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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Schwarzenegger, Hawaii Governor Oppose Proposed Cabotage Rule Change

The governors of California and Hawaii have publicly decried a proposed cruise ship rule that would entail foreign-flagged ships to remain in a foreign port for 48 hours before continuing to U.S. ports. The new rule is intended to safeguard U.S-flagged ships from foreign competition.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, both Republicans, co-authored a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, urging that the proposed rule be rejected on the grounds that it would hurt their respective state economies by causing “unintended disastrous consequences and wide-ranging economic damage.”

A change is supported by the likes of NCL America, which was operating three U.S.-flagged ships in Hawaii before shipping two out due in part to foreign-flagged competition, whose ships briefly stop in places like Ensenada, Mexico, to fulfill port-call requirements.

The joint letter also asks the Office of Management and Budget to initiate an economic impact review before any rule changes are implemented.

Hawaii’s democrat congressional delegation supports NCL, stating that the line is at a financial disadvantage because it complies with U.S. labor and environmental law.

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