Trump Waives Shipping Regulations to Aid Puerto Rico

Monday, 02 Oct, 2017

The mayor of San Juan is answering a Twitter attack by President Donald Trump by calling for a united focus on helping people in Puerto Rico after the US territory was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

The temporary waiver was not a surprise, as Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said on Wednesday that he expected the federal government to suspend the Jones Act.

It wasn't clear for how long the act will be lifted.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford followed the same rhetoric, saying the military would "do everything [it] can to help them out" but that the help would be dependent on securing and rebuilding Puerto Rico's airfields and ports.

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Many of its 3.4 million residents have been without electricity, reliable drinking supplies and other basic necessities since the storm struck.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been criticized for his response to the disaster in Puerto Rico, is scheduled to visit the island next Tuesday. The National Guard has deployed more than 2,300 guardsmen to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well. We are still now on generator power. Foreign ships can dock once in a USA port and cannot bounce from port to port delivering (or picking up) goods.

"I respectfully disagree with President Trump and I am sure that he is not getting the data that we are seeing in the streets".

But a comparison of the response timelines to Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 and to Maria in Puerto Rico now are not particularly favorable. Sen. "We have a lot of ships out there right now".

Service stations have been able to stay open only a few hours at a time.

Most hospitals are without power or adequate fuel for their own generators.

"We're thinking about that", he said during a White House media event.

"It is meant to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms". "We are supposed to be treated equally".

The Department of Homeland Security initially said the law didn't need to be waived because most humanitarian relief is delivered by USA ships.