2019 American Waterways Operators Annual Report Issue 2019 - Page 4

2019 ACHIEVEMENTS: ADVOCACY Since AWO’s founding, advocacy has been the heart of our mission. In 2019, AWO championed the tugboat, towboat and barge industry’s interests in Congress; with the Administration and federal agencies; and in the states, the courts and the media by: ■ Defending the Jones Act against hostile legislation, well-financed adversaries, and an unprecedented effort to convince the Administration to agree to a long-term waiver of the law. • Worked with key stakeholders to marshal Congressional allies to secure a commitment from President Trump not to issue a long-term Jones Act waiver. • Leveraged Congressional and coalition relationships to decisively defeat an anti-Jones Act amendment before the Senate Commerce Committee. • Launched the Jones Act Centennial Countdown Campaign to increase positive press and social media attention to the vibrancy and importance of the Jones Act. ■ Working with the Coast Guard to facilitate a smooth transition to Subchapter M, pressing the agency hard to increase its attention to proactive enforcement and consistent application of the regulations and securing practical policy guidance that: n 2 THE AMERICAN WATERWAYS OPERATORS • Allows towing vessel inspections to be coordinated among Coast Guard field units to avoid duplications of effort and speed COI issuance. • Permits persons in charge of fuel transfers on towing vessels to have a letter of designation in lieu of a Coast Guard license or tankerman endorsement. • Allows harbor tugs nosing out beyond the Boundary Line to operate without additional manning, credentialing and watchkeeping requirements. ■ Taking our case for uniform federal regulation of vessels in interstate commerce to the courts and elevating the issue of federal preemption in our advocacy with Congress, the Coast Guard and the states.