Government Relations

Bold Ocean is truly a United States Flag maritime company – meaning we are neither owned nor controlled by a foreign-based company. In the language of the maritime laws of the United States, we are a Section 2 citizen company. We take this status very seriously and we are very proud to fly the American flag on our vessels.

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A National Maritime Strategy is Critical to National Security

“Commercial value cannot be separated from military in sea strategy, for the greatest interest of the sea is commerce.”

-U.S. Naval Strategist Alfred Mahan, 1890

A U.S. National Maritime Strategy has never been more important. The White House needs to release the National Maritime Strategy so we can make the industry viable, grow the industry, and sustain it. The U.S. Flag industry is vital to national economic security, and it needs more cargo, more vessels, and more mariners.

  • A U.S. presence in international trade is needed to carry goods overseas to foreign ports across the globe.
  • A fleet of commercial vessels with military utility that are owned and operated by U.S. citizens and are able to provide reliable support during wartime missions in support of national defense.
  • A pool of highly trained and experienced mariners is needed to crew the U.S. Flag fleet.

Federal Government Programs

In order to meet the national security priority of maintaining a U.S. Flag fleet and experienced mariners, the federal government adopted essential programs to ensure the availability of national defense sealift capability in the face of subsidized unfair competition that U.S. operators face out on the high seas.  The programs that are critically important to Bold Ocean include:

Maritime Security Program

In exchange for receiving an annual monetary stipend, a U.S. Flag vessel owner agrees to maintain a militarily useful vessel under the U.S. Flag and to make that vessel available to the Department of Defense when needed in times of war and national emergency—all under pre-negotiated agreements designed to ensure our warfighters get the sealift they need, when they need it, at reasonable rates. Currently the U.S. Maritime Administration which supervises this program has 60 vessels under such agreements.

Cargo Preference Requirements

This program specifies that certain percentages of all U.S. government cargo, both military and civilian, must be carried on U.S. Flag vessels, to the extent such vessels are available at reasonable rates and times. Current law dictates that agencies target a minimum of 50% of civilian agency cargoes, such as food aid, and a minimum of 100% of military cargoes and Export-Import Bank cargoes, be transported on U.S. Flag vessels.”

Jones Act

Under the Jones Act, only U.S. built, U.S. Flag vessels may operate in domestic trade, i.e. sail between two ports in the U.S. or its territories such as from Jacksonville to Baltimore.  The Jones Act ensures that our domestic commerce is served by vessels crewed, built, and operated by Americans—just as is the case in other modes such as air, rail, etc.

Bold Ocean’s Government Relations Priorities

These three primary government programs – Maritime Security Program, Cargo Preference, and Jones Act – are all under pressure from political, economic, and market-based forces. From time to time, U.S. agencies, Congress, political parties, and competitors seek to change these programs in ways which would have a significant adverse impact on Bold Ocean and other U.S. Flag carriers, and on the national defense sealift capacity necessary to protect American interests at home and abroad.

These are the programs we will be vigilant to protect, strengthen, and expand. The more resilient these programs are from forces that seek to weaken them, the stronger and more successful Bold Ocean is, and the more capable and reliable will be our national security.

How Will Bold Ocean Protect These U.S. Flag Programs?

“Every Seaman Is Not Only A Navigator, But A Merchant And Also A Soldier.”

-Sir William Petty (1623-1687)

We will work with allies in the industry, in Congress, and in federal agencies to educate others of the critical need for a strong U.S. Flag fleet and its importance to our national security and defense. We will work collaboratively to educate and support Members of Congress in furtherance of these programs, our industry, and our national interest. And we will help develop innovative, efficient, and forward thinking new programs which will increase volumes of government and commercial cargo carried on U.S. Flag vessels.

Most importantly, flying the American flag on our ships means we are a critical element of the national security of the United States. Our ships, our mariners, and Bold Ocean’s land-based operations are essential to the safety and security of all Americans. Since 1904, U.S. law requires the Department of Defense to rely in large part on U.S. Flag vessels for virtually all of its sealift needs – in times of peace, crisis, and war. These requirements are set forth in the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, which continues to govern America’s maritime doctrine to this day.

The resources and links on this page are publicly available internet resources that we have found informative about the U.S. Maritime industry. Bold Ocean did not write or publish the information available through these links and in no way endorses the linked content. Links will take you to external websites that are not hosted, written, or published by Bold Ocean.