What Is the Jones Act? Here’s What You Should Know

The law makes it difficult to follow through on recovery efforts for Puerto Rico

By Karl Utermohlen, InvestorPlace Writer


The Jones Act is an old law that  requires all goods taken from between U.S. ports to be carried on ships build, owned and operated by Americans.

The Jones ActThe century-old law was designed to promote shipping by vessels owned and operated by the U.S., but it is currently making it challenging to get critical supplies into Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

A 2010 study by the University Puerto Rico discovered that the island had to pay $537 million per year, resulting in launching the territory into a recession for 11 years. A terrible economic crisis has been the result of such a law.

Nevertheless, the American Maritime Partnership believe the law is necessary due to the fact that it supports the nation’s defense needs and expands it maritime industry.

Abolishing or at least creating an exception for such a law at the moment makes a lot of sense as there are more than 3 million citizens in Puerto Rico who are struggling to find housing, food and water due to the disaster caused by Maria.

The national media has also faired to cover the needs of the people of Puerto Rico as much as it has covered other hurricanes to other areas of the U.S., despite the fact that these are also American citizens who need aid from their fellow countrymen moving forward.

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