On Thursday Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the Trump Administration’s plans to waived the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones act, which experts say has slowed Puerto Rico’s recovery.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 28, 2017
On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico with category 4 winds. The storm left most of Puerto Rico without power due to an outdated power grid. Following shortly after the storm roughly 4 percent of the residents had power.
The Jones Act requires that all goods delivered from the mainland to parts of the non-contiguous United States be transported on U.S. Flagged ships. This subjects foreign ships to high tariffs when they do business with Puerto Rico.
According to Bloomberg, goods shipped from the US mainland to Puerto Rico — often transferred from foreign ships onto US vessels in Florida — are double the price they are in neighboring islands, including the US Virgin Islands, not subject to the Jones Act.
Governor Ricardo Rossello reached out to the president to get the law waived.
Trump recently temporarily waived the Jones Act for Texas and Florida following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.