Facing Heat, Trump Waives Jones Act For Puerto Rico

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Mr Trump has said the USA deployed 10,000 emergency response workers to Puerto Rico after Maria's 140mph winds and torrential rain brought the Caribbean island's fragile infrastructure to its knees.

A week after Hurricane Maria left millions of Puerto Ricans in the dark and without water, President Donald Trump has finally waived the shipping restrictions of the Jones Act for the US territory.

"It will go into effect immediately", the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted Thursday morning. Per NBC: The temporary waiver will be in place for the next 10 days and cover all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.

The Jones Act requires goods sent between United States ports to be carried on ships built, owned and operated by the US. But given the island's profound troubles, the very least America can do now is liberate Puerto Rico from a law that increases shipping employment in Jacksonville, at a multi-billion-dollar cost to the territory's economy - permanently. The move is meant to boost the delivery of much-needed relief supplies after Hurricane Maria battered the US territory last week.

The waiver is likely to do little to help relieve the distress in Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. But if you want send cargo by ship, according to the Jones Act, the ship has to be American made.

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Shipping containers with aid have piled up at Puerto Rico's ports and the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Brock Long, acknowledged being dissatisfied also with the federal response.

Basic necessities such as food, water, medicine and electricity have been slow to reach Puerto Rico's residents after Hurricane Maria left the island without power earlier this month.

But opponents argue it's an anachronistic piece of legislation that unnecessarily raises the cost of imported goods for the island economy of Puerto Rico. This can not become another epic failure resembling the debacle following Hurricane Katrina, and the Trump administration has to continue to ramp up relief efforts.

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Robert Fuller, who works at the University of CT and International Medical Corp, arrived in Puerto Rico to help out.