Student Research

The Sinking Ship: The American Shipbuilding Industry

GMA 400 - Senior Seminar Research

Ever since they were a British colony, the shipbuilding industry has been a part of the American manufacturing. However, today the American shipbuilding industry has been slowly crumbling. It has in fact been crumbing for a long time, but no one has done a thing to stop it. There are several factors that have contributed to the collapsing shipbuilding industry. Foreign competition has made it difficult for the American shipbuilding to be internationally competitive because they have far surpassed the US. However, subsidies, or the lack thereof, is the largest contributing factor as to why US shipbuilding declined. The United States did once subsidize the shipbuilding industry, but when President Reagan got rid of them without any similar action from other countries, the shipbuilding industry was finished. There now lies an opportunity to try and save the industry. However, any kind of significant legislative reform will only be achieved after there has been serious fundamental changes in the way that the US attitude, understanding, and perception of these maritime issues.