cannot exceed 1 in 10,000 years. For “typical” bridges, the risk of collapse cannot exceed 1 in 1,000 years.xxxviii Physical protection mechanisms are selected in order to meet the required risk profile for collapse.xxxix As noted by University of Michigan Professor of Civil Engineering Sherif El-Tawil, “[t]heoretically, you could build a structure that would never fail, but you’d have to put infinite money into it.”xl     

Third, physically protecting all of the bridges across navigable waterways in the U.S. against all potential threats is not a feasible task. Worldwide, a significant number of older bridge structures do not meet current requirements.xli In the U.S. alone, recent inspections have identified 309 major bridges over navigable waterways that have deteriorating, outdated, or non-existent physical protection mechanisms.xlii Retrofitting or replacing such structures will require significant economic outlays and will take time. Further, there is the ever-present risk that by the time such updates are actually completed, they will already be outdated once again. Ships are constantly increasing in size and weight, so a design based on current ship sizes and assumptions is unlikely to be sufficient for future ships.xliii   

In light of all of these inherent limitations in physical protection systems, policy makers must look beyond mere physical protection mechanisms to layered protections that reduce risks of vessel strikes on bridges in order to prevent future catastrophic bridge failures. The Jones Act provides a much needed layer of protection that reduces risks of collisions and must not be lost.  

The Jones Act, Its Critics, Attempts at Repeal, and Why That May be a Bad Idea 

Historically, the Jones Act has been viewed as a mechanism to ensure availability of merchant vessels and crews to meet U.S. military and civilian needs in times of war. Indeed, the preamble of the Act itself reads: 

That it is necessary for the national defense and for the proper growth of its foreign and domestic commerce that the United States shall have a merchant marine of the best equipped and most suitable types of vessels sufficient to carry the greater portion of its commerce and serve as a naval or military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency, ultimately to be owned and operated privately by citizens of the United States; and it is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to do whatever may be necessary to develop and encourage the maintenance of such a merchant marine.xliv 

Although commonly referred to as the Jones Act, the operative legislation itself was actually the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which specifies that any cargo transiting between two U.S. ports must be carried on vessels that meet certain requirements.xlv First, the vessels must have been built in U.S. shipyards.xlvi Second, the vessels must be flagged as U.S. vessels, subject to all of the requirements of U.S. safety regulations, with U.S. owners.xlvii Third, the vessels must be crewed by U.S. citizens.xlviii Together, these requirements were intended to ensure the U.S. maintains shipbuilding capability for merchant vessels and the U.S. has a cadre of experienced merchant mariners to serve on board merchant vessels, as set forth in the preamble to the Act.    

The Jones Act has been the subject of a great deal of criticism over the years. The criticism largely focuses on inefficiencies allegedly caused by the act and the outdated protectionism of the Act.xlix The CATO institute minced no words in its assessment, contending that: 

While the law’s most direct consequence is to raise transportation costs, which are passed down through supply chains and ultimately reflected in higher retail prices, it generates enormous collateral damage through excessive wear and tear on the country’s infrastructure, time wasted in traffic congestion, and the accumulated health and environmental toll caused by unnecessary carbon emissions and hazardous material spills from trucks and trains.l 

Without question, foreign ships, crews, and registration are less expensive than domestic ones.li  Furthermore, because foreign ships, crews, and registration is less expensive than domestic, arguments have been made that the Jones Act increases costs unnecessarily and contributes to inflation.lii According to the critics, these costs result in inefficient uses of cargo routes, and causes inefficient shifts from seaborne cargo to cargo over rail and truck.liii As noted by CATO’s study, “[o]nly 2 percent of American freight travels by sea. In the European Union, where cabotage [movement between ports by ship] among the member states is permitted, the corresponding figure is 40 percent.” 

