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Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló met with US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday to discuss economic reforms the US territory must take to put its “financial house in order”, in their first meeting since the governor took office in January.
The meeting, which the governor’s office characterised as “top level” talks, comes days before the island is due to submit a new fiscal recovery plan to an oversight board. Puerto Rico has struggled with a near-decade of economic decline and a population brain-drain as residents migrate to the mainland US.
Mr Rosselló said he was “committed to establishing a working relationship” with the Treasury and would work to “foster open dialogue” with Mr Mnuchin. A spokesperson for the Treasury was not immediately available for comment.
Puerto Rico owes creditors roughly $69bn and has defaulted on much of its debt since 2015. Congress last year passed rescue legislation that gave the territory access to bankruptcy-like protections to renegotiate its debts, in what will be the largest restructuring ever in the $3.7tn municipal bond market.