Trump waives Jones Act shipping restrictions for hurricane-battered Puerto Rico

Kristi Paul
September 29, 2017

Rihanna confronted President Donald Trump on Twitter early Thursday, imploring him to do more to help the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The Federal Highway Administration said Thursday that it would immediately make the emergency relief funds available to the USA territory to help restore service on roads and bridges badly damaged by the storm.

In a statement about the issues, the FDA says, "We are aware of several other instances where we may soon face critical shortages if we don't find a path for removal or ways to get production back up and running". The move comes after criticism that the White House has been slow to act to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

On Thursday, the Trump administration waived a law to allow foreign vessels to assist in Puerto Rico's relief effort. Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said he was dissatisfied with the federal response but that relief operations had been hampered by damage to the air traffic control system, airports and ports.

Shipping company Crowley said it had 3,000 containers there, filled with clothes, food, medicine, water, construction materials and even cars.

What the Jones Act does: It requires that ships going from American coast to American coast be American - built, owned, flagged and crewed.

Elaine Duke, acting secretary at the Homeland Security Department, said more than 90 percent of the island now has limited accessibly and 200 gas stations are open.

Critics of the law call it a protectionist relic, and the Wall Street Journal editorialized this week that it should be permanently repealed. They either have to pay tariffs for landing at a US port, or they would have to go to Florida first to drop off their goods with a Puerto Rico-bound USA ship.

We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website and bring you more relevant advertising. Large numbers of generators are now on Island.

"It is meant to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms", Duke said. That order included Puerto Rico, but expired last week shortly after Maria struck.

"Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble", he wrote in a series of posts on Monday.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER