Guam Governor: Guam can no longer support military buildup
Governor Calvo also calling on AG to join H-2B lawsuit
April 6, 2017 (Hagåtña) — Governor Calvo announced today that he can no longer support military buildup projects that come at the cost of the people and economy of Guam.
“When the Department of Defense signed a programmatic agreement, we agreed to a mutually beneficial buildup — the idea being what’s good for inside the fence is good for outside the fence. It was the One Guam approach,” Governor Calvo stated. “But the federal government hasn’t kept up with its part of the bargain. There has been a breach in the agreement that was made to ensure Guam is not negatively impacted by the shift in military forces.”
Despite the military’s and the federal government’s acknowledgement in the Record of Decision of the need for additional foreign laborers to augment the local work force, the Obama administration adopted a new interpretation of labor policies that has created a chokehold on our economy.
What used to be more than 1,000 foreign laborers is reduced to 178 foreign laborers — this is woefully inadequate to fill the need for nearly 4,000 laborers to help construct facilities for the Department of Defense shifting military forces from Okinawa to Japan. It’s insufficient even for the organic growth Guam is experiencing outside of the fence — and the buildup adds to the need.
We know this is causing delays in many different projects. We continue to receive reports of either individual home projects or companies with stalled investments … its happening for one of two reasons:
1. contractors are hesitant to commit to a project they can’t be certain they will fulfill by their deadline.
2. individuals or companies looking to invest and build on Guam can’t afford the increased cost of construction that has been inflated by the local infighting for manpower.
“Over the last year and a half I have written letters to President Obama and his administration and met with a number of officials leading the regulatory agencies but to no avail. While I am still hopeful that the new administration, under President Trump, is willing to work with us, we are at a critical point,” he stated. “I will no longer support the buildup; and will not support further progress on the military re-alignment to Guam, so long as the federal government continues to choke our economy.”
The Governor will dispatch letters to President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, informing them of his stance and the reasons behind it — that while the military buildup seems to be moving forward it is happening at the expense of the people of Guam in a breach of our agreement and cannot be allowed.
JOINING THE H-2B LAWSUIT
The Governor also is calling on the Attorney General of Guam to join in the lawsuit filed a few months ago by the Guam Contractors Association.
“Understand that these decisions weren’t made lightly. As I’ve stated, we have pursued every possible angle, written scores of letters, spoken to every available person, and we are now at the end of our rope,” the Governor stated. “I must protect the interest of our island and our people. When I go to bed at night, I have to know that I have done my due diligence to ensure that we are not left behind, that we are not marginalized, that we are not forgotten — again.”