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Ensuring America’s Maritime Security
For too long, the United States has relied on less than friendly nations to transport its trade and has failed to invest adequately in its maritime industrial sector, including its ports. The costs of this neglect are plainly visible today with the nation’s security and continued prosperity at risk. The recent allision (contact of a ship with a stationary object) by container ship Dali into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge and the subsequent loss of life are only the most recent symptoms of this malaise.

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The United States has long neglected its maritime industrial sector, leading to overreliance on foreign shipping and compromised port infrastructure. The recent allision of the container ship Dali in Baltimore highlights the urgent need for investment in the nation's maritime security. Vulnerabilities such as reliance on foreign shipping, limited port infrastructure, and cyber vulnerabilities in shipyard cranes and logistic software pose a significant risk to national security. The lack of mariners and shipyard workers further exacerbates the problem. A national maritime initiative is needed to address these vulnerabilities, including expanding the American-flagged commercial shipping fleet, strengthening shipbuilding and repair capacities, and hardening maritime infrastructure against cyberattacks and material damage. It is time for the United States to prioritize its maritime sector to safeguard its security and prosperity.