First, grant at least a five-year waiver of the act to Puerto Rico. This would speed the island’s recovery. It would also test how best to regulate foreign-flag carriers, and provide data to show exactly what the act is costing.
Next, scrap the act’s “build-in-America” provision, as Senator John McCainand others have proposed. The global glut in container ships makes now a good time to replace the aging Jones Act cargo fleet with cheaper, cleaner vessels. Many components in “American-built” ships are already imported; some “American” shipbuilders and shipping lines are foreign subsidiaries.
Allow foreign-flag ships sailing from and then onward to foreign ports to deliver cargo to more than one U.S. port on a given coast. This would stimulate coastal commerce overall.