Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


An analysis of recent U.S. maritime legislation in order to predict the possible effect it may have on our merchant fleet growth patterns for the seventies. Major attention is devoted to the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 which the Administration and Congress hopes will halt the continuing decline of the U.S. merchant fleet. The investigation is limited to the shipbuilding industry and is concerned primarily with government incentives, provided to both shipbuilders and shipowners, designed to stimulate new building programs. This study finds that the U.S. merchant fleet will experience a healthy growth during this decade as a result of new maritime legislation. The prospective fleet will depend heavily upon standardized ship designs and will contain an ever increasing percentage of large containerized carriers. The study concludes that the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 will be a giant step toward restoring the nation to the ranks of a first-rate maritime power. Recommendations to help promote more shipbuilding and to provide expanded markets include extending construction subsidies to certain ships that may not initially operate in U.S. ports and creation of a national marketing program aimed at increasing the U.S.-flag share of foreign trade.