San Nicolas hones in on price-reducing strategy

Congressman Michael San Nicolas believes there is a way the prices of construction, goods and produce on Guam, the CNMI, and the other territories can be lowered. In a letter to President Biden today, Mr. San Nicolas is asking that U.S. territories be included in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) initiative.

The nation recently launched this initiative with U.S. allies in Guam’s backyard: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Together with the United States, these countries make up 60 percent of the world’s population and gross domestic product.

The United States maintains it is an Indo-Pacific power. The reason the U.S. is able to make this claim is precisely because of the presence of two of its territories in this region: Guam and the CNMI.

The initiative is expected to benefit the member countries with more free-flowing supply chains, shared advancements in digital economy, anti-tax fraud, bribery, and money laundering cooperation, and infrastructure and energy development.

“I write today to strongly urge that our country’s gateways to the Indo-Pacific region, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are duly included in all future trade agreements and particularly in the negotiations surrounding the IPEF,” Mr. San Nicolas wrote in his letter to the President.

Inclusion of the territories in these free trade agreements and other agreements that open commerce, will lead to the reduction of the costs of both goods and the transportation of those goods to the territories, the theory goes.

“While our island is currently outside of the U.S. Customs Zone enabling us to have duty-free status on imports, our exclusion from U.S. Free Trade Agreements inhibits us from being able to capitalize on favorable Trade terms,” said Mr. San Nicolas. “Mindful inclusion of Guam in Free Trade negotiations will enable us to capitalize on export-oriented opportunities while still maintaining our Duty Free status,” Congressman San Nicolas continued. “Combined, these realities will strengthen our ability to bridge East-West trade and unlock opportunities for economic diversification in this arena, from transshipment to light manufacturing, both of which are insulated from economic factors that impact our primary tourism industry,” the congressman said.

The President recently led a long-awaited Asian tour to roll out the economic strategy.


  • Inclusion of Guam and the NMI in America’s OPEN SKIES POLICY of which only American Samoa was included among the Insular jurisdictions is a MUST-INCLUDE for the territories of Guam and the CNMI.

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