I’m doing some research into questions surrounding the Foreign Dredge Act of 1906, and thought I’d experiment by throwing this out there.
For context, the 31 biggest dredging vessels were not built in America, and thus cannot be used in America by law. We only have a small number of less capable vessels, and they often get redirected to short-term emergency tasks. This is preventing us from doing a bunch of very valuable things, like repairing or expanding ports, which end up taking much more time and money or not happening at all.
This podcast is recommended. You can find a transcript here. They claim that there’s no way America will be able to have such capacity for at least decades. I want to verify that (and also check if any other claims here don’t ring true)?
As an alternative to repealing the Dredge Act (which I’m exploring and planning to write about) another alternate would be to build world-class dredging vehicles here in America, such that they could be used. Before assuming that this is impossible, and to have a straight answer, what would happen if someone with deep pockets tried to commission a world-class dredging ship that would qualify? Could be done? Are there other impossible barriers to solve? How much would it cost and how much more would that be than building it elsewhere? How long would it take?