In recent days, for example, we've seen a different side of the Jones Act come into play - one that's hampering relief efforts.
Here along the Gulf Coast, most people know vaguely of the Jones Act as the personal injury statute for seamen - those who are assigned to a vessel and perform some task in furtherance of the vessel's mission. But the 1920 legislation also has what are called maritime "cabotage" provisions - essentially protectionist language that helps to maintain a domestic U.S. "coastwise" fleet for any marine voyages between two points in the U.S. (or one U.S. port with no intervening stops abroad). Almost every single maritime nation has cabotage laws and the U.S. cabotage provisions date back to 1789.
Importantly, the Jones Act is not the only U.S. cabotage law potentially in play:
Senate - bill introduced to terminate drilling moratorium;
Senate - bill introduced to require emergency relief wells;
Senate - bill introduced to require containment plans for offshore leases;
House - hearing on MMS regulatory activity;
House - hearing on the role of BP in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill;
House - hearing on foreign vessel operations in US EEZ;