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Trump Waives Pro-Union Shipping Regulations To Send Aid To Puerto Rico

29 September 2017

Update: Since this story was posted, President Trump has waived the shipping restrictions required under the Jones Act, following widespread criticism that his administration has been slow to act to help Puerto Rico recover from devastation created by Hurricane Maria.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter that Trump had authorized the Jones Act waiver at Rossello's request.

The law known as the Jones Act limits the number of ships that could be sent to Puerto Rico, a US territory, and thus the amount of relief supplies that have come in since the hurricane.

Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rossello, had sought a waiver of the Jones Act, which limits shipping between USA ports to US owned-and-operated vessels, to ensure there was no impediment to bringing in supplies.

Also complicating clean-up on the island is its precarious economy, damaged by overspending and teetering near bankruptcy - and some say due in part to the Jones Act, which makes it more expensive for Puerto Rico to receive USA products.

Trump himself said as much when chatting with reporters briefly Wednesday: "We're thinking" about lifting it, he said, but "a lot of people who are in the shipping industry don't want it" lifted.

Trump has faced criticism for the White House's response to the damage in Puerto Rico, which was devastated after a direct hit by the Category 4 hurricane's torrential rain and 150 miles per hour wind on September 20.

In the first set of pictures the Rio Grande de Loiza, the island's largest river by volume, is visible where it meets the Atlantic Ocean several miles east of San Juan and west of Suarez.

Hurricane Maria could cause unsafe currents along U.S. coast
UPDATE: Hurricane Maria's winds have weakened to 115 miles per hour as it continues moving north northeast at 8 miles per hour . The eye of Hurricane Maria is 640 SSE of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Adrian Rodriguez, 26, grew up in a small, resort community in Puerto Rico.

In the wake of the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz - along with other U.S. politicians, including McCain and Marco Rubio, R-Florida - had urged the suspension of the Jones Act in order to speed up supply deliveries.

Hurricane Maria left a path of destruction on the island of Puerto Rico. Marco Rubio urged President Donald Trump to put the USA military in charge of recovery efforts on the island. "At one point, we were just reminiscing about Puerto Rican food", Toro said.

As of Wednesday, Crowley had only been able to dispatch 4% of those 3,000 containers, said Jose Ayala, the company's vice president in Puerto Rico.

In Washington, some politicians said the Jones Act waiver should last longer or that the law should be completely repealed.

Rodriguez said he and other students he is working with plan to reach out to Hoos For Puerto Rico to help with this initiative. We welcome more help.

"I have not seen the trucks; I have not seen the help", says Cruz Vivaldi. Critics like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., argued it had unnecessarily raised costs on Puerto Ricans in need of supplies.

Trump Waives Pro-Union Shipping Regulations To Send Aid To Puerto Rico