Trump temporarily lifted restrictions from U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico

People wait at a gas station to fill up their fuel containers, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 27, 2017. Picture taken September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump temporarily lifted restrictions on foreign shipping from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico on Thursday to help get supplies quickly to the U.S. territory as it reels from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.But even so, the island still faces huge logistical hurdles to distribute badly needed food, fuel and drinking water. Most of the Caribbean island’s 3.4 million people also are without electricity.
Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rossello, had sought a waiver of the Jones Act, which limits shipping between U.S. ports to U.S. owned-and-operated vessels, to ensure there was no impediment to bringing in supplies.The waiver, which will be in force for 10 days and will cover all products shipped to Puerto Rico, was signed on Thursday morning by acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, the DHS said in a statement.The U.S. government has periodically lifted the Jones Act for a temporary period following violent storms, including after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit Texas and Florida in late August and earlier this month.No federal departments recommended a waiver for Puerto Rico, however, leaving the requests to lawmakers and Puerto Rico’s governor.
Even as FEMA and the U.S. military have stepped up relief efforts, many residents have been exasperated at the prolonged lack of electricity, reliable supplies of drinking water and other essentials.In the old town in the capital, San Juan, a smattering of shops were beginning to open but there was still a lack of basic services.Critics of the Trump administration have said the island is not getting the same response from Washington as it would if it were a U.S. state, even though its residents are U.S. citizens.