A sign in the window of a business on South Franklin Street in downtown Juneau on April 14, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

A sign in the window of a business on South Franklin Street in downtown Juneau on April 14, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Don’t blame Canada for our restrictions

Do not blame Canada for problems created by our own laws and regulations.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2021 12:53pm
  • Opinion

By Andy Hughes

Do not blame Canada for problems created by our own laws and regulations. For years, cruise ships have been relying on use of Canadian ports to circumvent old United States laws intended to promote shipyard construction in the U.S. We should not blame Canada for restricting access to Canadian ports to protect its people from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For decades, we have ignored the restrictions these old U.S. laws have imposed on our growing U.S. coastal cruise ship industry. It is time that Alaska and Northeastern states lobby Congress and the Biden administration to eliminate or revise U.S. laws to support a growing cruise ship industry along coastal Alaska and coastal Northeast. All of today’s large cruise ships are built outside the United States.

Revising these restrictive laws will not impact U.S. shipyard construction by exempting construction of large cruise ships. Also, requesting an immediate waiver of the restrictions requiring every fourth cruise ship stop in a U.S. coastal voyage be at a foreign port will certainly not change any future construction plans for large cruise ships.

Also, I have yet to see Alaska adopt a uniform approach by the state on COVID-19 requirements for tourists entering Alaska ports and airports to take advantage of hotel accommodations, rental cars, tours, land excursions, fishing charters and wilderness excursions. The cruise ship industry and tourism industry at large need a uniform Alaska COVID-19 tourism prescription/policy to market Alaska tourism.

• Andy Hughes is a longtime Juneau resident and was a resident of Canada for several years. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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