Administration Not Keen on Waiving Jones Act

Sep 28, 2017

The Jones Act is a 100 year-old law that “requires that cargo shipments between U.S. ports only take place on American-made and operated vessels.” The Trump administration so far has not issued a waiver for the Jones Act so aid can more easily get to Puerto Rico. By issuing a waiver, emergency supplies could get to the island more easily and cheaply. The Department of Homeland Security is “still considering whether to grant the waiver.” Democrats in the House put together legislation on Wednesday that would allow the Jones Act to be waived in cases of disaster and humanitarian relief. “This is a humanitarian crisis and Puerto Rico needs all the help it can get,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez. Under the legislation, the Jones Act would be waived for up to a year. President Trump said, “We’re thinking about that, but we have a lot of shippers, a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted. And we have a lot of ships out there right now.” In his private business, the president worked closely with unions. He courted the union vote in his campaign. Waiving the Jones Act would have political consequences for the president.