Trump Hesitates To Lift Shipping Restriction For Puerto Rico, Same Law Was Waived For Texas And Florida

The Washington Post reports:

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, pretty much the entire island of Puerto Rico is dark, hot and running out of supplies — quickly. Because it’s an island, many lifesaving supplies will arrive by boat.

But Puerto Rico has to wait until American boats can reach its shores with supplies because of an obscure, World War I-era shipping law that the Trump administration is refusing to waive.

Trump’s decision to keep the Jones Act in place is also feeding into a narrative that the president is aloof to Puerto Rico’s problems. His administration lifted the Jones Act to help Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey in August and Irma this month.

Meanwhile, despite agitation from powerful members in Congress to get rid of the law entirely so we don’t keep having these debates after hurricanes, it’s likely to stay on the books.

More from NBC News:

The Jones Act, otherwise known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires goods shipped between American ports to be carried out exclusively by ships built primarily in the United States, and to have U.S. citizens as its owners and crews.

Signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson two years after World War I ended, the Jones Act was passed as a protective measure against foreign competition, particularly Germany. By restricting domestic trade to U.S.-flagged vessels with U.S. crews, America would always have a robust fleet of boats and sailors on hand in the event German submarines attacked the U.S.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that a decision on whether to waive it had not yet been made. “We’re thinking about that, but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people, a lot of people who work in the shipping industry, that don’t want the Jones Act lifted,” he said.

  • Talisman

    Of course, they are brown people, and are not real American citizens.

  • Sorry to keep harping on it, but this is an act of attempted genocide.

    • In Africa, when governments or warlords have attempted to interfere with famine relief supplies due to some ethnic, racial, or cultural distinctiveness of the intended recipients, we (and the rest of the world) have routinely and correctly termed it “genocide.”

      The ONLY real difference between the populations of TX/FL and PR/USVI is the fact most of the latter are of Latino/Hispanic descent.

      • In the days and weeks to come, as aid continues to be both grossly inadequate and often blocked on purpose by this malignant President, the citizens of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, because they are Americans by birth, will probably seek to resettle on the mainland.

        Yes, American citizens as refugees.

        Look for the racist barking wigstand to try to find some way to block them from coming.

        • roooth

          And, as in post Katrina NOLA, how many people will leave land that was their home for generations and never be able to afford to move back.
          PR will be remade, but not for Puerto Ricans or by them


            He’s counting on it. He can then start buying it up and building a playground for the wealthy. Yes, that like all his other ventures will end in bankruptcy, once again leaving PR holding the bag.

          • William

            The coastal islands off Georgia used were home to generations of Black families, the descendants of slaves. Then the ‘Leisure Class’ needed summer homes and golf courses, and the original people were driven out.

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        • Pilot Nozzle

          ” … the racist barking wigstand… ”
          Man, I wish I’d said that.

    • Tomcat

      It is trumps idea of a BROWN OUT.

      • Joe in PA

        Too soon Tom. 🙁

    • pj

      harp away. whats happening will get hung around chumps neck like new orleans is hung around bushes.

      • Yeah. And this is like Katrina x10, in terms of the destruction.

        • pj

          he cant figure anything out.

          • JWC

            he has figured it out PR are not white people so fuckem

          • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

            You forgot the word rich. 😉

      • Tomcat

        Nothing sticks to this asshole, it is teflon.

        • Lars Littlefield

          Naw. He’s just extra greasy.

        • Thorn Spike

          Mueller will soon take care of that.

          • ETownCanuck

            I’m not gonna hold my breath. I have the feeling he’ll worm his way out of just about everything. His kind always do.

    • supasugacrisp


    • Stogiebear
    • roooth

      disaster capitalism

    • Nychta

      No need to apologize. My first thought on reading this post was, “Why can’t we have him (and his minions) arrested?”

    • JCF

      Against brown people who speak Spanish??? President Trump would NEVER do such a thing! /s

  • shellback


  • unclemike

    Every time I think he has reached the bottom of the assholery barrel, there’s another deeper, darker asshole underneath. Fuck this syphilitic orange micro-penised T-rex-handed mewling baby fart.

    • BRAVO! What a perfectly crafted string of adjectives !!!

    • Gerry Fisher

      Extra points for the fart at the end.

  • Ninja0980

    Which goes to show you that he is a POS and any conservatives trying to defend him at this point on Puerto Rico needs to STFU.

    • Maybe its time for some wealthy person to star running ads against cheetolini by showing the devastation in PR and then explaining just exactly what hasn’t been done to help. That might get a few “independents” to vote DNC next time about, and might turncoat a few reds into blues.

