White House Waives Jones Act For Puerto Rico To Help Get Island Aid

Carolyn Kaster/AP

The President has authorized a shipping waiver to help get relief aid to Hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a tweet Thursday morning.

Sanders said President Donald Trump had authorized a waiver to the Jones Act for Puerto Rico that would be effective “immediately.”

The Jones Act dates back to the 1920s and restricts shipping between American ports to American ships with American crews only, which ends up making it just as expensive to ship things from the U.S. to Puerto Rico as it is to ship from any other port in the world, according to members of Congress who asked the President to lift the restriction.

Trump indicated Wednesday he may not lift the Jones Act for Puerto Rico because “a lot of shippers” don’t want it waived, despite the fact that he lifted the restrictions when Hurricane Harvey and Irma hit the U.S. earlier this month.

Sanders said the President waived the restriction at the request of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello. 


Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.