Protecting a Strategic Industry:
The purpose of The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 , also known as the Jones Act, is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports was to help maintain the U.S. maritime industry after military demand from WWI dissipated. Recognizing that skilled shipbuilders were an invaluable resource during times of war, the senator vowed that the U.S. would remain committed to protecting and growing this strategic segment of the domestic labor force in times of peace. The act was meant to support the U.S. military, permitting the Navy to use commercial ships to transport men and arms when necessary. It also allowed the U.S. government to sell the superfluous cargo ships constructed for WWI to the private sector.