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Trump Said to Consider Waiving US Ship Mandate for Natural Gas

April 25, 2019 / Transport Topics

President Donald Trump is considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can move goods from American ports to Puerto Rico or energy-starved areas of the Northeast, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.The issue was debated during an Oval Office meeting April 22, after requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from oil industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act requirements, according to three sources. Although top administration officials are divided on the issue, Trump is leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two of the sources, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private discussions.The move — which would be fought by U.S shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill — has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast, where there aren’t enough pipelines to deliver the product from Pennsylvania.