Puerto Rico: Trump Waives Jones Act But Makes Hurricane Evacuees Pay Airfare
- Author: Ismael Montgomery Oct 02, 2017,
Oct 02, 2017, 0:15
Trump made the decision to waive the almost century-old Jones Act, which says all shipments between two USA ports must be made with American ships in order to avoid taxes and penalties, at the request of Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló. But some argue that the islanders will need those lower prices to stretch well beyond 10 days.
The Jones Act is an obscure, century-old law that requires all goods ferried between US ports to be carried on ships built, owned and operated by Americans. The act has had the unintended effect of making it twice as expensive to ship things from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico as it is to ship from any other foreign port in the world, according to Arizona Republican Sen.
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The Federal Emergency Management Authority said it had delivered more than 4.4m meals and 6.5m litres of water to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands by Wednesday. The extensive damage to Puerto Rico's infrastructure has made it hard to distribute the cargo they've been receiving in their ports to react to the crisis. Shipments are still sitting on docks because of damaged infrastructure, Bloomberg News reports in a separate article.
Sometimes. After hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the past month, the Trump administration temporarily waived the statute to ensure that gasoline could move without delay.
Trump told reporters on Wednesday that "we're thinking" about lifting the law, but added that a "lot of shippers" didn't want it lifted. Even before Maria hit, the island relied heavily on imports. "Both Texas and Florida received a waiver of the Jones Act to allow ships from other countries to come in and help with relief efforts". Why is it always talked about after hurricanes, and how is Puerto Rico impacted by the maritime law?
The law, known as the Jones Act, limits the number of ships that can be sent to Puerto Rico, a USA territory, and thus the amount of relief supplies that have come in since the hurricane.