These criticisms have led to calls to repeal the Jones Act, and a number of legislative proposals have been introduced. In 2020, Representative Justin Amash introduced H.R. 8996, the “Jones Act Repeal Act.” liv A more recent proposal was introduced by Senator Mike Lee on January 25, 2024.lv The press release that accompanied the bill echoes a lot of the points made by critics of the Jones Act addressed above.lvi The bill—entitled the “Open America’s Waters Act”—proposes “allowing all vessels that meet U.S. legal standards” to engage in cabotage within the U.S. and move cargo between U.S. ports, regardless of nationality of the ship builder, crew, or owner.lvii Other than requiring a ship to meet relevant U.S. safety standards, no other restrictions will remain.lviii The security benefits provided by the Jones Act have not been a key area of focus, however, when balancing the costs and benefits of the Act. 

The Jones Act provides two key layers of protection that reduce the risk of vessel strikes against bridges. First, the ships themselves are subject to U.S. safety regulations as a result of ownership and registration, reducing the risk of unsafe vessels that may strike bridges. Second, the majority of the members of the crew on Jones Act ships are required to be U.S. citizens. As such, potential vetting opportunities are much greater. It is far less likely that terrorists or malign actors will be able to embed themselves into the crew on a Jones Act ship in order to use the ship to strike bridges or other infrastructure intentionally.  

Additionally, one of the ostensible negative effects of the Jones Act may actually be beneficial, at least with respect to the goal of reducing bridge collisions. As noted above, critics have keyed in on the fact that only two percent of American freight travels by sea, while 40 percent of freight travels by sea in Europe, blaming the discrepancy on the Jones Act. Assuming critics are correct, repeal of the Jones Act would potentially result in a 20 times increase in freight sent by sea between U.S. ports.  Since a key factor in the number of bridge collisions is the amount of vessel traffic going through a particular port, a 20 times increase in traffic would certainly result in significantly increased risk of collisions.  

Conclusion 

The need to ensure that adequate protection is in place for bridges has been demonstrated by the catastrophic loss of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the temporary closure of a key port. Although ensuring physical protection measures are installed on bridges is vital, especially on the 309 major bridges over navigable waterways that have deteriorating, outdated, or non-existent physical protection mechanisms, other opportunities to reduce risk must not be overlooked. Although a regular target of repeal efforts, the Jones Act potentially provides an additional layer of protection against intentional acts of sabotage and lax safety standards that threaten bridge infrastructure. As a result, the decision whether to proceed with a repeal of the Act should balance ostensible increases in efficiency that would result from its repeal against the security benefits of the Act.   

The author is responsible for the content of this article. The views expressed do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Intelligence University, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. Intelligence Community, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or the U.S. Government. 

References

i Lea Skene, “Baltimore bridge collapses after powerless cargo ship rams into support column; 6 presumed dead,” AP News, 26 March 2024, https://apnews.com/article/baltimore-bridge-collapse-53169b379820032f832de4016c655d1b. 

ii Ibid. 

 iii Ibid. 

 iv Colin Caprani, “Baltimore bridge collapse: A bridge engineer explains what happened, and what needs to change,” TechExplore, 27 March 2024, https://techxplore.com/news/2024-03-baltimore-bridge-collapse.html. 

 v Roopinder Tara, “Structural dolphins too small and too few to protect bridges against big ships,” Engineering, 5 April 2024, https://www.engineering.com/story/structural-dolphins-too-small-and-too-few-to-protect-bridges-against-big-ships. 

 vi Ibid. 

 vii Colin Caprani, “Baltimore bridge collapse: A bridge engineer explains what happened, and what needs to change,” TechExplore, 27 March 2024, https://techxplore.com/news/2024-03-baltimore-bridge-collapse.html. 

 viii Ibid. 

 ix Roopinder Tara, “Structural dolphins too small and too few to protect bridges against big ships,” Engineering, 5 April 2024, https://www.engineering.com/story/structural-dolphins-too-small-and-too-few-to-protect-bridges-against-big-ships. 

 x Ibid. 

 xi Ibid. 

 xii Colin Caprani, “Baltimore bridge collapse: A bridge engineer explains what happened, and what needs to change,” TechExplore, 27 March 2024, https://techxplore.com/news/2024-03-baltimore-bridge-collapse.html. 

 xiii Ibid. 

