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DHS Secretary Briefed on COVID-19 Impacts to Cruise Industry and Ocean Shipping

Commissioners Louis E. Sola and Rebecca F. Dye today briefed Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf about the Federal Maritime Commission response to COVID-19, including fact finding investigations examining impacts to the passenger cruise industry and the intermodal freight delivery system.

Today’s briefing included representatives from Congressional offices, state and local government, port authorities, the travel and hospitality industries, longshore labor, and trade associations.

The Commissioners addressed the economic impact the passenger and ocean freight industries have incurred related to COVID-19 and outlined recommendations they have made as Fact Finding Officers for appropriate policy and regulatory responses.

“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to working alongside the maritime industry, and continuing our unprecedented economic recovery to ultimately reopen our cruise line industry and other maritime businesses as soon as possible for Americans to enjoy once more.” said Acting Secretary Wolf.

In addition to his duties leading the Department of Homeland Security, Acting Secretary Wolf also serves on the White House Coronavirus Taskforce.

“We are very grateful for Secretary Wolf’s time and his interest in these issues as policy priorities. We had a substantive discussion about how and when the cruise industry can return to normal operations. Determining what steps must be taken by all parties—whether government or industry—is critical to getting people back to work. Cruise operators and related vendor companies make valuable economic contributions to cities, states, and ultimately the Nation. I am confident that matters discussed today will be shared with other inter-agency groups charged with responding to COVID-19,” said Commissioner Sola.

“A key and common theme to my work on fact finding investigations and with Innovation Teams has been the need for supply chain resilience. The FMC and DHS share an interest in achieving this objective. Our efforts can and should complement one another, with the DHS focusing on supply chain security and the Commission focusing on international supply chain efficiency and performance,” said Commissioner Dye.

In July, Commissioners Dye and Sola had a similar meeting with the Acting Under Secretary for Policy for the Department of Transportation.

Both the Fact Finding 29 and 30 investigations continue.