The longer there's a backlog, the more risk it poses to the recovering economy.
Trump's administration said it won't lift the Jones Act restrictions as there are enough U.S. ships to help Puerto Rico. While previous presidents have lifted the restrictions following natural disasters, “the situation in Puerto Rico is much different,” said Gregory Moore, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
East Coast ports are upgrading their infrastructure to accommodate increased freight expected after the 2015 expansion of the Panama Canal. West Coast ports have to ship up in order to compete.