On December 6 the White House hosted Governor Pedro Pierluisi (NPP, D) and members of his cabinet for the first Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue, to ensure resources from the federal and Puerto Rico governments are invested effectively, swiftly, and equitably to benefit all residents of Puerto Rico. This new initiative will renew and strengthen the working relationship between Washington, DC, and San Juan and build on the progress that has already been made during this administration to support inclusive prosperity and dignity, equality, and respect for Puerto Rico.
President Joe Biden (D) has emphasized his commitment to supporting the people of Puerto Rico since his first day in office. During the Biden-Harris Administration, unprecedented levels of federal funding have been made available to Puerto Rico for resilience, recovery, infrastructure, and economic growth. This has created an opportunity for Puerto Rico to make a transformational change on the islands. To seize on this moment, the President established the White House Working Group on Puerto Rico to coordinate federal efforts, co-chaired by Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, National Economic Advisor Brian Deese, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Rodriguez.
The historic meeting, chaired by Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Rodriguez and Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Puerto Rico Economic Growth Coordinator Don Graves, brought together Puerto Rico’s leadership and the White House Working Group on Puerto Rico to chart a comprehensive plan for joint action to further the island’s economic growth. During the meeting, federal agencies and their Puerto Rico counterparts endorsed a slate of actions and partnerships they will implement over the course of 2023. These shared priorities will inform investments in Puerto Rico, improve coordination and management of disaster recovery and other funding, and ensure long-term partnership, respect, and transparency. Over the next 12 months, both governments will take steps together to:
- Strengthen human capital and workforce development to create more good jobs and training opportunities in high-growth industries for Puerto Rico’s workers.
- Invest in infrastructure, energy, and resilience to ensure Puerto Rico can withstand future natural disasters and support a thriving, sustainable economy.
- Build a diversified economy that promotes innovation, competition, access to capital, and entrepreneurship, particularly for Puerto Rico’s small businesses.
- Improve governance and data collection and analysis in Puerto Rico to support greater transparency, access to information, administrative capacity, and a more robust business climate for Puerto Rico residents.