New Waltz Bill Aims to Bolster US Maritime Industry

New Waltz Bill Aims to Bolster US Maritime Industry

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 23, 2024

US Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL) floored legislation to buttress the US’ maritime industry.

Specifically, the bill aims to promote the industry and recruit workers.

Representative Waltz’s initiative follows the publication of the  bipartisan Congressional Guidance for a National Maritime Strategy report.

The report was authored by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), U.S. Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL), U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and U.S. Representative John Garamendi (D-CA).

The report analyzes current US maritime sector realities and China’s growing influence and dominance over the seas.

When commenting on the US maritime industry, Waltz claimed the US could take several specific steps to enhance the industry’s global competitiveness.

Waltz stated that, among other necessities, America must “expand our maritime workforce and fully fund the U.S. Coastguard, Maritime Administration, and other federal industries that support the U.S. maritime industry.”

Waltz’s latest bill directly responds to the stated necessity.

According to the report, 80% of Global trade is conducted via ocean shipping. However, when compared to the US, China has 35 times more ships, 390% more maritime workers, and 340 more orders for ships.

Rubio, who’s become an outspoken critic of China, underscored the importance of preventing Chinese maritime hegemony.

“The competition between the United States and Communist China will define the 21st century, and nowhere is this conflict more prevalent than in the maritime domain,” said Rubio. “The U.S. must move quickly to revitalize our maritime industrial base, reinvest in a robust workforce, and advance innovative technologies to project strength and security in the world’s waterways, oceans, and seas.”

Waltz’s bill has been referred to the Committee on Armed Services and to the Committees on Science, Space, and Technology, and Transportation and Infrastructure.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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