The best thing that could be done to promote jobs in America would be to protect ports receiving foreign made goods on foreign ships from pollution such as ballast water filled with harmful pathogens.
Senator Boxer killed legislation that would have helped American manufacturing be more competitive over state rights and did not try to offer a realistic standard for compromise in 2008. Strong legislation Ballast water h.r.2830 passed 395-7 in the House,(a bill that had a goal of zero), all while Senators Obama, Clinton , and Biden were involved in the presidential election. H.R.2830 would have raised the price of foreign manufactured goods brought into our country. The legislation invoke a timeline to protect America's health and environment more than the economic cost to a mostly foreign shipping industry polluting American waters. Unfortunately under the Obama administration we now only have a non transparent military plan, that by invoking the needed homeland security issues, is closing the discussion of a stronger standard. This weak international plan, lasting decades to appease a foreign shipping industry will continue an America dependent on cheap foreign made goods to fill the big box stores of foreign made goods that our political leaders have created as our largest employers under the guise that all economic globalization is great.
Ballast water and how it is handled could help create an American competitive stature for manufacturing as the cost to foreign imports would rise according to the following excerpt from a report prepared for congress in 2009.
“Although estimates of the costs of ballast treatment may be imprecise and vary from vessel to vessel, there is some general agreement on average costs.14 For example, it may cost an estimated $400,000 per vessel for modification of container/bulk vessels to use onshore ballast water treatment facilities at California ports. More generally, the cost of retrofitting vessels to treat ballast water has been estimated at between $200,000 and $310,000 per vessel for mechanical treatment and around $300,000 for chemical treatment.15 MOST OF THIS EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY FOREIGN SHIPPING COMPANIES, as the U.S. flag fleet is a small percentage of the global fleet,16 AND LIKELY PASSED along to consumers of PRODUCTS IMPORTED ON THESE SHIPS." A good ballast water bill should have a goal with mandatory review every couple of years mandating a new standard to coincide with any technological developments approved in ballast water equipment that provides better protection. Mandatory reviews to continually update the standard would provide the economic incentive for research and development. A good bill would also understand that as science evolves, change may be needed to address any new dangers discovered and should never subject any US water to international treaties and agreements that require international bureaucracy, infringing on our countries autonomy to act quickly to protect its environment.