  • Tomcat

    Then tell all those assholes that don’t want it lifted to get off their fat asses and deliver as much goods as they need down there.

  • Lazycrockett

    “These motherfuckers are bending a knee!!!” as he casually walks over the bodies of hundreds of brown people.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      A-HEM!! “Sons of bitches”.

    • Oh, yes – respect the flag, but ignore Puerto Ricans!??

  • boobert

    No electoral votes means he doesn’t care !

  • Christopher
  • Lazycrockett

    Is this law also being upheld in the Virgin Islands that was pummeled by Irma?

    • Bluto

      The VI has a permanent exemption from the Jones act. I don’t know why but good for them.

      • Lazycrockett

        So this law basically is designed to only hurt Puerto Rico?

        • Bluto

          No, it applies to the entire US but it is always suspended during emergencies. Except PR cuz cheeto reasons.

      • Because the Virgin Islands have long been a playground for Americans uber wealthy, thats why.

      • BobSF_94117

        A lot of the stuff that comes to the VI comes through PR.

        Anybody got any diesel???

  • Tomcat

    Want to guess who makes out when there is a disaster and many cannot afford to stay? That’s right it is the rich man that goes into disaster areas and buys up the land to build hotels, golf courses and marinas. And they use our money to do it.

  • stanhope

    Does this really surprise anybody? Trump does not care for any people of color. Stand back, let the republicans implode.

  • Pollos Hermanos

    There already is an exodus of Puerto Rican citizens to states like Florida.

    The GOP does not want hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican American citizens to migrate to a state where they can affect the balance of power.

    • bkmn

      After this I can see lots of Puerto Ricans moving to be able to vote in the next Presidential election.

      • Tomcat

        I think Dems need to infiltrate the rural countryside all over America before the next presidential election. Change the electoral vote.

      • Hank

        NOT just for the presidential election. They will be here for 2018, if we are lucky!!! PR has a NON-Voting member of the House, just as DC does. As I said last night, they need to relocate to Northern FL, where they can reside and register to vote, immediately!!! The lesser populated Congressional Districts, would turn BLUE!!!… and perhaps the State Houses, as well!

        Non-voting members of the United States House of Representatives

    • Ninja0980

      Look for voter id laws to be passed in Florida to prevent this.

      • Tomcat

        Face must match the hoods or no vote.

    • Tomcat

      May they change the color of the state and make ALL their laws.

    • Bluto

      I expect the gropenfuhrer to try a travel ban from PR.

      • Tatonka

        It would be patently unconstitutional (not that he cares about such things).

        • Tomcat

          But they are BROWN, come on!!!!!

        • MBear

          Unconstitutional ?!? LOL

          Like that stops them

    • William

      Three million Puerto Ricans could really shift the balance of power in Texas.

      Come on over!

  • When the issue is people who are not white,…Mr Trump has a heart of stone. Sorry, for you USA citizens in PR.

  • bkmn
  • Ironically, there are a lot of brown people in Florida and Texas as well, so perhaps there is something else that’s causing el covfefe to treat PR differently. Perhaps the lingering belief among some that PR citizens are not “real” Americans, and offer nothing “positive” back to the mainland U.S. They just mismanage their money and want handouts. This would be sick if it were true, but anything is possible with this administration.

    • Charles Nelson

      The Jones Act (Texas and Florida get most of their goods overland) doubles the price of just about everything in Puerto Rico. How would your state’s economy look if prices doubled?

    • Is all this punishment because his golf course went bankrupt in PR?

  • Treant

    And no reporter asked the obvious, “Why are you OK with killing people on Puerto Rico by refusing to allow assistance onto the island?”

    • I sure do wish we had some shark type reporters nowadays. That would hound a person until an actual answer was given.

  • Dagoril

    WTF is wrong with this piece of shit?!

    • Christopher

      To list everything would cut into my drinking time for at least a century.

    • Tomcat

      Not enough time for that answer.

    • He has no heart, no soul and zero compassion. His brains are in his dick and wallet, that’s the only two things he cares about.

    • KarenAtFOH

      For a narcissist, negative attention is just as good as positive. Being this huge asshole will get him more attention.

  • Tomcat

    Don’t forget trump thinks SOME of these Puerto Rico people are probably good people.

  • Mark Née Fuzz

    The man just doesn’t seem to run out of ways to be a vile POS.

  • JuanGalicia

    OH I know this act ! .. but mostly I knew about it because of cruise ships and the fees attached to them when you miss the ship, like to go on board at a different port.

