Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). (Carlos Rivera Giusti/EL VOCERO)

Washington, DC –The House Financial Services Committee has approved legislation authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) that would help companies operating in Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories to export their products abroad.

Passed as part of a larger bill reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, her measure would establish a new office aimed at conducing outreach and education to exporting businesses, helping ensure they can access financial assistance offered by the Bank.

“Puerto Rico’s economy needs all the help it can get and stimulating exports can be a powerful tool for helping create and support job growth,” Velázquez noted.

“My legislation would ensure there are personnel at the Export-Import Bank who are focused on helping Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other territories export their products abroad.”

The Velázquez language included in the Export-Import Bank reauthorization packages is based on H.R. 3242, “The Office of Territorial Exporting Act,” a bill she introduced in June. It was incorporated into H.R. 4863, the “United States Export Finance Agency Act.” That bill cleared the Committee on a vote of 30-27. It will now need to be considered by the full House of Representatives.

“Even before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s economy was suffering from decades of neglect,” Velázquez added. “Now, as Puerto Ricans work to build a sustainable economy for the long-term, manufacturing and trade will be key to the equation. This legislation will help more firms in Puerto Rico export products to other countries, creating greater economic opportunity and good paying jobs along the way.”

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