25 Oct 2007

US ambassador wants islands to cash in on Guam military boom

1:28 pm on 25 October 2007

The United States ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Clyde Bishop, says he wants the three U.S.-affiliated nations in the north Pacific to cash in on the 14 billion US dollar military expansion in Guam.

Mr Bishop says there is a need for a considerable amount of labour on Guam.

He made the comment to the Marshall Islands Finance Minister, Brenson Wase, during a presentation of 12 million US dollars in U.S. funding to the government in Majuro.

Mr Bishop says he would like to see the Compact states, that is the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau, get the benefit.

The Compact gives citizens of these islands an advantage over Filipinos and other non-U.S. workers who will be recruited to work on Guam because they don't need visas to enter Guam.

Both the Marshall Islands and the FSM have high unemployment rates and have seen a large out-migration of islanders to the United States since the mid-1990s.