Traditionally, the United States has aspired to the operation of its industries in a system of free enterprise. One of the oldest instances of government intervention in shipping - the cabotage law- was designed to preserve for domestic vessels all trade between domestic points. Recently, however, developments in maritime commerce have led United States courts to an examination of cabotage legislation. The result has noticeably limited the scope of United States coast-wise laws. Specifically, questions have arisen over: 1) the eligibility for coastwise trade of vessels which have been reconstructed from parts of two other ships, 2) the application of cabotage legislation to cargo which returns to the United States after having been processed or refined abroad,6 and 3) the entry into coastwise trade of federally subsidized vessels. After discussing the purpose and scope of the cabotage law, this Note will discuss these issues and their significance in the overall scheme of United States shipping.
Robert W. Gruendel,
The Weakening Grip of United States Cabotage Law,
4 Fordham Int'l L.J. 391
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol4/iss2/5