Cargo Preference Measure Vital To U.S. Shipbuilding
Little noted among 1977 Maritime Day ceremonies was a speech by John P. Diesel, chairman of Newport News Shipbuilding and executive vice president, Tenneco, Inc., before the Newport News (Va.) Propeller Club, which by word of mouth, has since caused considerable comment — and requests for copies.
Noting that the U.S. government would not permit "our national interests to be jeopardized" by having U.S. Navy ships built abroad—at artificially low prices, to be registered under the Liberian flag and manned by foreign crews "perfectly content with substandard wages and poor working conditions" — he deplored U.S.
maritime policy which has long condoned foreign construction of a disproportionate number of merchant vessels for American companies, all of which fly flags of other countries. His conclusion: ". . . The Navy is not contracting with any foreign shipyard, of course, but—under current maritime policy—most other U.S. customers have already shifted their business overseas.
"The government—through its indecision and inaction—is sacrificing the economic, environmental and defense needs of millions of Americans to satisfy the shortterm selfish objectives of a few." With a steady decline in the volume of cargoes carried by U.S.- flag shipping and diminution of the American merchant marine, Mr. Diesel observed: "You might ask yourself about the wisdom of a national policy which calls for a large Navy to keep the sea-lanes open while it provides for no U.S.
ships to sail on these lanes." He went on: "Now, I admit that I don't exactly qualify as an objective observer when it comes to the benefits of cargo equity. And I frankly don't like to be in a position of advocating any form of subsidies, trade restrictions or quotas. I believe in free enterprise and free trade, and let the chips fall where they may. But the international market for shipping and shipbuilding is as far removed from free enterprise as the (aircraft carrier) Eisenhower out there is from the Mayflower.
"This nation's shipbuilders and fleet owners are in the midst of a fierce economic battle with foreign yards and foreign fleets.
Their governments have equipped them with missiles. Our government allows us bows and arrows and campaign promises. Nearly all other major seafaring nations —including several of our closest allies—already have some form of national cargo policy that promotes their own interests and discriminates against U.S. shipbuilders or U.S. fleet owners.
These nations recognize the critical role of the maritime industry in the world economy and maintain strong national-flag fleets to help achieve their objectives.
"We in the United States simply cannot afford to ignore the realities of the international marketplace any longer. Maintaining a free trade policy in this area is about as sensible as the egghead suggestion of unilateral disarmament as a way of ending the arms race with Russia.
"We simply can't pull out of shipping and shipbuilding," Mr.
Diesel said, "and leave these vital industries to those foreign powers who supposedly can do it cheaper.
Unless we are able to compete with them—even if the rules of the game call for subsidies or quotas—they'll be all alone on the field. And then watch what happens to those low prices for ship construction and bargain charter rates." His recommendation: passage of "cargo equity" legislation sponsored by Chairman John M.
Murphy (D-N.Y.) of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, which would reserve up to 30 percent of U.S. oil imports for transport by U.S.-flag, U.S.-built tankers. In his words: "The shipbuilding program required to achieve the ultimate 30 percent level would involve a total capital outlay of more than $13 billion and provide during the next five years 60,000 new jobs in American shipyards and another 180,000 jobs in related industries.
"The numbers clearly demonstrate that shipbuilding is a particularly effective job-generating industry. Each $1 million of shipbuilding contracts, for example, generates 33 man-years of em- manufacployment, one of the highest ratios in the manufacturing sector of our economy. By contrast, each $1 million of aircraft contracts generates only 19 manyears of employment.
"And remember, we're talking about productive jobs, where unskilled people—a high percentage of them members of minority groups—can learn a useful trade, where men and women can work hard and earn an honest living doing useful work—not picking up papers on the courthouse lawn under some federal giveaway program." Without "cargo equity" policy, Mr. Diesel predicted a dire outlook for the entire U.S. shipyard industry. "Unless Washington comes up with realistic cargo and energy policies," he said, limited newbuilding opportunities presently available to U.S. shipbuilders "most likely will go down the drain."
