US commerce secretary nominee Wilbur L Ross expressed general support for the Jones Act under questioning at his nomination hearing before a Senate committee today.

The billionaire investor was asked directly by Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington whether he supports the cabotage shipping law.

“The Jones Act is a fact,” Ross said. “I’ve been living with it. I’ve never voiced any opposition to it.”

Ross also explained to lawmakers that tankers under his ownership — whether at Connecticut’s Diamond S Shipping or New York-listed gas player Navigator Holdings — trade internationally and do not fall under the Jones Act.