puerto rico\'s medical manufacturers worry federal tax plan could kill storm recovery

by:HONGXIANG     2019-10-22
In carguas, south of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jared Hayley is C-
He is the general manager\'s medical device manufacturer.
His factory has been out of power for nearly three months since Hurricane Irma.
The plant was running on an emergency generator and restarted operations last month, and Harley said all work was being delivered as planned.
But now he is not satisfied with the condition of the plant.
Walking into his factory, he lamented: \"The shop used to look like a doctor\'s office. \"Not now.
The damage caused by Hurricane Maria was obvious when crossing the factory.
Hurricane Maria caused extensive roof damage and flooding.
Many ceilings are missing.
The temporary roof installed after the storm is leaking.
During the days after the storm, when Haley and some of his staff came back, the heat and humidity had damaged most of his equipment.
\"We have brands,\" he said.
The $500,000 new device looks like it has a history of 100.
Everything on them is rusty. \"C-
The shaft produces parts by contract for some large medical device companies.
It uses its computer.
Operate milling machines to make parts with titanium, stainless steel and plastic.
\"This machine makes bone screws and anchors,\" he said . \".
On the other part of the store, he checked that will enter 13-part assembly.
\"This device is used for bypass surgery to get the leg vein,\" he said . \".
Because carguas is in the mountains, mobile phone services in the area have been unstable since Maria.
Many of Hailey\'s employees have been hit hard by the storm and some have left the island.
Haley estimated that he had lost more than 10% employees.
\"In this climate, we have been trying to recruit, which is very interesting,\" Haley said . \".
\"No communication, no phone.
How do you get employees?
We just made a logo and put it outside and it says \"recruitment now \".
In Puerto Rico, dozens of manufacturers of medical devices and drugs face similar challenges.
More than two months after Hurricane Maria, the only electricity in these companies came from emergency generators.
They also face logistics problems and a shortage of people, causing some manufacturers to fail to keep up with demand.
Due to a shortage of salt water bags for intravenous drugs, the FDA recently stepped in and approved imports from overseas facilities.
Another medical equipment company, Medtronic, has four factories in Puerto Rico.
Fernando vifanko, Medtronic\'s senior director of corporate communications, said his company also lost its employees and wanted to hire 300 new employees.
Vivanco said Medtronic is now offering unprecedented help and service to its employees.
\"We have done a lot of things, such as providing free meals for our staff to make sure they have water and food to take home at night,\" he said . \".
Medtronic is available now-
On-site daycare and even laundromat for workers.
Maria is expected to have an impact of $55 million to $65 million on Medtronic\'s profits.
But Vivanco said the storm did not affect the company\'s commitment to stay in Puerto Rico.
\"We have a talented, skilled workforce there,\" he said . \"
\"We continue to see the future of the island.
\"But after Hurricane Maria, manufacturers in Puerto Rico are now facing what some call potential --made disaster.
This is a clause in the tax bill recently passed by the House, which will impose a 20% tax on goods made in Puerto Rico and shipped to the United States. S. mainland.
Government of Puerto Rico.
Ricardo rossellós and deputies to the NPC, Raffer González, strongly opposed the provision.
Gonzalez said she was assured by Republican leaders that if the measure was passed in the Senate, the part affecting Puerto Rico would be resolved before it was finally passed.
Manufacturing accounts for about half of Puerto Rico\'s economy.
Ten years ago, Congress gradually canceled an important tax offer to attract manufacturers.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices companies in particularto the island.
Since then, many companies have left.
Julio Benitez of the Puerto Rico economic development agency said that if the new rule became law, he was concerned that many other manufacturers might follow suit.
\"They have to seriously consider their future,\" Benitez said . \"
\"Because, at the end of the day, we\'re talking about money. \"At C-
Haley, general manager of Axis, said the factory soon had a new roof and he was working on insurance claims so he could replace the damaged equipment.
He said he would do everything he could to keep the staff working.
\"It\'s a time of need and I\'m not interested in not going all out,\" Haley said . \".
\"But it only makes some mistakes, and we don\'t have the ability to do that.
\"He is frustrated by the slow recovery of the federal government.
But Hailey is more dissatisfied with the tax rule. \"We\'re U. S.
\"Our government has disappointed us,\" he said.
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