Other stories from July 1977 issue
- Rules For Floating Dry Dock Construction Published By ABS page: 4
- Proposal Calls For Ship's Spare Parts To Be Based Ashore page: 4
- Two Arabian Projects Totaling $80 Million To Great Lakes Dredge page: 6
- Raytheon Marine Opens New York Office page: 6
- The LNG Aquarius Is The First Of Twelve LNG Tankers Being Built By General Dynamics page: 7
- G.E. Marine Gas Turbines To Power German Frigate Ships page: 7
- ABS To Consolidate Headquarter Operations page: 8
- Western Union Int'l To Market New MARISAT System page: 8
- Skagit Corporation Appoints F.K. Weimann page: 8
- National Supply Builds 15,000-Psi Subsea BOP And Wellhead System page: 9
- Carrington Slipways Receive Order To Build Offshore Supply Vessel page: 10
- MarAd Approves Loan To Finance Bulk Carrier page: 10
- Gulf Trading Names Kenneth L. Hawthorne page: 10
- Mamo II Joins Dillingham Fleet In Hawaii page: 10
- Lantana Boatyard To Build 134-Foot Alaskan Landing Craft Of Krogen Design page: 10
- New Zealand Awards Multimillion-Dollar Contract To Sembawang page: 12
- Seven Seas Towing Names Capt. Cleveland Operations Manager page: 12
- Clay Chiles Awards Marathon LeTourneau 150-44-C Rig Contract page: 12
- Multipurpose/Container Ships Ordered From Korea Shipbuilding page: 14
- Propulsion Systems, Inc. Expands Thruster Line page: 14
- San Francisco Hosts SNAME Spring Meeting And STAR Symposium page: 14
- Hillman Transportation Names Kenny President page: 16
- Harland And Wolff Belfast Yard Building 333,000-Ton Tankers page: 16
- 'Tina' Is A Happy Blend Of Innovations And Proven Designs page: 17
- General Dynamics Awarded $354-Million Sub Contract —Option For Two More page: 17
- Thunderbolt Marine Industries Launches Twin 96-Foot Tugs For Panama Canal Services page: 17
- Moore McCormack And Aeron Marine Apply To Transport Oil For SPR page: 17
- Scottish Offshore Opens Texas Office page: 18
- New Vessel Joins Circle Line Fleet page: 18
- Electro-Nav Now Sole U.S. Distributor Of BEN Speed Logs page: 18
- Jeffboat Starts Work On A Second Ferry For The Mississippi River Bridge Authority page: 20
- Robert L. Hague Post To Honor Admiral Rea page: 22
- New 75-Foot Marine Lubricants Supply Vessel page: 23
- International Paint Names Donald S. Otto page: 23
- Anixter-Mark Announces Five-Way Ratchet Mount page: 23
- SNAME Pacific Northwest Section Holds Joint Meeting With ASNE page: 24
- President Carter Presents $25,000 Prize For Energy-Saving Device page: 24
- MacGregor Publishes Ro-Ro Encyclopaedia page: 25
- Avondale Launches First Of Four Tankers To Carry Alaskan Oil For Sohio page: 26
- New Shipyard Operating North Of Arctic Circle page: 26
- Farrell Lines And General Electric Credit Create A Maritime First page: 28
- Dravo SteelShip Expands Facilities page: 28
- USCG Certified No-Discharge Oxidizing Toilet Now Available page: 28
- Worthington Compressors Announces New Marine And Navy Sales Force page: 34
- Carrington Slipways Building Cement Carrier page: 34
- Tragosa Charters Seven Tidewater Vessels For Offshore Mexico page: 34
- De Laval Separator Issues Marine Brochure page: 34
- Dutch And American Firms To Jointly Build Hopper Dredge In U.S.A. page: 35
- R.J. Reynolds Industries Elects McEvoy To Board page: 35
- American Abrasive Metals Announces New Non-Slip Roll-On Safety Coating page: 35
- Marine Surveyors To Hold 19th Marine Conference In New York In October page: 36
- Boiler And Engine Room Controls page: 37
- Magnavox Introduces Marisat Shipboard Communications Terminal page: 38
- ASNE Charleston Section Reports Activities page: 38
- Pacific NW Section Hears Two Papers At Annual Spring Meeting page: 39
- Omnithruster Describes Maneuvering System In New Brochure page: 40
- Port Of New York Maritime Association Elects Officers page: 40
- Cargo Preference Measure Vital To U.S. Shipbuilding page: 41
- Delta Shipyard Delivers 120-Foot Seismic/Utility Vessel To Shell Oil page: 41
- Donald Staples Named Comptroller Of GM's Electro-Motive Division page: 42
- Peterson Maritime Services Open Office In Houston page: 42
- Zapata Marine Realigns Marketing Group Posts page: 42
- Over 1,500 Attend ASNE Annual Meeting page: 42
- Raytheon Introduces New Radiotelephone page: 43
- Seaworthy Engine Systems Appoints Jack E. Horner page: 43
- New Luxury Hotel Barge Begins Thames Cruises page: 43
- NDTA New York Chapter Elects Captain Fritzke page: 44
- National Maritime Council Elects Barker Chairman page: 44
- Stow Manual Contains Information On Solving Valve Problems page: 45
- General Regulator Opens East And West Coast Sales/Service Offices page: 45
- Lincoln Warren Named ODECO Vice President Oil & Gas Exploration page: 45
- Naval Engineers Announce Combat Systems Symposium Set For Oct. 12-13 In Maryland page: 46
- Papers On Navy C-P Propeller Program And Spray Patterns Of Jet Thrusters Discussed At Joint SNAME Chesapeake/ASNE Meeting page: 46
- Mississippi Marine Towboat Delivers Harbor Boat To Union RR page: 47
- Northwest Marine Iron Works Names Grider And Hiller page: 47
- Marine Electric RPD Markets Steering Gear Power Failure Alarm page: 47
- Halter Delivers New 185-Foot Ship To Offshore Services Ships, Inc. page: 48
- Equitable Delivers Ferry To State Of No. Carolina page: 48
- Crowley Maritime Appoints Richard Simpson And Alan Cavis To Caribbean Division Posts page: 49
- SNAME Chesapeake Section Elects Officers- Hears Paper On Domestic LNG Vessel Construction page: 49
- SNAME Los Angeles Section Honors Past Chairmen —Discusses Paper On Slow-Speed Marine Diesels page: 50
- M / V Gulf W h a l e Christened At Q u a l i t y Equipment Y a r d For O p e r a t i o n By Seven Seas T o w i n g page: 51
- General Cargo Ships Becoming Obsolete page: 52
- Kevin Patrick Smith Forms Supplier's Marine page: 52
- Trus Joist Brochure Describes Revolutionary Scaffold Plank page: 53
- Mar A d Awards Contract To Study Perishable Commodities page: 54