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Donald Trump signs law to curb foreign ocean dumping

October 11, 2018

In a rare display of bipartisanship, President Trump signed legislation Thursday to reduce ocean waste dumped by other countries, and to authorize more money for coastal cleanup in the U.S.

Mr. Trump said in a White House ceremony that the Save Our Seas Act will help to stop other nations “from making our oceans their landfills.”

“We’re being inundated by debris from other countries,” Mr. Trump said. “We will be responding and very strongly.”

Among the lawmakers attending the event in the Oval Office was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat and a frequent critic of the administration. The president shook his hand during the bill signing.

“See, we can shake hands,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

The legislation reauthorizes and amends the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris. It’s aimed at boosting the federal government’s domestic and international response to ocean waste, and allows the federal government to declare “severe marine debris events” and to authorize additional funds to states for cleanup.

The president said previous administrations “did absolutely nothing to take on the foreign countries responsible” for ocean dumping.

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