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Trump waives shipping restrictions to speed help to Puerto Rico

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Puerto Ricans say US relief efforts failing them

Trump administration waives shipping law...

The mayor of San Juan is answering a Twitter attack by President Donald Trump by calling for a united focus on helping people in Puerto Rico after the USA territory was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

"It will go into effect immediately", the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted Thursday morning. But some argue that the islanders will need those lower prices to stretch well beyond 10 days.

Cruz, a member of the island's Popular Democratic party, said Friday that federal aid was coming in too slowly, and criticized Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke for referring to USA response to the struggling Puerto Rico as a "good news story". One constraint that officials anxious would really start to bite as the recovery stretches on is an almost-century-old USA law meant to support a robust domestic shipping industry, known as the Jones Act. Today, the law does nothing to increase America's military readiness - but much to increase the cost of living in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska.

The Federal Emergency Management Authority said it had delivered more than 4.4m meals and 6.5m litres of water to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands by Wednesday.

In the first six days after the hurricane made landfall here, the Navy had deployed just two ships, citing concerns that Puerto Rico's ports were too damaged to accommodate numerous large vessels.

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Ricardo Rosello said he had formally asked for a waiver, but yesterday President Donald Trump was unwilling to do so, he said, because people in the shipping industry didn't want him to.

In the wake of the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz - along with other U.S. politicians, including McCain and Marco Rubio, R-Florida - had urged the suspension of the Jones Act in order to speed up supply deliveries.

After the storm hit, eight USA representatives asked acting head of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to waive the Jones Act to help hurricane relief just as the country did for Texas and Florida.

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Robert Fuller, who works at the University of CT and International Medical Corp, arrived in Puerto Rico to help out. Even before Maria hit, the island relied heavily on imports.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, was one of several lawmakers who tried to urge Department of Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke into waiving the Jones Act for Puerto Rico.

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