§ 1121. Investigations, studies, records, etc.

The Secretary of Transportation is authorized and directed to investigate, determine, and keep current records of—
(a) Suitable ocean routes and lines to foreign ports; vessels and costs of operation
The ocean services, routes, and lines from ports in the United States, or in a Territory, district, or possession thereof, to foreign markets, which are, or may be, determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be essential for the promotion, development, expansion, and maintenance of the foreign commerce of the United States, and in reaching his determination the Secretary of Transportation shall consider and give due weight to the cost of maintaining each of such steamship lines, the probability that any such line cannot be maintained except at a heavy loss disproportionate to the benefit accruing to foreign trade, the number of sailings and types of vessels that should be employed in such lines, and any other facts and conditions that a prudent business man would consider when dealing with his own business, with the added consideration, however, of the intangible benefit the maintenance of any such line may afford to the foreign commerce of the United States, to the national defense, and to other national requirements;
(b) Bulk cargo carrying services
The bulk cargo carrying services that should, for the promotion, development, expansion, and maintenance of the foreign commerce of the United States and for the national defense or other national requirements be provided by United States-flag vessels whether or not operating on particular services, routes, or lines;
(c) Vessels required in proposed routes
The type, size, speed, method of propulsion, and other requirements of the vessels, including express-liner or super-liner vessels, which should be employed in such services or on such routes or lines, and the frequency and regularity of the sailings of such vessels, with a view to furnishing adequate, regular, certain, and permanent service, or which should be employed to provide the bulk cargo carrying services necessary to the promotion, maintenance, and expansion of the foreign commerce of the United States and its national defense or other national requirements whether or not such vessels operate on a particular service, route, or line;
(d) Cost of construction in United States and abroad
The relative cost of construction of comparable vessels in the United States and in foreign countries;
(e) Relative cost of operation under laws of United States and foreign countries
The relative cost of marine insurance, maintenance, repairs, wages and subsistence of officers and crews, and all other items of expense, in the operation of comparable vessels under the laws, rules, and regulations of the United States and under those of the foreign countries whose vessels are substantial competitors of any such American vessel;
(f) Foreign subsidies
The extent and character of the governmental aid and subsidies granted by foreign governments to their merchant marine;
(g) Shipyards
The number, location, and efficiency of the shipyards existing on June 29, 1936, or thereafter built in the United States;
(h) Laws applicable to aircraft
To investigate and determine what provisions of this chapter and other Acts relating to shipping should be made applicable to aircraft engaged in foreign commerce in order to further the policy expressed in this chapter, and to recommend appropriate legislation to this end;
(i) Transportation to foreign ports of cotton, coal, lumber, and cement
The advisability of enactment of suitable legislation authorizing the Secretary of Transportation in an economic or commercial emergency, to aid the farmers and cotton, coal, lumber, and cement producers in any section of the United States in the transportation and landing of their products in any foreign port, which products can be carried in dry-cargo vessels by reducing rates, by supplying additional tonnage to any American operator, or by operation of vessels directly by the Secretary of Transportation, until such time as the Secretary of Transportation shall deem such special rate reduction and operation unnecessary for the benefit of the American farmers and such producers; and
(j) New designs of vessels; intercoastal and inland water transportation
New designs, new methods of construction, and new types of equipment for vessels; the possibilities of promoting the carrying of American foreign trade in American vessels; and intercoastal and inland water transportation, including their relation to transportation by land and air.