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March 28, 2003
  Contact: Julie Cram
(202) 482-3809

Senior Bush Administration Trade Official to Visit Puerto Rico March 29-April 1
Focus on Benefits of Trade to Puerto Rican Economy

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Grant Aldonas, will travel to Puerto Rico on March 29 - April 1 to meet with senior government officials and business leaders to discuss the Bush Administration's trade agenda and ways Puerto Rican companies can take advantage of increased trade liberalization to grow their economy and create better and higher paying jobs.

"I'm eager to visit Puerto Rico to talk about the ways we can work together to grow Puerto Rico's exports to reach more markets around the world. The Bush Administration is committed to helping the workers and businesses of Puerto Rico expand their exports, grow and diversify their economy and create more jobs," said Aldonas.

In Puerto Rico, Aldonas will be the keynote speaker at a luncheon hosted by The Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA), the Export Council of Puerto Rico and the Chamber of Commerce of Puerto Rico where he will give remarks on the 'Competitiveness of the Caribbean in an Open Economy'. He will also meet with Governor Sila Calderon and Secretary of Commerce Milton Segarra. In addition, he will jointly hold a public/private sector meeting with the Department of Economic Development and Commerce where he will hear first-hand the exporting successes and challenges Puerto Rican businesses have experienced.

Aldonas further stated, "Puerto Rico is our bridge to the Americas, and our futures are tied. Open markets and free trade strengthen the imperative for democracy, and provide hope for a brighter and more secure future for the people of our hemisphere. I look forward to working with the leaders of Puerto Rico to extend the benefits of free trade to the workers and citizens throughout the Americas."

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