Calvo emphasizes Guam's trade potential - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Calvo emphasizes Guam's trade potential

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While details of the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership meetings on Guam have remained a secret, Governor Eddie Calvo had a chance to meet with some of the key negotiators from the United States to stress the potential of our island. Over the past week, Guam has been the host to several individuals representing different parts of the world.

They're here on island as part of meetings related to a free trade agreement that are currently under negotiation between 12 different countries. While much of the meetings have remained closed door and details limited, the island's chief executive says he had a chance to meet with some key negotiators from the US. "It was an opportunity to really sit down with them," Calvo said. "We had a representative from Congresswoman [Madeleine] Bordallo's office and some representatives for the Guam Chamber of Commerce to talk a little about Guam and some of the issues that we have in regards to economic development. And of course she gave us a little briefing of the ongoing negotiations between the United States and other potential TPP partners, so it was fruitful."

The meetings were with Marta Prado, the director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific for the US trade representative and Barbara Weisel, the assistant US trade representative. Weisel is also the US chief negotiator for the TPP. Governor Calvo says he wants these global representatives to take notice of how Guam not only is an American territory but in the Asia Pacific Region. "And to look at the territories of the united states particularly to Guam and the Marianas in what we hold in our potential economically, not only for the United States but for the benefit of American citizens here in US territories such as Guam and Northern Marianas," he said.

As for the secrecy behind the meetings related to the TPP, Governor Calvo says it's not unusual. "But obviously when it comes to trade negotiations they are kept out from the public, these are discussion between nations and that's how it's always been," he said.

He does however note that the trade representatives indicated that negotiators did "bring up Guam in the equation." The governor added, "But obviously Guam is outside of the US Custom Trade Zone and that's something we can petition whether we want to or not I must say that's its been to our advantage being outside the US Custom Trade Zone and we've used it in the past to our benefit, but also, there are other laws and treaties that do have an impact on Guam and they may or may not be a part of the discussion between the trade representatives of the United States and these other nations that make up TPP."

Meetings continue on Guam before moving to the Philippines at the end of the month.

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