By: L.N. Reklai
September 28, 2016 (Washington, DC) Two senior members of the US House of Representatives, Congressman Brad Sherman and Congressman Matt Salmon, in a letter to the Chairman of House Armed Services Committee Congressman Mac Thornberry and a Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, urges them to include funding for the Compact Review Agreement with Republic of Palau in the Conference Committee Report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2017.
Endorsing Palau’s Compact Review Agreement with United States of America, the congressmen emphasized the importance of the relationship between Palau and the US stating that “Our relationship with Palau is an important element of our security strategy in the Asia-Pacific region providing the United States with important access, influence and strategic denial of access to other regional military forces.”
Both congressmen, Brad Sherman and Matt Salmon sit in the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, holding titles of Ranking Member and Chairman. They also share a similar reputation for being fiscally responsible congressmen.
In the recommendation, Congressman Sherman and Congressman Salmon state that “the continuing goals of the Compact Agreement are to assist Palau in achieving self-governance and long-term economic advance. Our failure to fund this agreement for six years undermines those goals for our steadfast and patient ally and unnecessarily jeopardizes U.S. interests in the region.”
The Compact Review Agreement extends financial assistance to the Government of Palau in the amount of $250 million for public safety, health, and education, to build and maintain infrastructure, to pay debts, and to increase the Compact Trust Fund for the future. It would also continue United States health, education, airport, agriculture, employment, and other programs in Palau. The assistance would be provided until September 30, 2024.
The Agreement was signed by both Palau and United States in 2010. Since then, the source of funding for this agreement continues to hold up its ratification in the US Congress. [/restrict]