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Congressional Task Force extends deadline for input

Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (center) meets with representatives of the island's trade groups.

Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (center) meets with representatives of the island’s trade groups.

Members of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico announced an extension of the deadline for submissions from stakeholders interested in submitting ideas to identify reforms needed to grow the island’s economy to Oct. 14.

The Task Force, which is charged with making recommendations that will promote economic growth in Puerto Rico, has received more than 300 submissions from interested stakeholders to date.

“We greatly appreciate the time so many took to write us with their thoughtful ideas on how to improve the Puerto Rican economy for its residents. To cast the widest net possible and to work with stakeholders on providing input in a usable form, we are extending the deadline,” the Task Force members said in a joint statement.

At the same time, we urge stakeholders to submit their recommendations as soon as possible. We look forward to reviewing the responses as we work to produce our final report to Congress later this year,” the group said.

Established by Section 409 of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), Public Law 114-187, the Task Force is chaired by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and is comprised of U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Bill Nelson (D-Fla.); and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) as well as U.S. Representatives Sean Duffy (R-Wis.); Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.); Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.); and Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico).

Under the law, the Task Force is charged with writing a report by Dec. 31, 2016, that identifies impediments to growth and recommends changes to: promote long-term economic growth and stability; spur new job creation; reduce child poverty; and attract investment in the territory.

A status update identifying information the Task Force has collected and matters considered to be urgent will be provided to Congress in September.

On Tuesday, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi thanked the entities and organizations in recent days you have submitted their proposals to the Task Force.

The leadership of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, the Builders Association, the Associated General Contractors, the Pharmaceutical Industry Association, and the Foundation for Puerto Rico, among others, met with Pierluisi to share their proposals on how the federal government can help promote economic growth in Puerto Rico.

“As I have said countless times, if the Supervisory Board, elected leaders of Puerto Rico, creditors and talented men and women in the private sector work together in a spirit of cooperation, we can begin to re-route to Puerto Rico. With its proposals, these agencies and organizations are giving this great and important first step,” Pierluisi said.

Pierluisi also met with the Board of Public Agenda, the Angel Ramos Foundation, and members of the Association of Renewable Energy Producers.

“These organizations are demonstrating their commitment to Puerto Rico to take a step forward to identify measures and initiatives that the federal government can take to revive our economy and provide greater opportunities for our workforce and our business sector,” he said.

“I’ll see to it that the Task Force gives due consideration to their proposals and include the largest number in its report and recommendations to Congress. This kind of teamwork and common purpose is key to the future of our people,” he added.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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