Trade - Import & Export
Hawai'i imports the vast majority of what we use and consume. The Jones Act is responsible for us not being able to get these imports directly to us, thereby increasing the cost of everything. We must decrease our dependency on imports and then do something about the Jones Act.
Do We Want To Remain Dependent For Almost Everything?
To me, it goes without saying that we must become more independent in what we produce and consume. At a time when climate change is affecting everything, we first and foremost must grow and consume the vast majority of our own food. Whether it is in traditional farms or vertical farms in the cities and towns or a combination thereof, it is imperative that we not rely in imports to feed us. The consequences of this could be disastrous if we do not change.
We also import the vast majority of our building materials. If we create a strong and large hemp industry we can greatly decrease our need to import certain construction materials. Right alongside that Hawai'i lacks its very own state of the art recycling facilities. I mean let's face it, Hawai'i produces a ton of waste and an ever increasing amount of it is floating in the garbage gyres to the north and south of the islands with quite a bit of it ending up on our shores. Just look up Kamilo beach of garbage.
What does this mean? With such a production of and an influx of garbage we have a very unorthodox resource that we need to tap into. By building our own modern recycling facilities we can tap into the material resources that will produce to lessen our need on imported materials.
We should also try to build new trading relationships and strategies to lessen the cost of our imports. And if through recycling and better management of our resources we can produce more goods to export, we can help Hawai'is economy even more.
Lastly, the Jones Act. It goes without saying that modifying the Jones Act intelligently would be beneficial to more than just Hawai'i. The law was created in 1920 before Hawai'i became a state. In that time the plantation owners of Hawai'i didn't like the extra tariffs they had to pay when they exported their goods to the mainland. And while turning Hawai'i into a state helped them with that, the Jones Act was never written to take Hawai'i into consideration. As such, as is often the case in these modern times, we need to revisit old laws and change, amend or completely rewrite them in order to keep up with the rate of change in our world.
We are but a relatively small group of islands in the middle of the worlds largest ocean, dependent on foreign fuel, foreign supplies, and foreign food. This must change. In order to achieve these changes we need to raise awareness about this very critical issue until we have the momentum to get it changed in order to lower the cost of living for us all.