Our shipbuilding industry is important to millions of working families and communities.

U.S. shipyard closures and reductions cost more than 70,000 jobs in recent decades. Reviving the industry means bringing back those jobs while supporting tens of thousands of others across numerous supply chains.

Each cargo ship requires an immense amount of steel, paint, glass, rubber, aluminum, and countless other manufactured inputs. For example, one container ship built in the Philly Shipyard required more than 13,000 tons of structural steel, 60,000 gallons of paint, 130 miles of electrical cable and a propeller weighing 72 tons. USW members are already making the steel, engines, forgings and countless other products that could go into commercial ships.

American shipyards provide valuable, middle-class jobs that generate further economic activity. Every shipbuilding job is supported by or creates three other jobs, from the engineers designing the ship to the steelworkers producing what will become the ship's hull.

In 1975, the domestic industry was a leader in global shipbuilding, building more than 70 commercial ships in American shipyards and employing 180,000 workers. 

In the early 1980s, federal spending for the construction and operation of the U.S. shipbuilding industry was significantly slashed. Following these cuts, U.S. commercial shipbuilding largely collapsed, unable to compete against foreign competitors that continued to operate with significant and growing subsidies from their own governments.

Tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs over the following decades, as major shipyards closed and our nation's shipbuilding industrial base was reduced from close to 30 major yards to only a handful.