Jenniffer González (GFR Media)

Washington - Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González believes the federal analysis on how to encourage the return of pharmaceutical manufacturing- an effort that would benefit the island – to the U.S. is "moving very fast."

"Puerto Rico is at the right historical moment to take advantage of this opportunity," González said, in referring to her meeting Monday with White House Trade adviser Peter Navarro and Donald Trump's government Reconstruction Coordinator, Rear Admiral Peter Brown.

Starting today, Rear Admiral Brown is leading a federal delegation visiting the island to learn first-hand about preparedness efforts in face of a possible hurricane emergency, the state of the power grid, and the pharmaceutical industry on the island.

González introduced a bill that would grant new tax credits to manufacturing companies, mainly pharmaceutical, that establish in economically distressed jurisdictions, like Puerto Rico.

The bill seeks to be part of the efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to bring back, after the coronavirus emergency, pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing companies to U.S. soil.

Navarro is leading the efforts at the White House. "We talked about what kind of company we should bring in, how to achieve it, what actions we should take to make it as fast and possible and think of the language of legislation or executive order," González said about her meeting with Navarro and Brown.

The Commissioner said she referred to at least seven bills that have been filed in Congress that can be linked to her legislation.

Given the migration rates of the past two decades, according to González, Navarro requested data on the labor force, education centers that can do research, and the capacity of the island's battered power grid.

A bill in the Senate

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, Republican Roger Wicker (Mississippi) introduced in a bill seeking to exempt foreign companies based in Puerto Rico and the other territories from the intellectual property tax established by the 2017 federal tax reform.

Former Governor Anibal Acevedo Vilá, a candidate for Resident Commissioner in Washington, unveiled Wicker's bill, which is similar to the one Virgin Islands delegate Stacey Plaskett introduced in the House.

Acevedo Vilá asked the Federal Coordinator for a meeting to discuss Wicker's bill.

Brown told El Nuevo Día that it is too early for the White House to commit to a specific bill, but added this week, he has a roundtable with the pharmaceutical industry representatives and meetings with entrepreneurs and with the government.


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