Don't count on that $1,000 yet

I have read where Rep. Edward Case, D-Hawaii, is calling for the repeal of the Jones Act. Case and his supporters claim that by repealing the Jones Act, it would give each Hawaiian citizen $1,000 annually.

It is easy to structure a study to such savings. However, what Rep. Case and his supporters haven't taken into consideration is the marketplace in the state of Hawaii. Do they have a pledge from the merchants in Hawaii that they will pass the estimated savings on to the customer? I doubt it. The marketplace has always charged what the market will bear and will continue to do so.

The so-called savings from the repeal of the Jones Act, if there is any, would be only for port-to-port freight rates. The cost of loading-unloading vessels in the Hawaiian trades plus terminal costs would not be affected by foreign-flag ships entering the trade.

Finally, the statement that each Hawaiian citizen would save $1,000 annually would equate to $1.2 billion annually, which is a number that is a little hard to accept.

Capt. Warren G. Leback

Princeton, N.J.