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News > Latin America

Trump Tax Plan to Endanger Puerto Rican Jobs

  • U.S. President Donald Trump pictured with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan.

    U.S. President Donald Trump pictured with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 December 2017

The mayor of Barceloneta said that about 7,500 people could lose their jobs.

The mayor of Barceloneta, Wanda Soler Rosario, reported Thursday through a press bulletin issued by the city council that the Puerto Rican municipality would be hurt by the tax reform plan touted by U.S. President Donald Trump and his GOP colleagues in the U.S. Congress.

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According to analysis performed by the city council, new taxes on economic activity “would be devastating and unfair to Puerto Ricans, particularly residents of Barceloneta and in the north.”

Soler called on politicians to “fight” to change, or at best, scrap the tax reform bill being finished in the congress.

While Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it is not a state and therefore does not have representatives in the U.S. Congress that have the ability to vote on matters that affect the island.

The mayor said that “in the specific case of our municipality of Barceloneta, it [the tax reform] would put approximately 2,500 jobs directly in jeopardy, with another 5,000 indirectly affected, which indicates that over 7,500 will be threatened in total.”

Puerto Rico is still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Maria, a hurricane that destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure and has put many out of work.

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The Trump administration has been criticized for its slow and unenthusiastic response to the disaster that struck Puerto Rico in the form of Hurricane Maria.

Soler emphasized that the total amount of salaries lost could be around $120,000,000 and that, including those indirectly affected by the tax plan, this large number could even double.

She continued that if passed, the reform would cause the departure of many businesses thus taking valuable jobs with them, and that government employees would be at risk for dismissal because of the loss in tax revenue.

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