Trump waives Jones Act to aid Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses supporters as he speaks at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center September 27, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trump spoke about his Republican tax plan. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

- President Donald Trump on Thursday morning waived a little-known federal law aimed at protecting the U.S. shipping industry in an effort to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision in a tweet Thursday morning.

“At (Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello’s) request, (Trump) has authorized the Jones Act to be waived for Puerto Rico,” Huckabee Sanders said. “It will go into effect immediately.”

The Jones Act bars foreign-flagged ships from taking goods and passengers between U.S. ports.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke waived the law earlier this month to help ease fuel shortages in the Southeast following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. That order included Puerto Rico, but expired last week shortly after Hurricane Maria struck.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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