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program. In addition, there is the ever-present competition from the less efficient rail and trucking sectors.
The collective efforts of AWO, along with those of other orga- nizations within the industry, have contributed immensely to the success of the fight to save the Title XI program.
The Committee For Title XI
Vessel Financing, not a part of
AWO, is one such group that has worked diligently over the past months to create a more favor- able attitude towards Title XI on the part of the government. Ben
E. Fellows, president of Twin
City Barge, Inc., of St. Paul,
Minn., serves as president of the
Committee. This group has suc- ceeded admirably in prohibiting the Executive Department from arbitrarily limiting the amount of guarantees which can be is- sued and limiting the types of vessels which qualify for Title
In a recent news brief, the
Committee reported that Con- gress has prohibited Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) ceilings or restrictions on vessel type for Title XI financing.
Thanks largely to Senator Robert
Packwood (R-Ore.), the tax/ highway repair bill, which was signed into law recently, contained an amended section 1103(f) of
Title XI to provide that: "No additional limitations may be imposed on new commitments to guarantee loans for any fiscal year, except in such amounts as established in advance in an- nual authorization Acts. No ves- sel eligible for guarantees under this title shall be denied eligibil- ity because of its type."
Senator Packwood, chairman of the Merchant Marine Subcom- mittee's parent Commerce Com- mittee, is also on the Finance
Committee. When the Gas Tax
Bill came over from the House, he tacked on the amendment to
Title XI. His amendment sur- vived all the parliamentary per- mutations of the Gas Tax Bill, which was the last measure passed by the Senate before it shut down, December 23. The
Title XI amendment was also the only piece of substantive mari- time legislation enacted this ses- sion.
No longer can the Executive
Department unilaterally and ar- bitrarily decree how much Title
XI loan guarantee authority shall be released each fiscal year nor exclude vessels by type such as drilling rigs. The regulating mechanism as to the amount of
Title XI financings will be an an- nual authorization act, first passed by Congress. In the ab- sence of an authorization act (the condition now obtaining for
FY 1983), the entire unobligated
Title XI statutory authority — roughly $1.3 billion—is available for release. There is thus ade- quate authority available for the remainder of FY 1983 and part of FY 1984, but the program will have to be enhanced or it will die soon thereafter.
As a practical matter, the mar- ket probably will not absorb more than $900 million Title XI au- thority next year, coincidentally the amount approved by Presi- dent Reagan at the Cabinet
Council last August 5. But, the principle has been specifically embedded into law that Congress —not OMB— will have a say in determining the annual level of
Title XI utilization . . . one of the
Title XI Committee's major goals.
As far as other legislation is concerned, final passage of both the Maritime Deregulatory Bill and the MarAd Authorization
Bill was blocked in the last week of the 79th Congress by Senator
Howard Metzenbaum (D-Oh.), who threatened a filibuster if either were brought up.
House and Senate conferees on the MarAd Bill had earlier met
December 10 and agreed to: 1) extend "build foreign" for one year, and 2) release $950 million (continued on page 36)
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