DJOU STATEMENT ON AMERICAN POLICY PRIORITIES IN ASIA PACIFIC REGION
Congressman Attends Secretary of State’s Remarks Today; Highlights Hawaii-Specific Measures
Honolulu, HI — Congressman Charles K. Djou (HI-01) released the following statement after attending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on America’s engagement in the Asia Pacific:
“I was pleased to hear Secretary Clinton voice support for one of my top priorities: a free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea. I have been a consistent and vocal advocate for enacting this FTA since becoming a Member of Congress and will continue to do so. Opening up the market between our two nations makes sense not just geopolitically with the constant specter of North Korea, but for Hawaii’s economy in particular, as tourism will increase with strengthened commercial ties. That is why I have been so outspoken in support of this measure and urge my colleagues in the House to join me, President Obama and Secretary Clinton in establishing this important agreement.
“Second, I agree with Secretary Clinton and will reiterate that I believe it was a major mistake for the Congress to not provide funds that President Obama requested to relocate American forces away from Okinawa to Guam. As a Member of the Armed Services Committee and a Member that represents a large portion of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, I support restoring funds for the construction to further the realignment of Marine Corps forces from Okinawa to Guam. The Guam realignment would be one of the largest moves of military forces in decades. Postponement of construction of necessary military facilities and infrastructure will cause unnecessary delay and threatens our geopolitical positioning in the Asia-Pacific region and it is my hope that Congress reconsiders this very important and serious matter.
“Third and finally, we must take steps to reform the Compact of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia. While the Compact is an important part of our foreign policy, it needs to be amended. For too long, the State of Hawaii has had to bear a disproportionate burden in providing social services for Micronesian citizens who are legally allowed to travel to the United States without visas. This burden is simply unfair to the taxpayers of Hawaii who, like citizens of any state, are making tough choices during these difficult economic times.
“I look forward to working with Secretary Clinton and this Administration to not only ensure that America’s global position is strong, but that these priorities that will directly benefit Hawaii are accomplished.”