PANELS TO WEIGH SHIP LEGISLATION

PANELS TO WEIGH SHIP LEGISLATION

Two House subcommittees have scheduled a March 29 joint hearing on comprehensive maritime legislation designed to increase the industry's national defense and ocean transportation capabilities.

The legislation, introduced last year, would implement the recommendations of the Commission on Merchant Marine and Defense, which produced four reports during its two-year term.Those recommendations include subsidy reform, expansion of cargo preference and a shipbuilding program. The program would cost about $13 billion over 10 years and add 244 merchant ships to the sealift capability of the United States.

Public witnesses are expected to testify before the Subcommittee on Seapower and Strategic and Critical Materials, a unit of the House Armed Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Merchant Marine, a panel of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee.