Re: “Hired Labors Share of Income is Lowest in Puerto Rico” (December 29, 2015):
The Heritage Foundation’s recent article written by Salim Furth erroneously blames the Jones Act for the lack of pharmaceutical production in Puerto Rico. The article states that ships operating under the Jones Act raise the cost of transporting pharmaceuticals for consumers. This is completely false. A majority of the raw materials used to produce pharmaceuticals in Puerto Rico are transported from Asia Pacific nations, most often China. Consequently such materials are transported on foreign vessels- not U.S. ships- to Puerto Rico ports.
Mr. Furth also ignores the fact that the Commonwealth has a significant transportation advantage because of the Jones Act, as noted in the GAO study, which examines the impact of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico. The study found that northbound load factors are typically a fraction of what they are southbound, which has meant shipping rates in the northbound trades are much lower than rates in almost any other trade.
Mr. Furth incorrectly blames the cost/loss of manufacturing in Puerto Rico on the Jones Act- a law that benefits the Commonwealth with lower northbound transportation rates compared to those in nearly any other Caribbean trade.