The Jones Act is a U.S. law that says that cargo shipped between U.S. ports must be carried by U.S. flagged vessels, with U.S. crews, and that the vessels themselves must also be built in the U.S.

Recently, however, President Biden signed two waivers, to allow two oil companies to run foreign flag vessels to perform this function for a specific purpose. The waivers are temporary, meant to available tankers to haul fuel between Texas and New Jersey, to replace supplies halted when a major fuel pipeline was recently hacked and taken offline.

The unusual move was needed because foreign flag ships are in ready supply, while many U.S. flag tankers have been out of service during the pandemic.