Interior needs help on policy

Posted on Jan 27 1999

The Clinton Administration, in concert with the 106th US Congress, are working on what’s known as the Caribbean Basin Initiative parity measure designed to enhance regional free trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This collective effort illustrates the pro-trade position of the Clinton Administration in no uncertain terms.

It is obvious that the Clinton Administration believes in wealth creation that eventually translates to jobs creation between Canada, US, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean Islands. It has been President Clinton’s mission which he trumpets across the country. He’s scheduled to visit South America sometime next month to push his agenda on free trade in the region.

It boggles the mind that while President Clinton is pro-free trade and takes every effort to enhance healthy economic foundations and relationships among countries in the region, it seems that the lead federal agency, either by omission or purposeful design, promotes the exact opposite insofar as the NMI is concerned. Is there a reason for such contradictory policy that shows the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing? Shouldn’t the US Department of Interior be taking a proactive position to pushing similar initiative for the Northern Marianas?

This apparent inconsistency leaves the NMI a bit amused over the complete opposite position between whatt the president espouses in free trade in the Americas versus the agenda being pushed against the NMI for total economic annihilation by the US Department of Interior. It is obvious that Interior needs to come to terms with what President Clinton pushes in free trade in the region for it seems a tale that it is perfectly fine to assist others while simultaneously suffocating the same opportunities for the NMI in wealth creation.

The deepening crisis in the islands is such that it is anybody’s guess how the financially strapped local government would fare even before mid-year. Interior’s apparent agenda is to stampede to death an already troubled island economy. It has done nothing but push for a complete meltdown of what’s left in the local economic sector. It is far more interested in defraying the cost of an economic conference right smack in the middle of a deepening crisis. By then, the patient would have died because the doctor (Interior) chooses neglect over responsibility in protecting the economic well-being of the NMI.

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