"It's the most difficult job because it's on the island, it's on an island in the middle of the ocean," Trump said at a joint press conference with Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy. "It's out in the ocean — you can't just drive your trucks there from other states."
The Trump administration says it is not planning to waive federal restrictions on foreign ships’ transportation of cargo to Puerto Rico and other areas affected by Hurricane Maria, as it did following hurricanes Harvey and Irma.Perhaps Trump and his leadership are unaware, as polls show about half of U.S. people are, that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security says officials believe there is sufficient capacity of U.S.-flagged vessels to move goods to Puerto Rico. Spokesman David Lapan said most of the humanitarian shipments to Puerto Rico will be through barges, which make up a significant portion of the U.S.-flagged cargo fleet.
DHS waived Jones Act restrictions during Harvey and Irma in order to move oil more quickly to the East Coast and make up for the loss of pipelines.
New York Rep Nydia Velazquez has asked for a Jones Act waiver for Maria.