The Oversight Board sent a letter yesterday to President Donald Trump, to U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitchell McConnell and to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicating that Puerto Rico could be part of the solution to the coronavirus crisis and serve to strengthen the country's logistics chain and national security.
El Nuevo Día had access to the letter signed by Board president Jose B. Carrión which comes at a time when op-eds by the New York Post and Forbes proposed that now that the United States is experiencing a shortage of medical supplies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, national security should be strengthened by making Puerto Rico a manufacturing center for drugs and medical devices. This, according to the op-eds would avoid U.S. dependence on drugs manufactured in China.
“In this context, if federal policymakers consider actions to require increased manufacturing within the United States, the Oversight Board strongly believes that Puerto Rico can be a center of excellence within the nation and play a leading role in the national portfolio of locations where this manufacturing re-locates,” said Carrión and added that “the physical infrastructure, human capital, and regulatory processes are already established and well-positioned.”
Carrión also stated that the Board was established by law “to create the conditions for fiscal responsibility in Puerto Rico and restore access to capital markets. One element of this mandate has been to take opportunities to support the Government of Puerto Rico in its efforts to pursue prudent actions to promote economic stability and create the conditions for growth.”
According to Carrión, the Board acknowledges there several considerations that need to be discussed and that “should policymakers pursue actions to require additional manufacturing in the United States, we respectfully encourage proactive dialogue between the Government of Puerto Rico and federal policymakers to find mutually acceptable solutions to these issues.”