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Repealing the Jones Act Would Pit Trump against Economic Nationalists

September 28, 2017

Amid the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico, Sen. John McCain is renewing his call to scrap the Jones Act, a Progressive era act of protectionism designed to bolster U.S. shipping interests that arose out of national security concerns. In 1920, only two years after the end of World War I, German submarines remained fresh in lawmakers’ minds. Today, however, critics are complaining that the law is exacerbating the plight of Puerto Rico by slowing the delivery of relief supplies, not to mention increasing their cost. President Trump temporarily lifted the law Thursday morning...

Said McCain Thursday: “While I welcome the Trump administration's Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico, this short-term, ten-day exemption is insufficient to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild from Hurricane Maria. . . . For years, I have fought to fully repeal the Jones Act, which has long outlived its purpose to the benefit of special interests. It's time for Congress to take action, end this injustice, and help our fellow citizens in this time of need"...

“The Jones Act long ago outlived its usefulness and should have been overturned or significantly weakened years ago,” adds Eric Farnsworth, Washington director of the Council of the Americas. “It is a vestige of a bygone era. Ironically designed to help U.S. shipping at the expense of the consumer, it is now harming U.S. citizens engulfed in a humanitarian crisis"....

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