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Add the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE) to the growing list of unions calling on members of the Congress to reject efforts to extend a waiver – or even permanently eliminate — the Jones Act from the Puerto Rican trade.

“It is truly regrettable that some in Congress are attempting to erode Jones Act protections for American workers and our domestic shipbuilding industry during such a trying time for the people of Puerto Rico,” IFPTE President Gregory Junemann wrote to federal legislators on October 5.

While refuting claims that the nation’s freight cabotage law was preventing foreign-flag vessels from sailing into Puerto Rico and that the Jones Act raises prices on the island, Junemann added, “In fact, Jones Act vessels have answered the call quickly and efficiently responding to the needs of the people of Puerto Rico.”

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, legislators have presented two separate bills aimed at crippling the Jones Act. The Senate bill [S. 1894, offered by Senators John McCain R-AZ) and Mike Lee (R-UT)] aims to permanently end Jones Act jurisdiction over Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, HR 3966, introduced by Representatives Gary Palmer (R-AL) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), seeks to install a five-year Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico.

The MTD maintains its unwavering support for the Jones Act.