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Research Paper 

Jeremy Rivera Muñiz

How did the Jones Act Affect Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria?

Word Count: 

In 1920, the merchant Marine Act was passed to promote maintenance of American merchandise. The Jones Act is materials made by Americans that are shipped from the United States. Getting materials from United States to Puerto Rico is more expensive then sending them to Texas or other Caribbean islands. For residents in Puerto Rico the Jones act is a really big deal. Basic shipments of goods from the island to the US , and vice versa, must be conducted using expensive protected ships rather than exposing. Thanks to the Jones act any boat with shipment can go to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico received shipment from many boats even before the hurricane Maria. The law applies to all ports that are from the United States. Companies from the United States had to send their own trucks to deliver the materials, because the on-island distribution was having problems. Companies can send the materials to any port, but there’s a problem with national security. At one point they had about 3,000 containers full of emergency supplies, commercial materials, construction materials, medicines, food. Some terminals were full on capacity there did not fit another container. A company had some of materials in cargo boxes and they said that they could only dispatch about 4 percent. The part of a supply chain that moved the cargo from their terminal to the shelfs of stores or to the puerto rican homes. Remembering that there was no communication workers would wait at their jobs without knowing the time they had to be their or if they were even going to open the store. If the company communicates in some way there is still the fact that there is no fuel and trucks can’t be driven. They had the equipment the drivers but they didn’t have the fuel to transport it. If the company has no transportation there was no reason to keep sending materials from the United States because of the two following reason: there won’t be space because all the materials would just be stored, and there was still no gas to remove the shipment from the ports. The materials came from FEMA, from the United States, most of the materials were for supermarkets. They had the supplies for everyone they just could not transport it to the final destination. It is an act of justice. 

This will allow Puerto Ricans to rebuild and to have a cost of living that really frankly is affordable. Thankfully President Donald Trump approved the Jones Act and it has helped Puerto Rico immensely although the Jones Act was not extended it helped Puerto Rico a lot. United State lawmakers and Puerto Rican officials have been pushing the administration for an exception from the Jones Act, a century-old law that only allows American-built and operated vessels to make cargo shipments between U.S. ports. The island will hopefully be back to how it was before the hurricane. 

 

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