CARICOM/US relationship will not change – President Granger

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There should be no marked changes in bilateral relations between the United States of America (USA) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) under US President Donald Trump, CARICOM Chairman and President of Guyana, David Granger said yesterday.

President Granger was addressing media operatives at the closing press conference at the Twenty-Eighth Inter-sessional Meeting of the Heads of Government of CARICOM at the Marriott Hotel last evening. The President was asked by a reporter whether CARICOM expected that their relationship with the US will change under the Trump administration.

President David Granger addressing members of the media at Marriott Hotel following the close of the 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Responding, President Granger answered in the negative. He noted that CARICOM has always enjoyed a cordial relationship with the US and that the regional body was actually engaged by the past three US presidents.

“As you know, President Bill Clinton actually came to Barbados and met the Heads in 1995. There was an engagement with President George Bush, and as well President  (Barack) Obama came to the Caribbean,” President Granger pointed out. He said that CARICOM looks forward to continuing those cordial relations with President Trump.

“We have traditionally been regarded as the fourth frontier of the United States after the Pacific, Canadian and the Atlantic  frontier… we are sure that the United States understands the strategic significance of the Caribbean and we appreciate the role of the United States,” President Granger said.

He noted the on-going relationship between the US and CARICOM as it relates to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, as well as the continued cooperation in trade and economic relations.

“We do not anticipate that there is going to be any significant disruption under the new administration,” the President said, adding that the regional body will “wait and see,” and later decide if it must embark on an engagement with the present US administration. “At this time, though, there is no indication that there would be change in CARICOM-US relations,” President Granger reiterated.

Meanwhile, incoming CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell admits that there is some uncertainty, especially as it relates to the US’ recent Executive Order on immigration, and the impact that it could have on the region, Grenada, and its citizens. Prime Minister Mitchell also noted the impact these proclamations would have on tourism.

“The uncertainty is there, so clearly that has to be settled… the uncertainty cannot continue… our borders are too close to the United States for them to risk uncertainty,” the Prime Minister said. (Macalia Santos/GINA)

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