The Shipbuilding Trade Reform Act, known as the Gibbons bill, is expected to be voted on by the full House in early May. The bill has already been approved by the Ways and Means Committee and the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee.
Last week, the last attempt to come to an agreement with foreign governments to restrict shipbuilding subsidies collapsed. According to John Stocker, President of the Shipbuilders Council of America, foreign delegations at the OECD talks refused to come to any agreements after three years of U.S. involvement in negotiations. Therefore, Stocker stated, "The only effecitve alternative left is the Gibbons bill."
According to the SCA, American shipyards cannot compete against subsidized foreign yards. The world's top three ship-producing nations of Germany, Japan and South Korea alone subsidize their yards $35 billion annually.