 xiv Lea Skene, “Baltimore bridge collapses after powerless cargo ship rams into support column; 6 presumed dead,” AP News, 26 March 2024, https://apnews.com/article/baltimore-bridge-collapse-53169b379820032f832de4016c655d1b. 

 xv Joseph Kane and Fred Dews, “Economic cost of the Baltimore bridge collapse,” Brookings, 28 March, 2024, https://www.brookings.edu/articles/economic-impact-of-the-baltimore-bridge-collapse/. 

 xvi Ibid. 

 xvii Ibid. 

 xviii Ibid. 

 xix Lea Skene, “Second channel opened allowing some vessels to bypass wreckage at the Baltimore bridge collapse site,” AP News, 2 April 2024, https://apnews.com/article/baltimore-bridge-collapse-04-02-2024-a533659d18ddd8a8befa80c41141e41d. 

 xx Ibid. 

 xxi Joseph Kane and Fred Dews, “Economic cost of the Baltimore bridge collapse,” Brookings, 28 March, 2024, https://www.brookings.edu/articles/economic-impact-of-the-baltimore-bridge-collapse/. 

 xxii Ibid.  

 xxiii Rachel Konieczny, “Economy could lose $15M daily from ‘incomprehensible’ Baltimore bridge collapse,” The Daily Record, 26 March, 2024, https://thedailyrecord.com/2024/03/26/bridge-collapse-likely-to-have-profound-impact-on-port-of-baltimore-operations/. 

 xxiv Rob Maness, “National Security Implications of Baltimore Bridge Catastrophe,” Real Clear Defense, 18 April 2024, https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2024/04/18/national_security_implications_of_baltimore_bridge_catastrophe_1025844.html. 

 xxv Frank Griggs, Jr., “Tampa Bay (Sunshine Skyway) Bridge Disaster,” Structure Magazine, May 2022, https://www.structuremag.org/?p=20417. 

 xxvi National Transportation Safety Board, “Marine Accident Report: Ramming of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge by the Liberian Bulk Carrier Summit Venture Tampa Bay, Florida May 9, 1980,” NTSB-MAR-81-3, March 1981, https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/MAR8103.pdf. 

 xxvii Ibid. 

 xxviii Hua Jiang, Mi G. Geum Chorzepa, “Evaluation of a New FRP Fender System for Bridge Pier Protection Against Vessel Collision,” Journal of Bridge Engineering 20, no. 2 (July 2014),  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264193688_Evaluation_of_a_New_FRP_Fender_System_for_Bridge_Pier_Protection_against_Vessel_Collision?enrichId=rgreq-d7266b466b9fef9f89343e1d6bc86d8e-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzI2NDE5MzY4ODtBUzo5NDYzNzI2Njg4MjU2MDJAMTYwMjY0NDIzNTg5NA%3D%3D&el=1_x_3&_esc=publicationCoverPdf 

 xxix Ibid. 

 xxx Ibid. 

 xxxi Ibid. 

 xxxii Ibid. 

 xxxiii Wenqing Ma, Yini Zhu, Manel Grifoll, Guiyun Liu, Pengjun Zheng, “Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Active and Passive Safety Measures in Preventing Ship-Bridge Collision,” Sensors, 22, no. 2 (April 2022), https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/22/8/2857 

 xxxiv Hua Jiang, Mi G. Geum Chorzepa, “Evaluation of a New FRP Fender System for Bridge Pier Protection Against Vessel Collision,” Journal of Bridge Engineering 20, no. 2 (July 2014),  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264193688_Evaluation_of_a_New_FRP_Fender_System_for_Bridge_Pier_Protection_against_Vessel_Collision?enrichId=rgreq-d7266b466b9fef9f89343e1d6bc86d8e-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzI2NDE5MzY4ODtBUzo5NDYzNzI2Njg4MjU2MDJAMTYwMjY0NDIzNTg5NA%3D%3D&el=1_x_3&_esc=publicationCoverPdf 

 xxxv Ibid. 

 xxxvi Ibid. 

