(August 6, 2020- Washington, D.C.) – Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced invited Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown, White House Special Representative to Puerto Rico, as well as Representatives from both the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and the U.S International Development Finance Corporation, and other federal officials to visit Puerto Rico. This visit will provide an opportunity to emphasize Puerto Rico’s role as a key element in reestablishing U.S. biomedical production in our Nation’s economy.
Currently, Puerto Rico is the largest exporter of medical and pharmaceutical equipment in the United States, exporting over $53 billion in biopharmaceuticals within the past year. Puerto Rico is home to 49 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved plans representing 12 of the top worldwide pharmaceutical companies that manufacture medical products on the island.
“It is worth noting that discuss preparedness and readiness for the 2020 hurricane season, ongoing federal projects, and the revitalization of the island. However, this trip will focus on the opportunity for Puerto Rico to re-insert itself within the United States’ national security system by means of strengthening the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing market. As Puerto Rico continues to recover, it is incumbent upon me to aid in continuing the development of our economy and take advantage of our thriving industries,” said Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced.
This industry employs over 21,000 educated employees, and labor costs on the island are 20-to-35% lower than on the mainland. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation granted an order for Expanded Cargo and Passenger Flexibility at Puerto Rican International Airports that positions the island as a U.S. air cargo hub in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico is well positioned to aid the United States’ in reducing its dependence on the foreign supply chain.
Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced added, “As the Governor of Puerto Rico, our priority is to provide the best opportunities for our island and our people. We invited these White House officials and stakeholders to showcase our pharmaceutical and medical device industry in an effort to position the island as a means to reduce the U.S. dependence of a foreign supply chain. We have seen how dangerous it to depend on a foreign chain supply, especially during this pandemic. Our island is well-positioned to contribute to the development of a more robust U.S. medical supply chain, assuring our Nation is protected from future pandemic and epidemics.
“Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced and Congresswoman Jenniffer González- Colón are working closely with the Trump Administration to bring critical jobs back to Puerto Rico. I look forward to visiting key facilities with the federal family and finding new ways to stimulate and strengthen Puerto Rico’s industrial sector. We are meeting with textile companies, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and visiting key environmental sites.” said Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown.
“The Trump Administration is working hard with the government of Puerto Rico to ensure that Puerto Rico’s economy has the necessary infrastructure for success: reliable baseload power, clean water, clean air, access to transportation facilities, and a strong workforce,” said the Special Advisor of the White House and Department of Energy, Juan Caro.
“I thank the Administration and Rear Admiral Brown for his commitment to the people of Puerto Rico. This visit is a follow up from previous trips highlighting the commitment of the federal government to advancing our work, in collaboration with local officials and stakeholders, towards economic development and reconstruction,” said Rep. González- Colón.
“As a leader in the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing market, now more than ever, during these tiring times, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that federal officials experience firsthand the potential Puerto Rico has to offer. Puerto Rico has come so far in the past year, and we are proud of our people’s spirit to overcome challenges and particularly this industry’s resiliency. We will continue collaborating with the White House, this Administration, and stakeholders as we continue exploring opportunities for the island’s development”. concluded Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced.
“It is essential that our island is well-positioned to face and work with the damages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as we move forward with our recovery. We must explore options to grow, develop, and inject our island’s economy with every opportunity and resource available.” said Jennifer M. Storipan, Esq.