Strengthening Puerto Rico’s Economy

Strengthening Puerto Rico’s Economy

Sound infrastructure is essential to any municipality. Today, funding for our municipalities remains more critical than ever. The Puerto Rico Government has an opportunity to emerge from the current situation stronger…with the U.S. Congress’s help.** Improving Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, its electrical grid in particular, growing its pharmaceutical industry and getting Puerto Rico out of bankruptcy are keys to revitalizing Puerto Rico’s economy. That includes ending the Puerto Rico Oversight Board’s overreliance on litigation, which has already cost the Puerto Rico government $1 billion dollars and helped at least one stateside legal firm report record revenues from extended services for the Oversight Board at the expense of island taxpayers.

Below are some articles that discuss how Puerto Rico can strengthen its economy. As always, fulfilling PROMESA’s goal of restoring market access for Puerto Rico’s government should remain a key goal for all stakeholders, as that is an essential ingredient to growing Puerto Rico’s economy over the long term.

Resident Commissioner touts manufacturing resolution added to Republican platform: RNC adopts proposal to bring pharma industry back to US as federal public policy
(Caribbean Business, 8/24/20)

Oversight Board Presents Report on Manufacturing Opportunities for Puerto Rico (press release)
(The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, 8/4/20)

Manufacturing Opportunities for Puerto Rico: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
(Report by the Boston Consulting Group, Inc. for the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board, 8/4/20)

Puerto Rico Healthcare Manufacturing Strategy
(Boston Consulting Group, 8/4/20)

Amid Pandemic, Puerto Rico Poised for Continued Pharma Growth: Island is home to 12 of the world’s top 20 grossing pharma companies (opinion)
(The Weekly Journal, 6/10/20)

It’s the End of the World Economy as We Know It: Experts suggest there will be “a rethink of how much any country wants to be reliant on any other country”
(The New York Times, 4/16/20)

Puerto Rico Poised to be Part of the National Conversation on Manufacturing
(Puerto Rico Report, 3/30/20)

Permanent Repeal of the Jones Act Would Be a Winning Response to COVID-19 (opinion)
(The Heritage Foundation, 4/7/20)

Keeping Up With The Jones Act! Changes A Pandemic And Price War Could Bring!
(Forbes, 4/8/20)

Stateside Puerto Ricans demand answers on unused hurricane aid to Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rican government has only spent $15.2 million of the $1.5 billion available to the island in block grant funds from HUD
(NBC News, 3/10/20)

Regaining credibility in Washington: According to Governor Vázquez Garced, Puerto Rico is slowly regaining the credibility necessary for the disbursement of relief funds
(El Nuevo Dia, 3/6/20)

Reconstruction Coordinator: “My main concern is sustainability”; Rear Admiral Peter Brown met with Puerto Rico´s officials and outlined his priorities to set the island’s recovery on track
(El Nuevo Dia, 2/26/20)

Just Wipe Out Public Debt! — Not a Solution for Puerto Rico or Anyone Else (opinion)
(MuniNet Guide, 2/22/20)

Disaster Prevention: lessons from the earthquake
(El Nuevo Dia, 1/29/20)

Hands Off Puerto Rico’s Effort to Modernize Its Electrical Grid (opinion)
(El Nuevo Dia, 12/18/19)

Puerto Rico gets near-failing grade on infrastructure report card
(Reuters, 11/12/19)

Proskauer’s Revenue Crosses $1B Amid Growing Puerto Rico Workload: More firm lawyers than ever worked on Puerto Rico’s reorganization, while Proskauer’s London office revenue increased by 18.5%
(The New York Law Journal, 3/10/20)***

** Related Op-Ed: Time to Invest in America, by US Senator Todd Young.

*** Litigation-related fees and expenses have already reached over $1 billion dollars for the Government of Puerto Rico, primarily spent following the Puerto Rico Oversight Board’s appointment in 2016 (the 3-year term of the current Oversight Board expired last August but they continue to serve in their current roles). As part of this strategy, the Oversight Board allocated $1.5 billion in litigation expense to litigate against bondholders and other parties. Yet, the Executive Director of Puerto Rico’s Oversight Board, Natalie Jaresko in Q1 2020 released this statement: “Not only is remaining in bankruptcy costly to the economy now, but without access to capital markets in the future, Puerto Rico’s ability to invest in infrastructure is limited. It is paramount that we turn the corner from this crisis as soon as reasonably possible.”