  • gaycuckhubby

    And this, boys and girls, is what racism looks like

  • FAEN


    “Were NOT racists. We’re NOT!”

    But you are Blanche!

  • ultragreen

    The Jones Act is just one of Puerto Rico’s problems. Many seaports in Puerto Rico have been damaged and their capacity to handle additional ships from abroad is currently limited. After ships arrive at a seaport, there is no easy way to distribute their supplies because most of the roads are impassable from fallen trees and other kinds of debris. Trump should still suspend the Jones Act, however. Reducing costs will make the recovery money go farther and every little bit helps.

    • Halou

      The DoD has the equipment and expertise to clear large obstructions such as fallen trees, and they have the logistical skills to triage large numbers of people and distribute aid accordingly. I mean, Hillary suggested deploying military units to the island for this very reason but since she is apparently not the president she can’t make it into an order.

  • Cuberly

    “…but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people, a lot of people who work in the shipping industry, that don’t want the Jones Act lifted,”

    Then those”people” along with you are evil as fuck.

    • jmax

      “Business” is more important than the lives of human beings.

      • Cuberly

        I seriously doubt shippers are involved in this right now. I bet you anything someone in his administration mentioned it and Donnie ran with it as an excuse.

      • Steven Jaeger

        The only business hair drumpf has is sitting on his fool’s gold terlet so he can twitter over things he sees on Faux Neaux broadcasting in the terlet room.

      • JCF

        The motto of the Rethuglican Party, for AT LEAST 50 years…

    • zhera

      I’d like to see just one of those people come forth and say so. Just one. How hard can that be, Donnie? Find someone who’s willing to say “Yes, we care more about our protected industry than about people in PR who are starving and suffering.”

      It’s bullshit, and we all know it. How many christers are turning their backs to him over this? NONE!

      • Cuberly

        How does a President of the United States not knock heads and get this done?!?!??!

        I agree, he had a resort in PR go bust, he has an ouchy, so he drags his racist shit-tard feet out of a sense of personal injury.

        Today’s GOP!

  • Adonisus

    Anyone ever heard of the Holodomor? The awful Soviet-era famine in the Ukraine that was caused by forced collectivization, mismanagement and Stalin generally being a dick?

    Yeah, if Trump doesn’t act fast, he’s looking at creating the modern equivalent in Puerto Rico.

  • ColdCountry

    A lot of “good people” don’t want it lifted? I say that if they don’t, they are not good people. And these same people didn’t have a problem with the ban being lifted for FL and TX? He’s not… lying… is he?

    • This had me thinking…did he go to those same people and ask them what they thought about lifting the ban for FL and TX? Or were they consulted only about Puerto Rico?
      When trumP spouts such patently ridiculous things it further cements my belief that he is abysmally stupid.

      • ColdCountry

        My immediate reaction is that he didn’t ask anyone, that “a lot of good people” are the voices in his head.

  • Lumpy Gaga


    You’re a disgusting, murdering pig.

    • Joe in PA

      You had me at pig, but yea. Pig.

      • Bob_Bangor

        Hey think of the bacon!! He’s not worthy of being called a pig.

    • Beagle

      Dump is a rat. It’s a flea on a rat. It’s an amoeba on a flea on a rat.

  • gaycuckhubby
    • Lumpy Gaga


      • gaycuckhubby

        It’s pretty fucked up. They pretended to be BLM in order to intimidate white voters. They were crafty fuckers

    • We should outlaw political ads on any social media platforms.

      • gaycuckhubby

        Lots of countries have blackout days for political ads leading up to an election

        • Yes, but I’m talking about a complete and total ban of allowing any political ads to be hosted on any social media platform.

          • -M-

            All political ads should have to be from the campaigns and copies of the ads and their targeting given to the opponent’s campaign and reporters for rebuttal and oversight.

        • William

          The American political season lasts for two years.

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Did that ad swing the election? Sorry, I don’t think so. Thank you.

      • -M-

        By sowing division and suppressing turnout, it might have.

        • LesbianTippingHabits

          I think many factors, beyond one ad, contributed to that. Thank you again.

          • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

            It’s part of a multi-prong approach: Russian interference in social media and collusion, voter suppression, outdated voting machines that can be hacked (and were not investigated), elections administered by partisan state administrations.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Not to mention the Democratic Party nominating a candidate with issues.

  • iambu


  • Ok 84% of the GOP, I’d like to know what makes you think this sick racist fuck is fit for the job of president? Or that he’s doing a good job? How can you sit at home and not be pained at the suffering of your fellow human, much less your own countrymen?

