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Jones Act Restrictions May Hamper Puerto Rico Recovery

(Washington, D.C.) – The Department of Homeland Security has indicated that there is no plan to extend the waiver of The Jones Act for Puerto Rico once the current waiver expires on Sunday. The Jones Act imposes limits on which ships and crews may transport goods between U.S. ports, raising the price of such shipments and potentially creating delays in shipments in cases where capacity is insufficient. The federal government frequently waives these Jones Act restrictions in regions hit by natural disasters, in order to ensure timely recovery and rebuilding.

Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

“The Jones Act is an outdated piece of protectionist legislation that was signed into law nearly 100 years ago. It imposes higher costs on consumers across the country, but especially in regions that rely heavily on commerce shipped through ports – such as Texas, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and other parts of the United States. This is a bad law that should be repealed. In particular, the Jones Act can only hurt the people of Puerto Rico as they work to recover and rebuild in the wake of several hurricanes. To force them to undertake this effort with the limits imposed by the law is a mistake.”

For interviews with a representative from The LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4463