Guam is set to begin exploring its potential as a transshipment hub in Asia-Pacific to facilitate the transport of goods between the United States and manufacturing hubs in the region.
The movement of goods between the U.S. and the Asia Pacific has been disrupted during the Covid-19 crisis, creating a gap that Guam officials hope the island could fill.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero today signed a new law creating a Transshipment Task Force that would evaluate existing laws and regulations, as well as available resources, related to transhipping.
"Though this bill ultimately requires that the task force conduct a feasibility study for the promotion of transshipment in Guam, which will require the legislature to identify funding sources, it appears the TTF may request such funding once convened," the governor said in a letter to Speaker Therese Terlaje.
Bill 2-36, introduced by Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, is now Public Law 36-23.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the vulnerability of our island's economy, which is heavily reliant on the tourism industry," Leon Guerrero said in signing the bill. "The interruption of travel and tourism has taken its toll on our local businesses, as it has in other tourism-based countries and U.S. jurisdictions."
The governor noted the need for Guam to invest in diverse industries "to ensure our island is prepared to face new challenges as they arise."
While the bill does not contain a customary sunset provision for the task force, Leon Guerrero said, it does not prevent the TIF from itself winding up once it has fulfilled its mandate.