President Donald Trump waived laws forbidding foreign ships from transporting goods between U.S. ports and Puerto Rico Thursday.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló petitioned the White House to waive the law, known as the Jones Act, to aid in shipping resources to Puerto Rico while it recovers from devastating hurricanes.
“Our cries for justice were heard,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said, according to The Hill. “The president did the right thing, and stood on the right side of history.”
Pressure on Trump to waive the law had been increasing since reports of Puerto Rico’s devastation began gaining traction. GOP Sen. John McCain claimed that the Jones Act made shipping supplies for Puerto Rico’s recovery twice as expensive, CNN reported.
Delivering supplies throughout the island is still a challenge, and Puerto Rico’s infrastructure remains severely damaged. Cargo ships are stuck in port waiting to be offloaded, but supplies have nowhere to go, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“The biggest challenge is how you can move the cargo. The cargo is here. The people of Puerto Rico should not have any fear that there is not going to be food or medicine on the island,” Crowley Maritime Vice President of Puerto Rico Services Jose Ayala told the WSJ.
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