The coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit our nation’s economy hard with some industries being hit harder than others. Just this last week, a $2 trillion stimulus and economic relief bill was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump to help bring relief to those impacted by COVID-19. However, many argue that not all industries should be bailed out, and this includes the cruise line industry. These Miami-based companies are incorporated overseas, which should cost them their chance at U.S. taxpayer rescue.
While airlines, hotels and other travel businesses deserve financial assistance during this time, the cruise ship industry does not for several reasons.
According to the stimulus package, if a company wishes to be eligible to receive some of the $500 billion in aid at stake, that company must be certified as created or organized in the United States or within U.S. law, as well as having significant operations in the U.S.
Most cruise companies are registered in foreign countries and not the U.S. Many of the major cruise ship companies, including Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, MSC Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line, have headquarters in Miami, but they are incorporated in other countries. Carnival is registered in Panama, while Royal Caribbean is registered in Libera. Norwegian is registered in Bermuda, and MSC Cruises is based in Switzerland. Every year, these cruise companies use an exemption under the Internal Revenue Code to avoid paying any U.S. taxes. In fact, because these companies utilize these exemptions, many of them receive refunds or post negative income tax expenses annually.
While the tourism industry in Florida may receive a boost from the cruise industry, the employees working on these vessels are predominately foreign workers. Many of these companies hire foreign workers based out of Indonesia, India and the Philippines.
Because cruise ship companies are not contributing to the U.S. economy through their workforce or tax payments, they should not be receiving money from any U.S. federal stimulus package.
The safety and well-being of our clients and team has and continues to be Aronfeld Trial Lawyers top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our offices remain fully operational and our team stands ready to represent the needs of our clients through these difficult times. If you need us, we are available 24/7 via phone at (305) 441-0440, live chat on aronfeld.com, Skype or FaceTime.