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The White House finally waived the Jones Act to help Puerto Rico

In the wake of the crisis in Puerto Rico, the White House has finally decided to waive the Jones Act–the nearly century-old jingoistic shipping law, which requires that goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried exclusively by U.S.-owned ships built primarily in the U.S. and staffed by U.S. citizens. The law is believed to have been hampering relief efforts in the storm-ravaged island.

Waiving the act means much-needed goods may be able to arrive more quickly to the island. Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, tweeted that he had petitioned the White House Wednesday night for a temporary waiver. The White House authorized the waiver, revealing it in a tweet, naturally. Per NBC: The temporary waiver will be in place for the next 10 days and cover  all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.

The White House was under pressure to waive the Jones Act to help Puerto Rico, as it had for Texas and Florida in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
As for Puerto Rico, President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that “we’re thinking” about lifting the law, but added that a “lot of shippers” didn’t want it lifted, CNN reports.  In a series of tweets on Monday, he pointed out some differences between the two states and the island, mentioning Puerto Rico’s “massive debt” that “must be dealt with.”
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