    • Duck

      A facebook friend posted something along the lines of ‘Puerto Rico voted against statehood x times, why should we…’ I just can’t even with right wingers anymore.

      • Halou

        But no matter how loud and obnoxious Texas secessionists are ‘we have to protect our own’, right?

  • orion dumptee

    christ, he REALLY could care less about those poor souls in PR, jus because his pals in maritime shipping wont give up their iron grip? not even for 30 days? He TRULY is beyond bizarre..cares nothing for human life

    • KarenAtFOH

      It’s a bullshit reason. The real reason is that they are not now, and never will be, his people.

      • orion dumptee

        looks like,after much condemnation,he has lifted it (sigh)

  • roooth

    And, because there is no limit to the cynical, murderous callousness of Republicans, watch for them to attempt to capitalize off of “reconstructing”. Watch for them to attempt to suspend minimum wage requirements, as in post-Katrina. Watch for fat contracts to be handed out to stateside corporations, the way Blackwater profited.

    Even as they dawdle on the relief, you can bet fat cats are already dividing up the pie that rebuilding PR will be.

    The worse off the people are, the easier it will be to take advantage, just like Katrina, only exponentially worse and therefore potentially that much more profitable

  • greenmanTN
  • Ken M

    It may sound crazy, but a greater impact may be made if Puerto Rico is no longer used as a reference. Refer to the people as Americans, the island as America or an American island,. It’s not a lie, and it may cause people to ask for an explanation. if you just read through some of the comments here and replace the words, they carry a lot more weight. Just my opinion.

    • Halou

      The political comedy shows with Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers and the others do just that. Describing a nightmare scenario that would make people living in the third world recoil in shock, then affixing the word ‘American’ to it for emphasis.

      • Ken M

        Maybe not so crazy after all.

      • William

        Rachel hasn’t been gentle is showing the Trump regime’s lack of response to this disaster.

  • ceeenbee

    It’s time all 2.3M citizens from Puerto Rico leave the island and spread themselves across the country. Their votes in the coming election should be very helpful in electing people who don’t want to see them poor or dead.

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      I think many Americans would welcome an opportunity to show compassion to fellow American citizens in their time of need.

      The real question is, will they?

  • David Walker

    Profits and party before people. I’m shocked, I tells ya. Shocked. I would never have guessed this would happen. I mean, it’s the president of ALL the US. Or maybe it’s just the Murkin part. And only some of that.

  • Halou

    After hurricane Harvey, Trump temporarily rescinded the Jones Act so that urgent supplies can be shipped in by sea to help survivors in Texas even though there were road and rail routes available to help in that regard. He also immediately appealed to Congress to free up billions of dollars to pay for the recovery operations.

    After hurricane Irma, Trump temporarily rescinded the Jones Act so that urgent supplies can be shipped in by sea to help survivors in Florida even though there were road and rail routes available to help in that regard. He also immediately appealed to Congress to free up billions of dollars to pay for the recovery operations.

    Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico and the government equivocates. Even though Trump laughably reminded us all during his press conference with Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Puerto Rico is an island and literally cannot get enough urgent supplies in any way except by sea. Oh, and he is waiting until the first, maybe the second week of October before asking Congress to free up money for recovery.

    So much for “great things” being done. Anything that is being done is by individual Americans in spite of the government, not because of it.
    How many people will the president’s racism kill this year?

    • kareemachan

      Prime Minister who he repeatedly called ‘President’. Or ‘Precedent’.

  • BeaverTales

    I would break that fucking law. Let Trump sue Puerto Rico for damages.

    The next president can issue a pardon if anyone goes to jail.

  • fkevin

    Food & water has sitting on docks since SATURDAY. The roads need to be cleared so drivers can get to the ports and for goods to be delivered:

    “Puerto Rico’s governor said food, water and medicine were just sitting at the port waiting to be delivered. So CBS News’ David Begnaud went looking for the supplies, and found 3,000 shipping containers sitting there with enough supplies to help half a million Puerto Ricans. No truck drivers have come to pick them up.”

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Well, this looks like one reason not to waive the Jones Act at this time.

      • fkevin

        The Jones Act should be suspended for emergencies and disasters. It would be appropriate to start now as PR will be needing assistance for many, many months. I think it will be much longer. Allowing ships and cargo direct passage to Puerto Rico would reduce delay and cost of shipments from other countries. Personally I think Puerto Rico should be exempt from the Jones Act just like USVI.

        • LesbianTippingHabits

          Sure, the foreign-flagged ships can bring supplies to Puerto Rico, but can they get to the dock to unload? Not clear.

          Otherwise, I agree with you. At least you have done your homework to confirm that the President has waived the Jones Act for USVI.

