"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".
Critics say the Jones Act costs American jobs by encouraging residents in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii to buy foreign-made goods that are shipped on foreign flagged vessels, rather than goods made in America. This led many to ask:"What about Puerto Rico?"
Puerto Rico - an unincorporated territory of the United States - is without electricity after the storm took out the entire nation. Republican Sen. John McCain has also called for the act to be scrapped.
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In the meantime, the administration still has $5 billion in aid in a disaster relief fund, and Congress has also approved about $7 billion more that will become available on October 1. He said some US shipping executives opposed a temporary waiver. "And that is critical". "We're thinking about that", Trump told reporters. But the DHS acknowledged the letter written by members of Congress in favor of scrapping the act. So, Kloza said, a waiver of the Jones act won't bring much more fuel to the island since Puerto Rico gets what it needs from other countries.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said such a waiver is not yet needed, CNN reported.
Gregory Moore, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, an office of Homeland Security, said in a statement on Tuesday that an agency assessment showed there was "sufficient capacity" of US -flagged vessels to move commodities to Puerto Rico.
"The limitation is going to be port capacity to offload and transit, not vessel availability", Moore said. "In their hour of need, Washington can help by suspending the Jones Act and suspending cost-sharing obligations". It was an easy decision for the president to waive the Jones Act (which applies to any cargo shipped between two US ports) in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
I'm glad that the government takes a holistic approach to these types of emergencies and all, but I'd happily donate a few weeks' worth of gas in my vehicle or be otherwise inconvenienced if it meant helping out the people of Puerto Rico.