Trump Says 'Shipping Industry' Doesn't Want Shipping Waiver For Puerto Rico
28 September, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Ora Austin
It comes after days of critics saying that the USA government isn't doing enough to support hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, a us territory of 3.4 million people that faces months without electricity and a long rebuilding process. In that case, the USA government deployed at least eight ships, and Tom Bossert, President Trump's homeland security adviser, described the effort as both "unprecedented" and "the largest flotilla operation in our nation's history", though more ships had been used in other similar operations in the past. John McCain, who would like to see the act not just waived but repealed.
"We expect them to waive it", Rossello said in an interview with CNN.
The singer is among many celebrities of Puerto Rican descent, such as ex Jennifer, Luis Fonsi and actress La La Anthony who are struggling to contact their family, and are rallying fans to donate to hurricane relief efforts.
The Jones Act was put in place after World War II, when the threat of German U-boats (which sunk nearly 5,000 ships during the war) was still fresh. "And that is critical".
After it ended, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Brock Long, head of the FEMA, briefed reporters on the federal response. But the DHS acknowledged the letter written by members of Congress in favor of scrapping the act. The official said a request from a member of Congress is not the usual pathway from which it gets waiver requests.
Asked to comment, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said such a waiver is not yet needed.
Officials say many parts of Puerto Rico are not yet capable of hosting a presidential visit, which is planned for Tuesday of next week. A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection on Monday said "t$3 he limitation is going to be port capacity to offload and transit, not vessel availability".
James said, "That's what makes me more sick than anything".
The Department of Homeland Security waived the Jones Act in the wake of relief efforts for Texas and Florida after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Unidos por Puerto Rico: Set up by Beatriz Roselló, the first lady of Puerto Rico, this organization accepts donations via PayPal and 1First Bank. Cars, for example, cost about 40% more in Puerto Rico than on US mainland, partly because of the law. "But we have a lot of shippers, and a lot of people - a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don't want the Jones Act lifted". They claimed they hadn't received any from senators despite McCain's letter.
McCain, a longtime critic of the rule, urged the government to reconsider - and to take the opportunity to scrap the Jones Act for good. On the call, DHS officials said the request was being acted on.
But it's also had the unintended effect of making it twice as expensive to ship things from the USA mainland to Puerto Rico as it is to ship from any other foreign port in the world, according to Republican Senator John McCain's office.
NBC reached out to DHS to clarify the status of a potential waiver for the Jones Act and what constitutes a formal request, but DHS has not yet responded.
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