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  • Tom Drake

Could Canada's Days Be Numbered?

Senator Mike Lee wants to eliminate the PVSA.

Senator Mike Lee of Utah thinks it is time for the Passenger Services Act to disappear and he has introduced the Open Ports Act to make that happen.


Lee said in a statement, “The PVSA is bad news. “This arcane law benefits Canada, Mexico, and other countries who receive increased maritime traffic, at the expense of American workers in our coastal cities, towns, and ports. Reducing demand for jobs and travel opportunities here in the U.S. is the opposite of ‘America First.’


And in the context of ocean liners, this ‘protectionist’ law is literally protecting no one, as there hasn’t been a cruise ship built domestically in over half a century. The PVSA is bad economics and bad law, and it’s far past time that Congress reconsider it.” The PVSA requires that all ships transporting passengers between two or more U.S. ports (a “domestic voyage”) be American built, owned, flagged, and crewed. Due to these rigid and expensive requirements, many ship operators choose to domicile and conduct business elsewhere. As a result, these ships cannot operate continuously in the U.S., and must call at a foreign port in between stops at U.S. ports to remain in compliance with this 135-year-old law. Congress recently granted a waiver to this law to allow cruise ships to sail by Canada after Canada closed their ports because of Covid.

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