Ever wonder why all the cruise ships sailing out of US mainland ports have a foreign flag, foreign crew, and don’t pay US taxes? Look no further than Washington, DC.
On May 10, 2012 the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) released its “2011 Statistical Snapshot” of the North American cruise industry, announcing a “record year” for the industry with 71.8 million passengers. Over 90% of those passengers were American tourists whose US dollar revenues support a $40 billion-a-year industry that doesn’t build their ships here, doesn’t pay US corporate taxes, doesn’t hire American officers or crew, and is not bound by American labor, environmental or safety ‘rules of the road’.
Ironically, MARAD has appointed itself the statistician for this foreign-controlled industry even though MARAD’s annual “Statistical Snapshot” has nothing to do with the Agency’s congressionally-mandated mission to promote the US maritime industry and merchant marine.