Jenniffer González and Congressman Curbelo visit biopharmaceutical industry in Juncos
March 8, 2017
Resident Commissioner seeks to protect economic investment in the Island
Juncos, Puerto Rico- Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón and Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo, member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee, visited the Amgen biopharmaceutical plant in Juncos, accompanied by the local District Representative Peña, and district Senator Miguel Laureano.
“At a time when a tax reform is coming up before Congress, it is vital that our Island be taken into account when designing the so-called border adjustment tax provision. Amgen creates over two thousand jobs in the local economy, and all together companies in the biopharma sector represent over 30% of Puerto Rico’s Gross Domestic Product. Congressman Curbelo’s visit to these facilities helps us have an informed voice directly in the committee that will handle that legislation”, González Colón explained.
The Resident Commissioner added that “Puerto Rico products carry the ‘Made in USA’ label. We are a US jurisdiction, we do not just have the supply chains, the physical facilities, we also have the skilled professional labor that makes Puerto Rico an ideal location for building businesses and investments, and all legislation must protect that. To me, having Congressman Carlos Curbelo here to observe one of the manufacturers whose direct investment in our economy represents that 30% of the GDP, is priceless to convey the impact that this can have”.
At the same time Representative Curbelo praised Jenniffer González’ s success in having quickly gained the trust of Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and stressed that he has worked together with the Resident Commissioner from the first day.
“Jenniffer is assembling a coalition to defend and advance the interests of Puerto Rico in everything that the new Congress will be dealing with. There will be two major pieces of legislation coming up in the next few months: one is Health Care reform, where we all need to strengthen Puerto Rico’s position, we know there is a critical issue with Medicaid funding, and we need to provide Puerto Rico with relief from the tax burden created under the Affordable Care Act, where those taxes are collected in the Island but the corresponding benefits do not extend here”, Curbelo explained.
The Florida Representative went on to add that on the other major issue of tax reform “again, what we want is to do whatever’s possible to prevent damaging the situation of Puerto Rico, while helping with the economic growth the Island needs. This all has to be worked on as a team, to make sure enterprises like Amgen continue investing here and new ones come to the Island. Puerto Rico deserves the support of the U.S. Congress and I will do all that’s in my hands because it is my duty to help the people who reside in this beautiful island”.
According to Kerry Ingalls, vice president for plant operations, Amgen Manufacturing Limited has been located in Juncos since 1992 and provides 2,000 direct and almost a thousand indirect jobs; fifteen products that are exported to 40 countries around the world are produced at the Juncos plant, which is their largest and which has involved $4 billion in infrastructure investment. The current executive vice president for operations for Amgen worldwide is a Puerto Rico’s own Esteban Santos.
During his visit Congressman Curbelo and the Resident Commissioner also met members of the local health care industry and the Private Sector Coalition, as well as spoke with Fiscal Oversight Board Chairman José Carrión.