Jones-White Act

Often known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1928, this measure was evidence of an attempt by Congress to stimulate private shipbuilding in the United States and to assist in making the merchant marine competitive in the global market.

Provisions of this law included the following:

  • A federal loan fund was increased to $250 million and enabled private shipbuilders to borrow up to 75 percent of their costs for new construction or reconditioning of existing vessels.

  • Authorization was given to allow the sale of surplus government vessels to private firms at bargain prices.

  • Long-term government contracts were authorized to hire private shippers to transport U.S. mail; ships engaged in this trade were required to employ one American-born male under 21 years of age for every 1,000 tons of gross weight and train those individuals in seamanship.

See other domestic activity during the Coolidge administration.

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