Trump Administration Waives Shipping Restriction For Puerto Rico

Farmer Luis A. Pinto Cruz sells produce to a customer from his kiosk in Yabucoa Puerto Rico on Sunday. He drove to the capital last week to stock up on vegetables for the kiosk because his 14,000 plantain trees are all dead his cattle are gone and he

President Trump has waived the Jones Act for storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, allowing foreign ships to bring much-need supplies to the us territory's ports.

The legislation, known formally as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires goods ferried to United States ports to be sent on ships that are built, owned and operated by Americans. The lack of electricity has also hugely impacted Puerto Rico's clean water supply, and many areas now have no or very limited access.

The Trump administration had said a waiver was not needed for Puerto Rico because there were enough USA -flagged ships available to ferry goods to the island.

"We need truck drivers", he said, adding he had asked the Department of Defense to send troops to help with transportation.

Luis Fortuño, a first-year Law student and son of former Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuño, said he wants to see a response similar to those in recent hurricane devastations in Texas and Florida since Puerto Ricans received U.S. citizenship in 1917 under then-U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. "You have to remember that not only did Irma come through and create quite a bit of damage and destruction that we were working to fix, but Maria was. one of the strongest storms that Puerto Rico's seen since the 20's and let's face it, the infrastructure is weak and there were no building codes and so there is a lot of devastation and we understand that".

It also was shipping a large generator to power a radar center to help air traffic control in San Juan and other airports. "Puerto Rico is going to get attention before Vieques will, and the people in Vieques are suffering".

The death toll was not as bad as the scores killed by Hurricane Irma - Maria claimed more than 30 lives in the Caribbean, including at least 16 in Puerto Rico. "And we have a lot of ships out there right now".

Univision has 35 people on the ground and a remote FlyAway studio for transmission, a network spokesperson said. Puerto Rico's unique territorial status and institutional constraints make the federal government's response very hard.

During a briefing, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said she found the conditions "shocking" when she visited the island on Friday.

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.

While he'd prefer full repeal, McCain said the exemption would help Puerto Rico.

"They're not giving us any information", said Castellanos, a business consultant. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been leading the charge to get rid of it.

"I've heard a lot of 'oh, they're island people and this happens to them all the time, ' but the fact is that they're Americans", she said.

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