COMMENT: Rethinking the Easy Way Out: Flags of Convenience in the Post-September 11th Era Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2003 Tulane University
Tulane Maritime Law Journal

COMMENT: Rethinking the Easy Way Out: Flags of Convenience in the Post-September 11th Era

Winter, 2003

28 Tul. Mar. L. J. 173


Maria J. Wing*


I. Introduction

It has become an almost hackneyed saying that America will never be the same following the events of September 11, 2001. Yet, no matter how often these words are uttered or written, they gain more and more significance as America attempts to navigate its way through this new era of increased national security. This new world that we have seemingly entered has necessitated a marked shift in policy-making with national security taking on newfound levels of significance. Areas that were once defined by laxity in favor of economic growth have now become fraught with complexity. One area where this change has become most glaring is the issue of how our nation will deal with Flags of Convenience (FOCs). What was once considered a means to keep U.S. shipowners free from the "burdens" of U.S. labor laws and environmental codes, a way to keep overhead down, has now taken on a frightening new persona. Since the inception of open registries, those in support of FOCs have looked upon the dissenting voices with derision, characterizing opponents to this practice as opponents of free enterprise. Even when attempting to curry favor with American labor unions, politicians were unable to counteract the strong interests supporting this practice. Now that the lives of a larger population are at risk, there arises the question of whether economic interests will continue to control the policy shaping the practice of FOCs.

This Comment seeks to address the complications, and also the ironies, associated with ...
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