Trump waives Jones Act shipping restrictions for hurricane-battered Puerto Rico

Jose A. Rivera right and his brother Jose Ramon Rivera look over their destroyed plantain crops in Yabucoa Puerto Rico on Sunday. For as far as they could see every one of the 14,000 trees was down. “There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico,”

Rihanna has issued a heartfelt plea calling on President Donald Trump to send aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation Hurricane Maria wrought on the us territory earlier this month. "Bring a bill to the floor". Even contacting drivers is a problem because cell towers are still down. Communication in the days after the storm has been challenging.

It also was shipping a large generator to power a radar center to help air traffic control in San Juan and other airports.

Reports of isolated us citizens struggling in the heat without electricity and running low on food and water have now spurred the Pentagon to throw resources into the relief effort even though they haven't been specifically requested by territorial officials. Washed out bridges and roads have worsened isolation.

So, again, we share Cicilline's urgency. "It is proceeding very well", she said. He said the waiver was approved after it was determined that doing so was in the interest of national defense. Thousands of U.S. Army Reservists also were deployed and flights and vessels of supplies began arriving.

But for the people of Puerto Rico - where much of the island's infrastructure has been destroyed, leaving many homeless and without potable water - disaster relief can't come soon enough. Not with a storm of that magnitude on an island 1,150 miles away.

The act was quickly lifted to help Texas and Florida in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Some rural Floridians spent more than a week without electricity or running water, with water and gasoline supplies strained and with homes flooded. Republicans and Democrats had urged Trump to waive the Jones Act.

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The Jones Act was first passed during at the start of an era when the U.S. moved towards protectionism and isolationism after the First World War. The act mandates that products shipped between American ports be carried by vessels built in the United States and staffed by US citizens.

Note: Puerto Rico is looking for licensed truck drivers to replace those who can't get to trucks to deliver supplies.

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.

Why it probably will exist for the foreseeable future: The Jones Act has long had powerful friends.

"Volunteer efforts are critical to the effectiveness of this effort, and the response has been tremendous - over 150 new volunteers have been onboarded just in the last 24 hours, but more volunteers are needed", Lanclos said.

"The situation on the island is perilous and reporting on the sustained damage and dangers is hard at best", Esri Industry Manager Ryan Lanclos said in a statement. More can be done.

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