President Donald Trump has waived the Jones Act for storm-battered Puerto Rico, Bloomberg reported Thursday morning.
The waiver will be in effect for 10 days and cover all products being shipped to Puerto Rico, Department of Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said in an email.
The Jones Act was passed 97 years ago to protect U.S. shipping along our own coastlines and ports. It requires shipments of goods between two U.S. ports to be carried by U.S.-flagged vessels crewed by Americans.
This created massive logistical problems getting sorely needed supplies to Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory.
Thousands of cargo containers bearing millions of emergency meals and other relief supplies have been piling up on San Juan’s docks since Saturday. The mountains of material may not reach storm survivors for days.
It’s good news for more than one reason, although the main point of Puerto Ricans well-being cannot be overstated. It also shows that Trump listens. The calls for him to waive the Jones Act have come from both the right and the left. The fact that he has responded quickly is encouraging.