For immediate release

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Sept. 8, 2017, Honolulu, Hawaii

Contact: Joe Kent, (808) 987-7322 or  jkent@grassrootinstitute.org

U.S. waives Jones Act before Hurricane Irma hits

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii praises waiver to help hurricane victims

HONOLULU, HAWAII, Sept. 8, 2017 >> The U.S. government today temporarily waived the Jones Act to provide relief for victims in Florida as Hurricane Irma approaches.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a non-partisan think tank, praised the decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue an emergency waiver of the Jones Act, an almost-century old shipping law that requires the carriage of goods and passengers between U.S. ports to be on vessels built and flagged by the U.S. and crewed predominantly by Americans.

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, said, “We praise the federal government’s decision to provide a waiver of the Jones Act in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The waiver from the burdens of this outdated shipping law will help save many victims in Florida.”

He continued: “This waiver is a recognition by the federal government that the Jones Act is a hindrance to providing goods for the American people. More important, this pro-active effort to temporarily lift this unnecessary, self-imposed burden on shipping will help Florida deal with the destructive effects of Hurricane Irma.

“The granting of a waiver in this time of crisis demonstrates that the Jones Act needs to be modernized. We hope that Congress will take note of the fact that the Act is a hindrance to not only American consumers and businesses during emergencies, but at all times.”

Akina concluded: “Florida is dealing with shortages of fuel and other hazard supplies. This waiver will enable more ships to provide disaster relief to people who so desperately need it.”

For more information, or to obtain an interview with Dr. Akina, please call Joe Kent at (808) 987-7322 or email him at jkent@grassrootinstitute.org