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      Military engineers can build emergency infrastructure that will allow land delivery, and army helicopters can deliver those supplies in the meanwhile.

    • William

      The mayor of San Juan has reported two days in a row about all the doctors and nurses at the convention center who are milling around awaiting orders.

      • fkevin

        I missed that report. So different from the report of over stretched staff at the hospital.

        • William

          Last night Rachel Maddow talked with reporter Gadi Schwartz. He mentioned the scene at the convention center. All these people have been brought in, but they aren’t being sent out to help.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Gee…I wonder what the reason could be? I can’t quite put my finger on it….wait, it will come to me….

  • Hank

    Come to Florida and turn the state Blue!!!

    The number of Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin living in Florida has surpassed 1 million for the first time, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, more than doubling the state’s Puerto Rican population over the past 14 years.Oct 30, 2015

    • johncAtl

      A lot more Puerto Ricans may have no choice but to move to Florida. Large parts of the island won’t have electricity for months, and the economy is going to crash without tourist dollars. You can bring in food and water, but not enough to sustain 3+ million people for an extended period.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        Hurricane Maria will have a profound effect on the entire United States, not just Puerto Rico.

        After Katrina, a significant proportion of New Orleans’ population left and never returned. They had nothing to go home to.

        It appears that this is also the case in Puerto Rico.

    • leastyebejudged

      A million Puerto Ricans are going to have to evacuate, and Florida is closest, so…

  • kanehau

    Those of us in Hawaii would love to see the Jones Act go away too.

    • -M-

      According to some headlines I read it’s a huge drain on the economies of Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Enough that PR wouldn’t be bankrupt without it.

  • fuow

    What part of “Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens is unclear here?

  • mark99k

    Again with the “lot of people” bullshit. Prep the guillotines.

  • billbear1961

    LIFT IT, you demented racist!

    You did for Texas and Florida!!

  • Semi OT. Can someone explain to me why PR (or DC, for that matter…) isn’t a state? I as reading around a bit, and what strikes me as odd is….a person born in PR is a citizen of the U.S., but they don’t have access to all the rights that someone born in a state has. Why? So they really are second class citizens?

    • Same reason as the reason behind a lot of weird laws regarding new states before the civil war.

      Because bigoted conservatives (at one point, Dixiecrats, but now Republicans) don’t want another pair of senators potentially voting for liberal ideals.

      • These people are citizens. Full stop. No question. Same as everyone else.

        • -M-

          When has that stopped them?

        • And? So were black people post civil war. Didn’t stop bigots.

    • BobSF_94117

      A person born in PR* is a U.S. citizen and has all the rights and privileges any other American has.

      A U.S. citizen, regardless of place of birth, has fewer rights than other Americans if he or she resides in PR*.

      * or any other U.S. territory

  • Why do I almost get the suspicion he’s doing so in part to prevent Mexico from helping and thus garnering favor from Americans?

    Also, wanna bet that when reconstruction does finally take place, practically everything will end up privatized, with American investors owning everything except the liability?

  • Frank McCormick

    I haven’t scrolled all the way down to see who else has said this. But I think this is crux:”“We’re thinking about that, but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people, a lot of people who work in the shipping industry, that don’t want the Jones Act lifted,”

    Profiteering is the main motivation here!

    • Frank McCormick

      We need to see who in his immediate circle owns shipping lines…

  • BobSF_94117

    Trump is determined to out Dubya Dubya. This will make Katrina look like a picnic.

    • William

      Remember the days when we thought W was a moron?

      Good times.

  • -M-

    Dumb excuse. Waiving it temporarily for Puerto Rico, like they’ve done for Texas and Florida which aren’t even dependent on boats for their supplies, isn’t going to hurt shipping companies or ship builders.

  • Greg B.

    Trump will have blood on his hands. Fucking scumbag.

    • Halou

      If he doesn’t already. Several of his supporters have committed murder for the greater glory of the American Reich.

  • SDG

    Does this asshole not realize that PR is part of the USA?

    • Halou

      Nah, it is full of “illegal Mexicans”.

  • fuzzybits

    This evil MF’er causes me to almost pull my hair out on a daily basis. This is some of the most callous cold shit I’ve witnessed in a long time!

  • JHunter
    • William

      Uh, wut? Will the news media be banned next?

    • Halou

      Because apparently half a dozen members of Congress would obstruct the relief efforts. How small is the operation that the presence of so few people will have such a large impact?

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Trump is doing to Puerto Rico what he is doing to the ACA. He is the devil incarnate. Evil bastard.

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