Repeal the Jones Act Marine Law or Exempt Puerto Rico

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"The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, known as the Jones Act, requires all goods shipped between points in the United States to be carried by vessels built, owned and (mostly) operated by Americans.Its goals were twofold, according to a 2003 report by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan arm of Congress. First, it was intended to support a national maritime industry that could mobilize for war or a national emergency. Second, it was intended to protect American control over local waterborne commerce." (NY Times Article by Niraj Chokshi, Sept 28th, 2017)  This law has a detrimental affect on Puerto Rico, which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria.

The law  "increases shipping costs for goods from the mainland, which are then passed on to consumers." ( id. )  This is a time of crisis for Puerto Rico.   As of September 28th, 2017,  Puerto Rico has been given a temporary waiver to "expand access to food, medicine, clothing, building supplies and oil needed for power plants." ( Id.)  However, it is a waiver of only 10 days.

 Senator John McCain (R-AZ), has urged repeal of the law.   He is quoted in the Chokshi article as follows: "It is unacceptable to force the people of Puerto Rico to pay at least twice as much for food, clean drinking water, supplies and infrastructure due to Jones Act requirements as they work to recover from this disaster." (Id.)  On September 28th Senator McCain and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced legislation that would permanently exempt Puerto Rico.  In short, it's time to repeal the Jones Act or exempt Puerto Rico from its requirements.  Please help to make this happen.



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