Local senators push for Guam's designation as US port
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Work continues to establish Guam as an international transshipment hub. Vice Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes and Sens. Telena C. Nelson and Mary Camacho Torres met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s national security advisor to discuss the possibility of legislation to designate Guam as a United States port.
“Our recovery and transition from this pandemic means we need to build our local economy. While Guam has always played a role in the defense of the nation, I truly believe we can play a stronger role in commerce as well. I and my colleagues will continue to work with members of Congress and the Administration to ensure that Guam becomes an international maritime center,” Muña Barnes said.
“We understand that our island community is struggling to make ends meet. Knowing that 90 percent of our goods are imported, expanding our maritime capabilities is an opportunity to alleviate the cost of living by allowing international trade through Guam's Ports. Making Guam a Transshipment hub will be beneficial to our island by reducing that cost," Nelson said.
“It is clear that we have work to do, and now is the time to avail of the opportunities before us. We will continue to sell our island’s story and strive to build a stronger Guam,” Torres said.
This meeting comes after a series of meetings with federal counterparts from the United States Department of Commerce, IndoPacom and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Muña Barnes authored the measure creating the transshipment taskforce and has continued to work on the initiative in her capacity as the task force's vice chair.
Recently, the Transshipment Taskforce, in partnership with the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration, was successful in securing a $250,000 grant from the United States Economic Development Authority to conduct a feasibility study for the viability of such industry for Guam.