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Could Puerto Rico Woo Boeing?

Boeing is planning to build a new jet, the 777x, beginning early in 2014. The company was planning to build in the State of Washington, but a recent labor dispute caused Boeing to reach out to governors of other States.

Washington had offered significant tax cuts and is still trying to keep the contract, but Bloomberg reports that more than a dozen other States have chimed in with offers.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico (D) wants to add the territory of Puerto Rico to the list of jurisdictions vying for Boeing’s business.

“In light of the economic and fiscal challenges that Puerto Rico confronts, we need to think big and aim high,” said Pierluisi.  “If the Governor of Puerto Rico has not yet done so, he should immediately contact Boeing with the purpose of submitting a good proposal.”

When he was running for office, Gov. Garcia Padilla promised to create 50,000 jobs within 18 months.  As of 10 months into his term, Puerto Rico has actually lost 17,115 jobs.

Pierluisi pointed out in a press release that Puerto Rico has a strong history with aviation, with companies including Lockheed Martin, Honeywell Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney-Infotech Enterprises, Hamilton Sundstrand and Essig Research.  In fact, Boeing has already bought more than $30 million in parts from six different Puerto Rican companies and has conducted performance tests in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico continues to offer a competitive business climate, despite the hits the island’s economy has recently had in mainland press.  Jobs created by Boeing could help.

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