US, FSM set September deadline for completion of Compact negotiations

Updated: May 1



By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

The United States and the Federated States of Micronesia have agreed to cap the negotiations on the Compact of Free Association by September, giving them a full year to transition before the treaty's economic provisions expire.


The FSM government said its negotiating team met with its U.S. counterpart in Washington D.C. on April 21 "to exchange views and discuss planning" for the proposals on the table, including "related subsidiary agreements between the two nations."

---------------------------------------------------

Zero waste: Tell us what you think., Click here.

----------------------------------------------------

Leo A. Falcam Jr.. FSM's chief negotiator, and Joseph Yun, U.S. special presidential envoy for compact negotiations, led their respective delegations "in a discussion of progress to date and review of work remaining in order to quickly achieve agreement in principle."


Micronesian officials said Falcam has formally presented the FSM’s proposed economic assistance package under Title II of the amended compact.


"He also indicated that the FSM would be forthcoming with proposed amendments to the Fiscal Procedures Agreement within the next several weeks," the FSM government said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Without giving specific details, FSM President David Panuelo said last week the FSM's proposed compact package lists demands that will satisfy his nation's immediate and long-term economic needs.


“The acceptance of this compact package would be a great and significant investment for both of our countries,” Panuelo said after his meeting last week with Yun and Jake Sullivan, U.S. national security advisor.


In a press release, FSM said the negotiating teams "welcomed the constructive discussions and reaffirmed their commitment to the September 2022 completion of these negotiations."


ADVERTISEMENT


The next round of formal talks is scheduled for June "at a location to be determined."


Negotiators on both sides had their first face-to-face meeting in Honolulu in November 2021.


"During this period the sides have continued technical discussions on certain aspects of the compact and related subsidiary agreements by videoconference," FSM said.


The April 21 meeting marked Yun's first formal engagement since his appointment in March.


ADVERTISEMENT


The U.S.-FSM Compact of Free Association entered into force in 1986 and provided economic assistance and programs and services to the FSM for an initial period of 17 years until 2003. The economic assistance and programs and services provisions of the Amended Compact now in force are scheduled to end at the end of fiscal year 2023 unless they are extended.


Other elements of the compact and its subsidiary agreements have no expiration date and remain in effect.




Subscribe to

our digital

monthly edition