Cruise industry can't use the stimulus because they aren't American companies — but White House says they want to make an exception
Cruise ship (Shutterstock)

One of the industries seeking a bailout amid the coronavirus pandemic is the cruise industry — tourism has crashed as the disaster has unfolded, particularly after the disastrous and well-publicized incidents of cruise passengers being quarantined on their own ships.

But the cruise industry would be an odd choice for a bailout for a simple reason: Most of these companies are not American. Even most of the cruise lines that target American tourists typically register their ships in foreign ports and employ mainly foreign workers, to avoid U.S. tax, labor, and environmental laws.

And indeed, according to CNBC reporter Kayla Tausche, this could make bailing out the industry difficult, because the stimulus programs are not targeted at offshore entities. But the administration has nonetheless reportedly promised that a "bipartisan Senate group" is working on carving out an exception for them.

President Donald Trump also happens to be personal friends with Micky Arison, the chairman of cruise industry giant Carnival Corp. Carnival also helped sponsor Trump's reality show "The Apprentice" for several years.