The Jones Act and Hawaii

The 1920 Jones Act requires that all cargo transported between U.S. ports be on ships that are U.S. flagged, built and mostly owned and crewed by Americans. It is well known that the act adds to Hawaii’s high cost of living, but what had been lacking — until now — were figures of just how much.


Five myths about the Jones Act

Supporters of the century-old law often tout five main arguments for why it should remain untouched. They claim it protects national security and American jobs, but research and data say otherwise.

Learn more about the Jones Act's impact on Hawaii's economy

The protectionist federal maritime law costs the average Hawaii family almost $1,800 a year, according to the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s groundbreaking study, “Quantifying the cost of the Jones Act to Hawaii.”

The new research shows that the Jones Act overall costs Hawaii $1.2 billion annually, including 9,100 fewer jobs and $148 million in unrealized tax revenues.

Discussing the U.S.-build requirement of the act specifically, the study says removing it would save the state $531.7 million a year, add 3,860 jobs and generate $30.8 million in state and local tax revenues.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii supports Jones Act reform that would address the Act’s shipbuilding and cabotage restrictions. Learn more >>

Why Jones Act reform is bipartisan

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii featured U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, Republican from Utah, U.S. Rep. Ed Case, Democrat from Hawaii, and John Dunham, nationally recognized economic researcher and co-author of the study, for this historic webinar to discuss the findings of the Institute’s groundbreaking study.