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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Guam Governor Leon Guerrero in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has wrapped up meetings with several key officials in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., including White House cabinet embers and a Japanese delegation, according to a press release from Adelup.

Much of that time last week in San Francisco and New York was spent meeting with credit ratings agencies. During separate meetings with representatives of Moody’s and Standards and Poor’s, the Leon Guerrero laid out her philosophies for governance, prioritization of stabilizing government finances, and collecting taxes.

Arriving in Washington Thursday to attend the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, Gov. Leon Guerrero participated in several NGA events, including a lunch meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and a welcome dinner hosted by President Trump at the White House.

Leon Guerrero has also spoken with key cabinet officials such as U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Department of the Interior Acting Secretary David Bernhardt. The governor raised concerns surrounding the H-2B labor ban on the Philippines and how it could impact Guam, and the setback in paying adjudicated claims to Guam’s World War II survivors, respectively. Gov. Leon Guerrero will have another chance to raise these concerns with Secretary Nielsen and Acting Secretary Bernhardt in future meetings this week.

Leon Guerrero and her chief of staff Tony Babauta meet with Kentaru Sonoura,, special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Abe; Parliamentary Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kiyoto Tsuji.

She also met with a Japanese Delegation comprised of Kentaru Sonoura, Special Advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Abe, and Kiyoto Tsuji, Parliamentary Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Their discussions focused on the ongoing military buildup and relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the potential delay in military construction projects due to the H-2B ban on foreign labor from the Philippines, the importance of Japanese tourism to Guam, and future opportunities to collaborate on establishing an aquacultural industry in Guam.

Gov. Leon Guerrero and CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres (middle row, second from right), are

among the governors who met with the Japanese Delegation.

The governor has a busy schedule ahead of her this week as she will meet with the National Security Council, followed by the annual Inter-Agency Group for Insular areas (IGIA) meeting, a key gathering for island leaders to press their needs with high level federal officials.

Gov. Leon Guerrero is also scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- CA), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Ed Case (D-HI), who sits on the Appropriations Committee. On Tuesday, she will testify at a hearing being held by the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and on Wednesday, the governor will testify at a hearing by the House Committee on Natural Resources.

"From my meetings with bondholders to our federal counterparts," the governor said, "I am sending a clear message that our administration is committed to stabilizing government finances and expanding our economy. While in our nation's capital, I look forward to more productive meetings with the Trump Administration and Congressional leaders in resolving our skilled labor shortage, and, more importantly, addressing the delay in paying out war claims to members of our island's greatest generation," said Gov. Leon Guerrero. "While there remain numerous longstanding federal-territorial issues affecting our island, it will require committed and relentless leadership and a unified voice in seeking solutions to these concerns. I am committed to this effort."

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