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Secretary Elaine L. Chao Honored as American Maritime Hero

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Last week, Secretary Chao was named an American Maritime Hero by the American Maritime Partnership. A yearlong celebration of American Maritime heroes, the American Maritime Partnership selected Secretary Chao as the inaugural honoree, along with WWII merchant mariners. This decision to name Secretary Chao a maritime hero was widely applauded across the industry, receiving praise from the Seafarers International Union, Transportation Institute, and others.

Secretary Chao is an ardent supporter of the American maritime industry. Prior to her roles in two Administrations’ cabinets, she served as deputy maritime administrator at the U.S. Maritime Administration. She has also served as chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission. Secretary Chao understands the American shipping industry and works to ensure that this economically powerful and vitally important industry remains strong.


American Maritime Partnership

“Widely acknowledged as the best Transportation Secretary ever for American maritime, Secretary Chao is known for her knowledge about, expertise in, and commitment to U.S. shipping, the epitome of an American maritime hero.”

Chairman of the American Maritime Partnership, Matt Woodruff

“We have never had a transportation secretary with such knowledge about, experience in, and passion for our industry… When the chips are down, there is no stronger advocate than Sec. Chao. She is a proven American maritime hero.”

Seafarers Union

“Secretary Chao is a tireless, unwavering advocate of the American maritime industry. Her effectiveness and commitment to our industry are unsurpassed. The SIU is proud and humbled to respectfully count her as a friend.”

Seafarers International Union President, Michael Sacco

“[Secretary Chao] not only understands our industry, but also truly cares about the American worker. She is a tremendous leader and is universally respected, admired and trusted throughout our industry… There is nobody better qualified to be Secretary of Transportation than Elaine Chao, as she has demonstrated since day one. Throughout her time in government, she has been a steadfast friend to the SIU and to maritime labor. She has stood up to defend the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, cargo preference and the other key programs that keep our industry alive. She understands the importance of providing jobs to America’s working families, and she has seen firsthand the value of the United States Merchant Marine to our nation’s defense and prosperity.”

Transportation Institute President, James L. Henry

“On behalf of our entire organization, I send my enthusiastic congratulations to Secretary Chao for this wonderful recognition… Her tireless support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry and the three pillars that support it – the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, and Cargo Preference – has made a profound difference in bolstering America’s economic strength and national security. I have had the pleasure to know the Secretary for nearly 30 years and can proudly attest to her passion for always supporting American mariners and American-flag maritime transportation companies.”