Hard-hit cruise lines don't get USA coronavirus stimulus money

Ships in Nassau

Carnival Cruise Lines to make decision on whether to extend suspension of operations by Friday

Trump said though its very hard to consider making them eligible for loans, he noted they do employ many people and promote economic activity.

Although the cruise lines won't get help from the bill signed Friday, their US -based employees who lose their jobs could be eligible for expanded unemployment benefits of $600 a week on top of state benefits through July 31, and an extra 13 weeks of state benefits.

However, major cruise operators have based their companies overseas as a way of avoiding paying federal income taxes and some US regulations. American-owned cruise ship companies and owners of smaller passenger vessels and port facilities are expected to qualify for the assistance. They do pay state income taxes and port fees, according to The Wall Street Journal. That restriction would likely exclude companies such as Carnival Corp., Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and Member of the Judiciary and Budget Committees, tweeted: "The major cruise lines sail under foreign flags to avoid paying the USA corporate tax rate - now some want the American taxpayer to bail them out? Get".

But the president also said that "it's very hard to make a loan to a company when they are based in a different country".

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"We have not asked for or hoped for a USA government bailout", said Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell. Royal Caribbean, for example, said in a filing earlier this week that it had secured a $2.2 billion credit facility to bolster its position.

The cruise lines could still get a lifeline from taxpayers.

Representatives of the industry trade group, Cruise Lines International Association, and individual companies did not immediately comment. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) and John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) On Monday, urging the strong terms to be included in the package before crossing lines offered some help. Costa Cruises is taking steps to inform travel agents and customers affected by the changes, that they will receive a voucher equal to what the Company has earned, as a form of greater guarantee for travelers.

In response to such allegations in the past, Cruise Line Industry Assn. has said that the cruise industry has invested heavily in innovative technologies to reduce air and water pollution and follows regulations set by agencies such as the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, the US Coast Guard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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