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Author: Peter Lawlor

How the Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands economies compare post-Maria

The aftereffects of Hurricane Maria are still resonating with two US territories in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Despite both territories having economies based largely around tourism, there are important distinctions between the two that will prove pivotal in their future economic outlooks post Hurricane Maria. According to an independent report from Abt Associates from 2016, in the USVI, most economic activity in the territory can be linked either directly or indirectly to the ocean and tourism is the primary driver of local economic activity, accounting for 60% to 80% of the islands’ GDP. Their...

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Puerto Rico stands to lose big in Republican tax plan

With President Trump’s return to Washington following his trip to meet with other world leaders in Asia, attention will now turn to the current iteration of the Republican proposal for tax reform, titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” While the House and Senate versions of the legislation call for stimulative tax cuts projected to induce growth domestically, new questions are emerging about how the tax cut is to be paid for and its ramifications outside of the US. In particular the matter of how Puerto Rico stands in the tax reform is under new scrutiny. The legislation has...

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As recovery efforts continue, private investment playing a major role

As Puerto Rico continues to forward its recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria struck the islands, private investment from corporations in America may prove pivotal in making up for areas where the federal government of the United States has struggled logistically. Opinions on the President’s response to Puerto Rico, especially from within the island, have been mixed. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has been modestly approving of the US Government’s response but has made clear that much more work remains. When the governor was in Washington, DC on October 19, he said, “We need to recognize there’s still a lot...

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US demands for NAFTA reshaping Latin American Trade Agreements

An upcoming round of negotiations on NAFTA from October 11-15 could help determine the future of the largest trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. President Trump has previously called NAFTA “the worst trade deal” ever made, citing the loss of American jobs and industry shifts south of the border. While the President has since softened his language, going back on his claim that NAFTA was “obsolete,” the Trump administration may yet pull the US out of the pact if negotiations do not meet the US’s demands. The previous round of negotiations, held in Canada, proved contentious...

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International hotel chains invest in new hotels in Puerto Rico

All around Puerto Rico, new hotel developments are springing up. Landmark hotels that have attracted tourists to the islands for decades have received renovations and a new lease on life for the next waves of tourism coming to the islands. These developments show Puerto Rico is still an economic hotspot in the Caribbean for international hotel companies looking build new resorts and bolster the local economy. In February 2017, the landmark El San Juan Hotel in Isla Verde reopened following a $60 million renovation. Michael Capponi and Eric Milon, designers of various nightclubs in Miami, assisted the multimillion-dollar redesign...

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