It is necessary for the national defense and development of its foreign and domestic commerce that the United States shall have a merchant marine
(a) sufficient to carry its domestic water-borne commerce and a substantial portion of the water-borne export and import foreign commerce of the United States and to provide shipping service essential for maintaining the flow of such domestic and foreign waterborne commerce at all times,
(b) capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency,
(c) owned and operated under the United States flag by citizens of the United States, insofar as may be practicable,
(d) composed of the best-equipped, safest, and most suitable types of vessels, constructed in the United States and manned with a trained and efficient citizen personnel, and
(e) supplemented by efficient facilities for shipbuilding and ship repair. It is declared to be the policy of the United States to foster the development and encourage the maintenance of such a merchant marine.
1970—Pub. L. 91–469struck out “on all routes” after “shipping service” in cl. (a) and inserted cl. (e).
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