Here is the problem. When the ships come from the Mainland, they are full...when they return to the Mainland ...they are mostly empty. This translates to higher shipping costs for Hawaii goods. About 95% of all Hawaii's food comes from the Mainland and it is easy to see how this would impact the cost of food.
According to the Heritage Foundation, "The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly referred to as the Jones Act, is a protectionist measure that regulates domestic U.S. shipping practices. The Jones Act mandates that any goods shipped by water between two points in the United States must be transported on a U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, and at least 75 percent U.S.-crewed vessel. Originally conceived to sustain the Merchant Marine fleet after the First World War, the Jones Act has become the support system for domestic commercial shipbuilding. "
It is time to update or change this law. Hawaii Small Business and all Hawaiians are being effected by an old law that may have had a good intentions many years ago, but today, it makes no sense. If you have a different view, we would love to hear your side of the story.