Stuart Breckenridge

Trump Waives Jones Act for Puerto Rico, Easing Hurricane Aid Shipments

Niraj Chokshi, for The New York Times:

The Trump administration said on Thursday that it would temporarily waive a century-old shipping law for Puerto Rico that officials there said was hindering disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.

The law, known as the Jones Act, was limiting access to food, medicine, clothing and needed supplies, officials said. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, announced the waiver on Twitter, saying that President Trump had authorized it after a request from Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico.

This comes after Trump sided with industry as a reason for not waiving the law:

President Trump says he’s reluctant to lift shipping restrictions to get more aid to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico — because mariners don’t want him to.

“We’re thinking about that,” Trump said Wednesday when asked about lifting the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign ships from moving goods between US ports.

“But we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted, and we have a lot of ships out there right now.”

Industry. Shameful.


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