Trump Stands on 'Right Side of History,' Grants Shipping Waiver

Roadblock to getting supplies to Puerto Rico has been lifted, for at least the next 10 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 28, 2017 8:46 AM CDT
Trump OKs Shipping Waiver to Help Hurting Puerto Rico
A man counts money in the aisle of a supermarket where he'd hoped to buy water but only found cans of juice in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday.   (Ben Fox)

The Trump administration is waiving federal restrictions on foreign ships transporting cargo to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, the AP reports. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday on Twitter that President Trump had "authorized the Jones Act be waived for Puerto Rico." She said Trump was responding to a request from the island's governor, Ricardo Rossello, and that it "will go into effect immediately." CNN notes Rossello had taken to Twitter himself Thursday morning, tweeting that he'd asked the White House Wednesday evening for a temporary waiver. The Jones Act is a little-known federal law that prohibits foreign-flagged ships from shuttling goods between US ports.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed Trump to waive the Jones Act, saying it could help get desperately needed supplies to the island quicker and cheaper. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters he'd been mulling the waiver, but that "we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people ... who work in the shipping industry that don't want the Jones Act lifted." Per the Hill, the waiver is only valid for the next 10 days. Lawmakers have been pushing for a yearlong waiver to expedite getting food, water, and other necessities to Puerto Rico, especially considering estimates that some parts of the island may not get power back for six months. "Our cries for justice were heard," says San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. "The president did the right thing, and stood on the right side of history." (More Puerto Rico stories.)

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