PR Chamber of Commerce summarizes and celebrates the results of the business mission to the Federal Capital
May 12, 2022 (San Juan, P.R.) –The PR Chamber of Commerce (CCPR) ended the third trip of its federal mission known as the Federal Affairs Chamber Educational Series (FACES) with very encouraging and positive results after a busy agenda that included meetings with members of the Federal Congress, the Executive Branch and influential organizations from both conservative and liberal factions.
Representatives of the union summarized the efforts made to: advocate for parity of funds in Medicare and Medicaid that allows to release $ 800 million from the general budget of Puerto Rico to address other priority issues. Likewise, the group emphasized the energy crisis and the urgent need to build a quality, consistent and reliable energy system that excludes oil and coal as primary fuels, opening the way to solar energy systems and other renewable solutions. Regarding the food insecurity crisis, the group met with federal representatives to demand the conversion of the current nutritional assistance program of the PAN (NAP in English) to SNAP, and to be able to address the serious situation suffered by the elderly, disabled and minors living under poverty levels on the Island. Another of the efforts of the FACES mission included meetings to demonstrate the importance of strengthening manufacturing incentives in Puerto Rico, an industrial sector that represents 35% of tax revenues. There was also a meeting with Congressman Pete Aguilar, of the Democratic leadership in the Federal House.
“For the Chamber of Commerce of Puerto Rico, this trip was a priority to bring a claim from the private sector to the multiple pressing situations facing our country and contribute to the search for long-term solutions to these fundamental problems for the island,” said ccPR President-elect Cameron McKenzie. The delegation also held a meeting with the special assistant to the Secretary of Transportation of the United States, Lynda Tran and with the Puerto Rican Leonardo San Román of the Purchasing Department of that agency, with the intention of carrying the message of promoting that construction work be placed in Puerto Rican hands through transparent processes.
As part of the mission’s programmatic agenda, visits to the Federal Department of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the CTIA were included. The delegation held a “Puerto Rico Policy Day” at the CATO Institute. To this organization, of conservative faction, the CCPR made several presentations focused on claiming parity of health funds, advocating for a waiver of the disastrous Jones Act for power generation equipment and liquefied gas. The Jones Act, or cabotage that has been discriminating against the Island for more than a century, hijacking the quality of life and raising the costs of food, materials and articles in all lines of the economy. “The meeting with CATO allowed us to present the reality of Puerto Rico to this powerful organization composed of the conservative wing of U.S. politics. It is important to take our priority claims to both factions because Puerto Rico suffers the consequences of discrimination and inequality,” added Luis Gierbolini, president of the CCPR.
During the visit, historic agreements were signed with the Black Chamber of Commerce, in the offices of the US Small Business Administration and the Latino Economic Development Center, influential organizations of the North American business ecosystem whose mission is to equip Latinos and other underserved minority communities with the financial skills and tools to create a better future for their families and communities, as well as facilitating the hiring of Hispanics and blacks with the federal government. “With the Latino Economic Development Center we had a productive meeting with the purpose of developing a program where 15 entrepreneurs have the opportunity to attend a course with the aim of obtaining loans to grow their businesses. The CCPR will initiate the process by calling for entrepreneurs. Through this agreement, the organization will offer the course which, once completed, will allow participants to apply for loans from 2,500 to 250 thousand dollars, “explained the Lcda. Liza García, Executive Director of the CCPR.
The third FACES mission to Washington DC is taking place may 9-12, 2022 and the delegation is comprised of approximately 12 individuals including President Luis Gierbolini, President-elect Cameron Mckenzie; the second vice-president of the CCPR, Teresita Santiago; and the Lcda. Liza García, Executive Director of the CCPR. Among the experts who are attending to the issues are the Lcdo. Luis E. Pizarro-Otero, president of the CCPR Health Committee, CPA Lcdo. Kenneth Rivera and Former CCPR President for Tax Matters and Manufacturing, Lcdo. Javier Rúa Jovet on the subject of renewable energy, Wanda Pérez on telecommunications and new economy will be in charge of the Lcdo. José Aparicio, president of the Federal Relations Committee CCPR. Representatives from MMM, Merck, Triple S, MCS, as well as the affiliated renewable energy associations (SESA) and the Retail Trade Association (ACDET) joined the mission.
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Contact: Karen Garnik, APR