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Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue Announcement

Aug 15, 2022

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue Announcement
Mon, 08/15/2022 – 09:13


Monday, August 15, 2022

Thank you, Governor Pierluisi, for hosting us.

The Governor and I just had a great meeting, where we discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to helping Puerto Rico prosper. The island’s recovery and renewal are a priority for the administration.

Today, we’re excited to announce the intent of the U.S. government and the government of Puerto Rico to hold an Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. this fall.

As part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to Puerto Rico’s growth and prosperity, I am honored to serve as the Puerto Rico Economic Growth Coordinator.

The dialogue will help the federal government and the Puerto Rican government align on shared policy priorities that benefit all Puerto Rican communities, especially given the recent, unprecedented flow of federal funds to the island.

Through the U.S. Commerce Department alone, Puerto Rico will be receiving significant new funding.

That includes a minimum of $100 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure everyone has access to high-speed internet and the digital skills they need to use that technology.

Last week, we announced that UnidosUS is one of the awardees of the Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge, funding by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Using the funding, UnidosUS will partner with the local one-stop career center to train residents in the growing construction and aerospace industries.

And the Minority Business Development Agency recently announced a grant to create a business center that will actively support the growth of Puerto Rico’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Governor Pierluisi and I discussed our shared commitment to focus every penny on responsibly meeting the needs and expectations of taxpayers.

We also discussed attracting human capital and workforce development, leveraging resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to develop resilient infrastructure, creating a more diversified economy by attracting new business and facilitating innovation and competition, and building capacity through data-driven solutions to improve measures of economic growth.

I’m also committed to ensuring that equity and inclusion are front and center as key anchors for the work that lies ahead.

The talent and energy that exist here give me not only hope but excitement about innovative approaches to tackling challenges in Puerto Rico.

This dialogue, anchored in our shared economic agenda and policy priorities, will help to ensure Puerto Rico has the resources and tools it needs to prosper. 

Together, we’re laying the foundation for strengthened and sustained collaboration to deliver results for the people of Puerto Rico long into the future. 

I look forward to our dialogue this fall.

Thank you.


Economic Dialogue

Read the full report from the U.S. Department of Commerce: Read More