 xxxvii Michael Knott, Eric Nichol, Mikele Winters, “Ship & Barge Collisions with Bridges: General Overview,” Wester Bridge Engineers’ Seminar, Sept 2013, https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/eesc/bridge/WBES/2013/Session9/9C_3_Knott.pdf 

 xxxviii Ibid. 

 xxxix Ibid. 

 xl Sherif El-Tawil, “Bridges can be protected from ship collision: An expert explains how,” WFXR, 30 March 2024, https://www.wfxrtv.com/news/bridges-can-be-protected-from-ship-collisions-an-expert-explains-how/. 

 xli Wenzhe Zhang, Jin Pan, Na Li, Mingcai Xu, “The Safety Assessment of Ship-Bridge Collision Based on a Simplified Dynamic Model,” Proceedings of the ASME 2023 42nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, June 2023, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/374139362_The_Safety_Assessment_of_Ship-Bridge_Collision_Based_on_a_Simplified_Dynamic_Model; Casey Tolan, Isabelle Chapman, Curt Devine, Yahya Abou-Ghazala, “Major US bridges could be vulnerable to ship collisions, including one just downstream from Key Bridge,” CNN, 3 April 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/03/us/major-us-bridge-vulnerability-invs/index.html. 

 xlii Mike Baker, Anjali Singhvi, Helmuth Rosales, David Chen, Elena Shao, “Dozens of Major Bridges Lack Shields to Block Wayward Ships,” New York Times, 6 April 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/04/06/us/bridge-collapse-protections-baltimore.html. 

 xliii Sherif El-Tawil, “Bridges can be protected from ship collision: An expert explains how,” WFXR, 30 March 2024, https://www.wfxrtv.com/news/bridges-can-be-protected-from-ship-collisions-an-expert-explains-how/ (“You can design for current ships, but as they evolve, it’s hard to predict many years into the future.”). 

 xliv Salvatore R. Mercogliano, “A Century of the Jones Act,” Sea History, 169 (Winter 2019-20), https://seahistory.org/wp-content/uploads/SH169_Feature_Jones_Act.pdf; see also Merchant Marine Act of 1920, Public Law 261, 66th Cong., 2d. sess. (June 5, 1920). 

 xlv Merchant Marine Act. 

 xlvi Ibid. 

 xlvii Ibid. 

 xlviii Ibid. 

 xlix Colin Grabow, Inu Manak, Daniel Ikenson, “The Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear,” Policy Analysis CATO Institute, 845 (June 28, 2018), https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa845.pdf. 

 l Ibid. 

 li Ibid.; David Henderson, “How The Jones Act Harms America: A century-old protectionist law that inflicts economic harm,” Hoover Institution, 7 October 2019, https://www.hoover.org/research/how-jones-act-harms-america. 

 lii Ibid. 

 liii Ibid. 

 liv H.r. 8996, 116th Cong. (Dec. 17, 2020). 

 lv Senator Mike Lee, “Lee Aims to End Antiquated Jones Act,” 25 January 2024, https://www.lee.senate.gov/2024/1/lee-aims-to-end-antiquated-jones-act.

 lvi Ibid. 

 lvii Ibid. 

 lviii Ibid. 

 

author avatar
David A. Foley, Jr.
David A. Foley, Jr. is a policy advisor and attorney in the Executive Branch, focusing on U.S. policy on trade, intellectual property, and national security, with a particular focus on U.S. policy related to the People’s Republic of China. Over the course of his government service, Mr. Foley has served in the International Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the White House, where he led the issuance of multiple executive orders, and the U.S. House of Representatives.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Juris Doctorate from Cornell University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science and Technology Intelligence from the National Intelligence University.
David A. Foley, Jr.
David A. Foley, Jr.
David A. Foley, Jr. is a policy advisor and attorney in the Executive Branch, focusing on U.S. policy on trade, intellectual property, and national security, with a particular focus on U.S. policy related to the People’s Republic of China. Over the course of his government service, Mr. Foley has served in the International Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the White House, where he led the issuance of multiple executive orders, and the U.S. House of Representatives.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Juris Doctorate from Cornell University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science and Technology Intelligence from the National Intelligence University.

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