American Maritime Partnership: Domestic maritime industry creates 9,670 jobs, $2.2 billion in economic growth for Wisconsin

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MADISON, WI — The American Maritime Partnership (AMP), the voice of the domestic maritime industry, today joined local business leaders to proudly announce new economic benefits of the industry to the state of Wisconsin, which ranks in the top 20 of all states for maritime industry jobs.

According to the findings of a new study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of Transportation Institute (TI), the Jones Act continues to fuel a strong maritime industry in Wisconsin and across the Great Lakes region, where 123,670 Jones Act-related jobs – or 20% of the national total – are based. Throughout Wisconsin, the industry employs more than 9,670 individuals, produces $2.2 billion for the local economy, and generates $635.3 million in worker income. $30 billion of the national Jones Act economic impact comes from the eight Great Lakes states.

Wisconsin is also an important shipyard state. A recent study of shipbuilding by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), covering both commercial and military ship construction, found more than $658.6 million of annual economic impact and more than $437.2 million in worker income for the state. The shipbuilding and repair industry alone support more than 8,000 Wisconsin jobs.

The Jones Act requires that the transportation of merchandise between all U.S. points be reserved for U.S. -built, -owned, -crewed, and -documented vessels. By enabling the domestic shipping industry to flourish, the law is not only a vital anchor for economic strength and job creation for Wisconsin, but also a pillar for the entire nation’s prosperity and security. 

Maritime Leaders Recognize the Economic Impact of the Jones Act: 

“The state of Wisconsin is a leader in the domestic maritime industry, supporting 9,670 family-wage jobs and contributing over $2.2 billion to the local economy,” said James L. Henry, Chairman and President of Transportation Institute. “The findings in our most recent study demonstrate the strength and necessity of the Jones Act, which serves as the backbone of the American maritime industry, the U.S. industrial base, and job creation for the hardworking men and women who crew the vessels delivering both in times of war and peace.”

“Quite simply, the Jones Act is American security,” said Matt Woodruff, President of the American Maritime Partnership. “In addition to the job creation benefits detailed in this study, our American mariners are relied on by defense leaders to project American force overseas in a national emergency.  Alongside our waterfront workers, they are the eyes and ears of homeland security on our nation’s coasts and waterways. Our American controlled fleet provides economic security, ensuring that our nation’s internal freight transportation system is not subject to foreign interference. American maritime jobs always have and will continue to be vital in the never-ending task of keeping America safe, strong, and prosperous for generations to come.”  

“20 percent of all Jones Act jobs are in the Great Lakes states,” said Jim Weakley, President of the Lake Carriers’ Association. “The men and women employed in the domestic maritime industry build and maintain our ships for commercial and governmental clients, including the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program, and crew our vessels moving iron ore, stone, and coal, the base of steel and American manufacturing, construction, and energy production.” Weakley further noted, “All eight Great Lakes states are dependent on commercial maritime, and the entire national economy is reliant on the cargoes moved on the Lakes by Jones Act-compliant vessels, crews, and companies. There is no second guessing, the Jones Act is critical to American economic security.”

“Fraser Shipyards has been in Superior, Wisconsin for over 125 years,” said James Farkas, President and Chief Operating Officer with Fraser.“The Fraser Team provides needed repair and value-added improvements to the Great Lakes commercial fleet whenever needed. Additionally, the Fraser Team designs and builds custom workboats to handle unique operating environments and passenger vessels.   Our shipyard services the Great Lakes commercial fleet throughout the year and is busy throughout the winter layup season drydocking vessels, adding environmental controls, and completing other complex repair and renewal projects for these vessels. Our Wisconsin team of over two hundred team members and their families thrives because of their skills and dedication, and the Jones Act.”

“The men and women who work in shipyards in the Great Lakes states build, maintain, and repair some of the most innovative commercial and military vessels in the world, and represent a strong industrial base that reaches across the nation,” said Matthew Paxton, President of the Shipbuilders Council of America. “That hard work is realized through the over 123,600 maritime, shipbuilding, and repair jobs fueled by the Jones Act in the Great Lakes region, and further demonstrates the strength that our industry brings to the economic and national security of our nation.”

Thanks to the Jones Act, the domestic maritime industry employs approximately 650,000 Americans across all 50 states, creates $41 billion in labor income for American workers, and adds more than $154.8 billion in annual economic output each year. The U.S. domestic fleet is one of the largest in the world, with more than 40,000 vessels – built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies – that operate in American waters 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


American Maritime Partnership (AMP) is the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, a pillar of our nation‘s economic, national, and homeland security. More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies, operate in our waters 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and this commerce sustains nearly 650,000 American jobs, $41.6 billion in labor compensation, and more than $154.8 billion in annual economic output.  You can learn more by visiting