Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello has a message for Puerto Rico's bondholders.
Hurricane Maria has stoked fear among those who hold Puerto Rican debt. Rossello urged bondholders to look past the dollars and help the island secure money to rebuild from Congress.
"We're all one right now, and what we need to do is go to Congress, ask for a real aid package for Puerto Rico and make sure that we can have the initial conditions so that we can get out of the emergency phase but start rebuilding. And rebuilding better than ever. That is better for all of the bondholders, all of the stakeholders and all of the people in Puerto Rico," Rossello told Marcus Lemonis on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Wednesday.
Puerto Rican bonds plunged Wednesday after President Donald Trump said Puerto Rico's $72 billion debt should be wiped away. It is unlikely that Trump will be able to follow through on the idea, but it has prompted worry on Wall Street nonetheless.
The island needs to rebuild its pharmaceutical capabilities and revamp its tourism business, Rossello said. He pleaded for an aid package from Congress that would help.
Puerto Rico will have to rebuild without much cash, Rossello said. He wants to use the cash the island does have effectively. Rossello pointed to budget cuts he has already overseen since taking office in January.
"So our commitment to make changes in government to make sure it's a more effective economy, to put things into the private sector's hands so that they can develop it, is still there," he said.