NPRChamber Meets with US Treasury Secretary to Discuss Puerto Rico Fiscal Crisis

Pdf of the official press release can be found here.  CapitalWirePR's online version can be found here.  Official Treasury Department summary here.

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Washington, D.C., October 20, 2015 – The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce (NPRChamber), along with several other national organizations, participated in a round table discussion yesterday with US Treasury Secretary Lew in order to consider possible solutions to the fiscal crisis facing the island of Puerto Rico. 

The private, off-the-record discussion was intended to bring together leaders in the Hispanic community, government, and labor, along with other thought leaders and experts in economics, government finance and debt, and fiscal crises in order to propose a path forward that the President’s Administration, along with the Congress, can implement in order to assist Puerto Rico in a recovery.

“Although some of the details of the meeting cannot be discussed at this time, it’s important to note that nothing was off the table.  Healthcare, taxes, direct financial assistance, chapter 9 bankruptcy, maritime laws, government debt and liquidity, and business certainty and investment were among the many topics discussed, and numerous solutions were considered,” said Justin Vélez-Hagan, representing NPRChamber at the meeting.

“It was my intention to discover whether the Treasury had the authority and will to assist Puerto Rico.  Although it may have limited authority, and politics may prevent some actions, it’s clear that the Treasury does have the interest to provide assistance as it can, yet some of its own considerations are limited due to politics or legal limitations.  However, if Puerto Rico is seeking help outside of the island, a significant portion of it will likely have to come from the legislative branch,” he continued.

Representing the President’s Administration were Secretary Lew, National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zientz, and other White House officials.  Besides the NPRChamber, other groups in attendance included the Brookings Institution, LULAC, the Urban Institute, the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC), LCLAA, the Hispanic Federation, AFL-CIO, Estudio Tecnicos, and PRLDEF, among others, as well as several well-known legal and economic scholars.  The Treasury Department is expected to provide an official release of the details of the discussion in the coming days.

About The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce

The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce (NPRChamber) is a non-profit organization created to promote entrepreneurship and economic development throughout the U.S.  Feel free to contact the NPRChamber via email:

NPRChamber Appears on BBC & Other International News

In light of the enactment of Congress' PROMESA bill, along with the Puerto Rican government's decision to default on $2 billion dollars in debt payments due on July 1st, several national and international news networks invited the NPRChamber to provide insight and technical expertise into the significance of both to the U.S., Americans on the island, and investors across the country and the world.  

Our Executive Director, Justin Vélez-Hagan, joined the BBC and CCTV America on the day of the payment default and provided expert commentary on the implications of both, as well as his opinion on where Puerto Rico is headed from here.  Although we do not have links to the commentary, below you can find several pictures of our participation.

Through our advocacy efforts, we will continue to seek opportunities to discuss the importance of policies that impact our island and our people everywhere, ensuring that others have the opportunity to influence their legislators to enact or influence policies for the betterment of us all.  




NPRChamber Appears on Fox News to Discuss the "Puerto Rican Vote"


We're not always interested in getting into the "political weeds" (in fact, part of our mission is to remain as non-partisan as possible!), but when we had the chance to discuss the impact of our brethren's voting interests on the nation's elections -- we had to accept.  

Too often our country's citizens concede that "our vote doesn't matter."  It's especially easy to think this way if you happen to live in Puerto Rico, where, despite being a U.S. citizen, you can't even vote for the President in a general election.  Despite being a veteran of Afghanistan, our founder often bemoans the fact that if he moved to the island, he wouldn't even be allowed to vote for the next commander-in-chief.

This year is just a little different.  Puerto Rico has been making headline news for its fiscal crisis, but is finally making headline news for its political prowess and potential influence on national elections.  With nearly a million voters in the swing state of Florida, Puerto Ricans now have an opportunity to make their voices heard, both on the island and where they may choose to reside across the U.S.

Click here to view the full segment, but keep this in mind during this very important election year:  YOUR VOTE REALLY DOES MATTER!

NPRChamber Supports the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce Supports Efforts to Limit Taxation of Online Goods and Purchases

UPDATE: April 10, 2014 The NPRChamber joins in supporting the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (S. 1431).  See the full pdf letter here.

The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce (NPR Chamber) applauds legislative efforts to enact a permanent moratorium that seeks to eliminate discriminatory state and local taxation of all online purchases and transactions.  When it comes to growing and expanding a business, the Internet is the premiere, go-to-source for all business owners.  The Internet Tax Freedom Act works to ensure a healthy and fair digital marketplace, thus safeguarding opportunities for Hispanic and minority-owned businesses to continue to grow and innovate.

Online business transactions are not limited to a given state or country. The Internet Tax Freedom Act takes the global and multifaceted nature of the Internet economy into account by preventing online sales from being taxed at a higher rate and ensuring that only one state is able to tax an online transaction.  The Act prevents the imposition of multiple taxes by states and municipalities, preserves small business’ ability to conduct online business, and protects consumers from discriminatory and costly taxation practices.

PDF Version here.