Challenges Facing the U.S. Flag: Revitalizing the U.S. Merchant Fleet Through National Policy

GMA 460L - Senior Seminar Research Lab

Despite the history of a strong and prosperous U.S. maritime industry, today’s U.S. merchant fleet is characterized by inadequacy. Through dwindling numbers as a result of mismanaged legislation as well as shifting global politics, U.S. maritime policy has failed to maintain adequate means of supporting a national fleet. Even with the obvious benefits to the national economy, international political power, and national security, the U.S. government is seemingly unable to overcome internal politics in order to provide the nation with a strong merchant marine. Ultimately, when the question about what became of the U.S. merchant marine is posed, the answer is that it was essentially turned over to rest of world. Without any meaningful change, the U.S. fleet will at best retain its current 2nd rate position in the international maritime community, while at worst it will be left to continue to slowly become irrelevantrate to the same international community that it once led.