Recap of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association Response to Hurricane Maria and Recovery Efforts

Recap/Highlights: A Letter From Rodrigo Masses, President, PRMA

"On September 20th, Puerto Rico faced a hurricane with strength of historical proportions. Its impact was not only devastating, but following Hurricane Irma, who, although on smaller scale, affected our island and its infrastructure."

"The day before Hurricane Maria, we issued a warning at a press conference: 'We just went through Hurricane Irma, and we still have a part of the population without electricity. We are greatly concerned about Hurricane Maria, which could potentially impact us further. We have a fragile and damaged electrical infrastructure with no a plan to facilitate and encourage recovery.'"

"Now, less than two months this hurricane, we face the federal Tax Reform proposal, which, if approved as presented, has the potential to catastrophically impact the economy of the island; impacting more than 70 thousand jobs directly and 200 thousand indirect, as well as more than 35 percent of the government budget of Puerto Rico." 

"Throughout this process, your Industry Association has been working every day to meet the needs of our partners and promote the recovery of our economy. We communicate with our partners in calls or visits to meet your needs, and in channeling relevant agencies, we began dealing in the distribution of diesel to meet the urgent need for energy from our partners.  We have met with representatives of shipping companies to assist in the entry and exit of products from the island. Moreover, from Maria's landfall, we have been communicating the serious effects of shortages of industrial gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and argon, which are fundamental to the operation of pharmaceutical, medical device, companies, and other industries. The stability of these industries and the effects of a possible shortage of the products they make not only impact Puerto Rico, but its customers worldwide."

"We had to postpone a series of activities, such as the Congress of Industrial Woman (moved in December 2018), and have refocused others to meet the changing needs of our partners. This Christmas break will give a respite and shift in focus to  'recharge the batteries' and gather strength and face the new year with new energy."

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