In efforts to boost those impacted by the COVID-19, US Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney and Peter DeFazio introduced a new bill to provide financial relief for maritime stakeholders.
Both representatives proposed a Maritime Transportation System Emergency Relief Act which would include a broad MARAD-run grant program to allocate maritime assistance and emergency relief funds.
The ones that could receive it include port authorities and other eligible maritime supply chain participants in shipbuilding, waterborne transportation and other maritime support activities – for example, harbor pilots, assist tug operators and training schools.
DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation Committee commented that
The men and women who work within the Maritime Transportation System are part of our nation’s essential workforce that has been key to keeping critical goods moving during the global pandemic, and for that, we owe them a debt of gratitude … We must also ensure that stakeholders across our maritime industry have the resources and equipment they need to keep the global supply chain moving and stay safe while doing so.
He added that the legislation proposed will provide the maritime sector the same protections and relief given to other industries during COVID-19, and will close a huge gap in current federal emergency assistance that has left links in the maritime supply chain isolated and unable to access other assistance programs available to other industries.