White House delegations visit Puerto Rico to promote manufacturing, environment, investment, and national security initiatives

August 6, 2020
Press Release

San Juan, Puerto Rico – President Donald Trump’s administration remains committed to accelerate reconstruction work and promote economic development in Puerto Rico. As part of this effort, two delegations of federal officials will be coming to the Island in the upcoming weeks to assess the status of recovery efforts, listen to the needs of different sectors, and identify potential courses of action moving forward.


President Trump’s Special Representative for Puerto Rico’s Disaster Recovery, Rear Admiral Peter Brown, will lead the first delegation, scheduled to be on the Island from August 17 until August 21, 2020. He will be accompanied by representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Department of Defense.


The second visit is scheduled for August 24-26, 2020, and will be led by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Jim Carroll, who will also be joined by Rear Admiral Brown.


Representatives González-Colón and Stephanie Murphy secured language that required ONDCP to update their Caribbean Border Counternarcotic Strategy, which was last published in 2015, in the report that accompanied the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2020.


As a result of their efforts, ONDCP recently released the 2020 Caribbean Border Counternarcotic Strategy, which strengthens the federal government’s counterdrug efforts, including countering drug-related violence, and drug addiction in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Congresswoman González-Colón reviewed the strategy with Director Carroll and invited him to meet with local law enforcement officials on the Island.


"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.


“Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced and Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon 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 RADM Brown.


“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.


“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 Juan Andres Caro, White House’s Policy Advisor.


The trip will include site visits to manufacturing plants and a roundtable with pharmaceutical managers and manufacturers in the southeast region of the Island. Also, the delegation will inspect ongoing community projects such as Caño Martín Peña, potable water systems, and landfills.


Additionally, the delegation will have meetings with Governor Vázquez, Resident Commissioner González Colón and federal and state agency officials to discuss health and environmental issues, including touring various development projects such as Lufthansa Technik, Copan Industries, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney (Raytheon Technologies Corporation) in Aguadilla.


“In Puerto Rico, we have the infrastructure as well as the highly skilled work force to immediately increase our pharmaceutical manufacturing production. We also have research centers which constantly contribute advancements to that industry. Rear Admiral Brown's visit will provide us the opportunity to show the federal entities which make the decisions regarding these matters that we are ready to do our part to secure the national drug supply chain," added Congresswoman González Colón.