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Puerto Rico seeks waiver of shipping restrictions to speed hurricane relief

Puerto Rico seeks waiver of shipping restrictions to speed hurricane relief”

Both Republicans and Democrats urged the President to waive the 1920 Jones Act, an obscure law which requires all goods carried between U.S. ports to be transferred on USA ships, saying it could help get desperately needed aid to the island after it was battered by Hurricane Maria.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the act was lifted Thursday morning, and it "will go into effect immediately".

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security said waiving the act for Puerto Rico would not help struggling hurricane victims because the island's ports and other infrastructure were so badly damaged that ships would not be able to dock there.

Donald Trump has announced he will allow foreign owned ships to deliver relief supplies from United States ports to Puerto Rico following a furore over his previous comments that it would upset American shipping firms.

While Puerto Rico tries to slowly recover from Hurricane Maria, drugmakers, who operate more than 50 plants and distribution centers on the island, are working to prevent shortages.

Ayala said the company can't get enough truck drivers or trucks filled up with diesel to pick up supplies for distribution across the island.

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The aftermath of the powerful storm has resulted in a near-total shutdown of the US territory's economy that could last for weeks and has many people running seriously low on cash and worrying that it will become even harder to survive on this storm-ravaged island.

In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the damage in Puerto Rico is leading some North Carolinians to take action.

Max Garcia finally knows his family, including a grandfather, are safe in Puerto Rico.

But with no power, little running water and a health care system stretched increasingly thin, Cruz Vivaldi says Puerto Rico now faces a humanitarian crisis.

"We have no idea what is happening in a lot of parts of Puerto Rico", Rubio said.

In a CNBC phone interview earlier Thursday, Rossello said Puerto Rico's power grid is destroyed, leaving virtually the entire island in the dark.

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During a briefing, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said she found the conditions "shocking" when she visited the island on Friday.

In Washington, some politicians said the Jones Act waiver should last longer or that the law should be completely repealed.

"If we don't get help, something is going to happen that will be a long-term problem for Puerto Rico". "It's become a support network, and a way we can express how we're feeling and give updates on our families, so that's been a really positive thing to come out of it".

Ryan says, "We will quickly act on that request".

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in a tweet, noted that the administration "has finally waived" the Jones Act.

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