On March 20, 2018, more than 115 officers and representatives from U.S.-flag shipping companies, American maritime labor unions, and related maritime organizations and associations came to Capitol Hill for the ninth annual Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In. The maritime industry leaders met with Senators, Representatives and staff in 169 Congressional offices to discuss the importance of the U.S.-flag commercial shipping industry and America's civilian merchant mariners to our Nation's economic, military and homeland security. They provided these offices with up-to-date information about the programs and policies that enable the U.S.-flag merchant marine and its American crews to continue to meet the commercial sealift requirements of the Department of Defense, including the Maritime Security Program, the Jones Act and the U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping programs. Most importantly, they emphasized that as our Nation dedicates its efforts to Buy American and Hire American it must also ensure that American cargo is Shipped American as another means to increase domestic employment, bolster America's economy, and strengthen America's commercial sealift capability.

Look inside for a summary and a more detailed explanation of the important maritime industry issues, policies and programs that were discussed with Members of Congress and their staffs during the 2018 Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In.