3.26.2007

U.S. Corporations Lobby Against Puerto Rico Statehood?

A majority of Puerto Rico residents may prefer statehood, but U.S. multi nationals prefer things just the way they are. That is the essence of Dan Caterinicchia's story Big business may keep Puerto Rico from statehood published by Associated Press (3.25.07).

More than half of Fortune 100 companies operate there, with billions invested in factories and trained workers. Eli Lilly & Co., Abbott Laboratories and others, including Microsoft Corp. and Coca-Cola Co., don't want to lose Puerto Rico's tax-free commonwealth status, politicians and academics say.
Puerto Rico's leading statehood advocate, Senate President Kenneth McClintock, believes that the firms won't leave an educated, loyal and skilled work force.

But that may not be true. Corporate lobbyists argue that the multi nationals would dump Puerto Rico in favor of the greener pastures of Singapore, India and elsewhere if Puerto Rico's status changed.

My bet is that the corporations also like Puerto Rico's high unemployment rate because it keeps workers wages dramatically below U.S. national scales.

Wow, so much for Puerto Ricans deciding their own fate. The clear message is for islanders to stop wanting equal status and get back to their novelas.

This bit of patronizing news must be welcomed by lackluster Governor Anibal Acevedo and leader of the island's status quo party.