Higher import costs resulting from the Jones Act also affect Hawaii’s retail sector. This is because import prices work their way through the process of wholesaling and retailing. This means that annual costs for retail stores on the islands, based on the five scenarios, average about $54.3 million higher simply because of the Jones Act restrictions.
For department stores such as Walmart and Target, where many of Hawaii’s resident’s shop, costs are $11.2 million higher.
All goods react differently to higher costs, but on aggregate the lost sales resulting from these higher prices translates to nearly 624 fewer retail jobs, including about 104 at these department stores.
This data was the result of the groundbreaking independent new study produced by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, “Quantifying the cost of the Jones Act to Hawaii.”