How did an agreement to direct $6 billion to a foreign liquor conglomerate in exchange for 40 jobs get Congressional consent and Administration approval?

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ — The National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC) will hold a press conference on Thursday, September 16, at the National Press Club to discuss the organization’s requests to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate a deal between Diageo, a UK-based liquor conglomerate, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Diageo has structured an unusual and highly suspect agreement with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said NPRC Chairman Miguel Lausell. “Through this ‘deal’ more than $6 billion in U.S. tax funds will be assigned directly to Diageo over the next 60 years to assist in the creation of 40 jobs. When you take into account the 350 jobs in Puerto Rico that were lost as a result of this deal, Diageo in effect will be pocketing $19 million for every job killed in Puerto Rico. What’s most troubling about this sour deal is that the Federal and State officials involved in negotiating and/or sanctioning it have close family ties.”

“How can a publicly-traded company secure a deal so sweet that it is guaranteed profits that exceed 100 percent annually for up to 60 years?” Lausell added, “Or give credible indications of revenue inflows to its shareholders when the ‘rebates’ are based on a discretionary federal program that Congress may alter or eliminate in any given year?”