PR Chamber of Commerce travels to Washington DC with a full work agenda

Delegation prioritizes meetings with administration officials and congressmen in the Nation’s Capital to address a variety of issues affecting the quality of life of Puerto Ricans

With a defined and punctual agenda, a delegation from the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (PRCC) is currently in Washington DC, as part of the sixth FACES (Federal Affairs Chamber Education Series) organized by the federal affairs committee. FACES is an initiative within the strategic plan of the CCPR to insert the voice of Puerto Rico’s private sector onto the main stage of global governmental and private issues, conveying the message that Puerto Rico boasts a robust and organized private sector that promotes the socio-economic development of the country.

“Our mission with FACES 6.0, is to continue educating at the congressional and executive level on the importance of strengthening federal relations with the private sector in Puerto Rico. Our packed agenda includes a variety of topics that directly impact the quality of life of Puerto Ricans. Additionally, we will reinforce existing relationships and follow up on projects and initiatives that we have been working on in past meetings, remaining consistent with our commitment to be the voice of the private sector. Furthermore, as the leading economic engine of the island, we will present the strengths and opportunities that we offer in Puerto Rico for growth, while also warning, about the challenges we must address to reduce migration or avoid falling into a recessionary cycle that we all wish to avoid,” expressed Ramón Pérez Blanco, president of the CCPR.

The Congressional scheduled visit includes topics related to reconstruction and recovery, focusing on the two main issues affecting these processes: the lack of labor force for projects that already have committed funds, a challenge faced by companies with awarded bids but lacking workers to complete them, and the challenges of inflation, wars, and disruptions in the supply chain, resulting in increases of up to 150% in the costs of projects that were bid on prices dating prior to inflation. Both Congress and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be informed of the urgent need to adjust allocated funds to reflect these new realities.

Joining FACES for this occasion is accountant Rafael Ortiz from the Association of Constructors of Puerto Rico to initiate the informative process and support the approval of the recently filed project by Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González, addressing income limits for home purchases.

Furthermore, incentives and tax expert Kenneth Rivera is part of this delegation to address vital issues for the island, such as facing a new global tax already being imposed in several countries and its impact in terms of government revenue and the production of well-paid jobs in the manufacturing sector. These issues include new incentives to attract the pharmaceutical production industry to U.S. jurisdiction and particularly to Puerto Rico.

Also joining FACES 6.0 is Wanda Pérez, president of the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Association, to address the elimination of an important fund for all Puerto Ricans, which is low-cost internet access, through a fund that provides subsidies to low-income individuals and businesses to access this service.

Regarding health-related matters, the president-elect of the CCPR, Luis Pizarro-Otero, accompanies the delegation, representing the business organization in an informational session on the challenges posed by Medicare Advantage. This is a vital issue for the elderly, and the CCPR has been an active protagonist in the fight to improve medical and hospital benefits for the island.Jorge Rodríguez, president of the Institute of Economic Freedom (ILE), also accompanies the group to strengthen relations with sectors such as the Heritage Foundation and the CATO Institute, as well as to share data on the transition from the Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP) to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Puerto Rico from an economic development perspective, given that Puerto Rico would purchase nearly $2 billion more in food, mostly from nearly a dozen states in the United States (US), considering that 85% of our food purchases are made in the US and are shipped through the Port of Jacksonville in Florida, generating millions of dollars in economic activity and new jobs in several states.

Finally, this effort includes the Founder of the FACES Program, vice president of the CCPR, and president of the Federal Affairs Committee, entrepreneur Che Julio Aparicio, who is the coordinator of message and political and communications strategy “to ensure an integrated effort that results in better federal policies for Puerto Rico and makes it abundantly clear in DC that Puerto Rico has a vibrant private sector and is pro-free market.”

Karen Garnik, APR

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