Waltz, Rubio, and Colleagues Publish Series of Suggestions for US Maritime Strategy

Waltz, Rubio, and Colleagues Publish Series of Suggestions for US Maritime Strategy

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 9, 2024

In the face of rising competition for control of the seas and the People’s Republic of China’s encroachments on the freedom of navigation, legislators have called for urgent action through a national maritime strategy report.

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) released the bipartisan Congressional Guidance for a National Maritime Strategy report.

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

Having identified key areas for improvement, the report subsequently outlines strategic objectives and makes a series of suggestions for revitalizing the US maritime sector.

According to the report, 80% of Global trade is conducted via ocean shipping. 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.”

The report proposes 10 actions Congress should immediately execute to resurge the US’ maritime sector.

Among them are establishing a presidentially appointed position to synchronize national maritime affairs and policy while leading a National Maritime Council monitoring the implementation of such policy.

Additionally, the report suggests creating incentives for shipping products via US-flagged vessels through tax incentives and subsidies to increase the size and carrying capacity of US ships.

The overall aim of the suggestions is to achieve maritime prosperity and security, as any potential conflict with China would test the US’ self-sustaining capacity, which the maritime sector is crucial for.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

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

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