The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unleashing the innovation and productivity of American workers and repealing costly #NeverNeeded regulations has become more urgent than ever.

Please join the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) for an online forum featuring Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and CEI Senior Fellow Mario Loyola, discussing why Jones Act reform is long overdue, as the Senator proposed in bills such as “Open America’s Waters” and “Protecting Access to American Products.”

For 100 years, the Jones Act has poisoned America’s maritime industry while imposing hidden costs on U.S. consumers. It requires any ship traveling between two U.S. points to be U.S.-manufactured, -owned, -flagged, and -crewed. This heavy-handed protectionist measure was enacted to ensure a strong merchant marine to support America’s commerce and the nation’s preparedness for war and national emergency. A century later, the evidence is clear. The law has put most of America’s maritime industry out of business, made it pointlessly difficult for Americans to buy American, and has been militarily obsolete for decades.  Its chief beneficiaries are America’s foreign competitors, including China, whom the law in effect protects from American competition, and a small number of special interests whose business model is not shipping, but the purchase of political influence for profit. Its few proponents think it is a policy of America First, but it is a policy of America Last.

Mike Lee, U.S. Senate (R-UT)

Mario Loyola, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Kent Lassman, President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Thursday, July 30, 2020
12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT


Registration confirmation and event reminder emails will be sent from CEI Events at [email protected] 

Questions? Email [email protected]

Senator Mike Lee was elected in 2010 as Utah’s 16th Senator. Lee fights to preserve America’s proud founding document in the United States Senate. He advocates efforts to support constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and economic prosperity.

Lee is a member of the Judiciary Committee and serves as Chairman of the Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee protecting business competition and personal freedom. He also oversees issues critical to Utah as Chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and serves on the Commerce Committee. In 2019, Lee became the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, where he is overseeing the Social Capital Project.

Lee spent several years as an attorney with the law firm Sidley Austin specializing in appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and then served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Salt Lake City arguing cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Lee served the state of Utah as Governor Jon Huntsman’s General Counsel and was later honored to reunite with Justice Alito, now on the Supreme Court, for a one-year clerkship. He returned to private practice in 2007. Lee graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. He graduated from BYU’s Law School in 1997 and went on to serve as law clerk to Judge Dee Benson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, and then with future Supreme Court Justice Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Throughout his career, Lee earned a reputation as an outstanding practitioner of the law based on his sound judgment, abilities in the courtroom, and thorough understanding of the Constitution.

Mario Loyola is a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Prior to joining CEI, he worked at the White House as associate director for regulatory reform at the Council on Environmental Quality and as presidential speechwriter. He served at the Pentagon as a special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for policy, Capitol Hill as counsel to the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, and as senior advisor to Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. He has been a fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has published extensively on a wide range of foreign and domestic policy issues in National Review, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He received a B.A. in European History from the University of Wisconsin and J.D. from Washington University School of Law.

Kent Lassman is President and CEO of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He oversees strategy for the organization, including management of a team of policy, communications, and fundraising staff. Prior to joining CEI, Lassman spent eight years as vice president at a public affairs firm in Washington, D.C., counseling clients on campaign approaches to issues ranging from telecommunications to privacy to biotechnology and state licensing.

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