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Homeland Security Grants Jones Act Waiver for Puerto Rico

Sept. 28, 2017 nine:28 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Foreign-flagged ships will likely be allowed to ship help to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico after the Department of Homeland Security waived a legislation blocking off non-U.S.-ships from transporting items between U.S. ports.

On Thursday morning, the


management and DHS introduced waiver to the Jones Act, which was once blocking off foreign-flagged vessels from transport reduction provides to Puerto Rico, were issued. The explanation why was once “in the interest of the nation’s defense,” in keeping with DHS spokesman David Lapan. Hurricane Maria, a Category four typhoon, ravaged the island ultimate week, destroying its electric grid and leaving it desperately in need of meals, blank water and gasoline.

The Jones Act waiver, which is excellent for 10 days, will permit foreign-flagged ships, to convey help to Puerto Rico from U.S. ports and from overseas ports. Lawmakers from Puerto Rico and the U.S. sought the request as a result of help can also be delivered at a cheaper price from different international locations.

“This waiver will ensure that over the next 10 days, all options are available to move and distribute goods to the people of Puerto Rico. It is intended 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,” mentioned Acting DHS Secretary

Elaine Duke

in a remark.

Though the typhoon hit Puerto Rico per week in the past, DHS mentioned Wednesday that it had most effective simply gained a request for a waiver that day and a prior research confirmed that there have been sufficient U.S.-flagged vessels to convey provides to the U.S. territory. Cost of supply of products isn’t a decision for issuing a waiver, even though nationwide protection is, which was once the decision for the waiver granted on Thursday.

The Jones Act act calls for that items shipped between U.S. ports be carried through vessels constructed within the U.S., majority-owned through American corporations and crewed through U.S. voters. Waivers for the legislation can also be granted and feature been issued in earlier herbal failures. President

George W. Bush

suspended it after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and President

Barack Obama

suspended it after superstorm Sandy in 2012. Most lately, it was once suspended for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to transport petroleum.

Write to Natalie Andrews at Natalie.Andrews@wsj.com

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