Amata Highlights Pacific Activity in Washington
Washington, D.C. – Friday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata highlighted a busy week in Washington that included a focus on the Pacific region. The House passed two Resolutions emphasizing U.S.-Pacific relations, and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided an update on American Samoa’s coral reefs.
In two votes Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Resolutions that strongly affirmed the House’s commitment to the Pacific region and each of the U.S. Territories, and recognized our nation’s many friends and allies among the Pacific Ocean’s island nations and other major Pacific nations.
“The House of Representatives made an important statement of priorities that clearly includes American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas, and our many friendships in the Pacific region,” said Aumua Amata. “The House strongly affirmed U.S. commitment to the Pacific through diplomatic engagement, economic partnerships and military cooperation.”
Congresswoman Amata with PACOM Commander Admiral Phil Davidson and his wife.
Pacific partners: In H. Res. 1157, the House recognized the extensive economic and military cooperation among the U.S. and our Pacific partners, including the importance of fisheries and shipping agreements. The Resolution specifies strong support to American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas, and highlights the value of U.S. engagement with Samoa, the Cook Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Finally, the Resolution, which was introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), and passed with bipartisan support, also states the House’s appreciation of our valued Pacific friendships, including New Zealand, Japan, and Australia, along with France and other Pacific ties.
Congresswoman Amata with Admiral Harris.
South Korea: In H. Res. 1149, the House voted to recognize that the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea “serves as a linchpin of regional stability and bilateral security, and exemplifies the broad and deep military, diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties” that the two countries share. The Resolution was introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA). Earlier this year, President Trump appointed retired Admiral Harry Harris as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Ambassador Harris is the first Asian American to serve as a four-star Admiral, and his most recent posts were as Commander of the Pacific Fleet, then Commander of the Pacific Command (PACOM).
Coral Reefs: NOAA released a status report on the coral reefs in the Pacific, using a scale ranging from “very good” to “critical.” They rated American Samoa’s reefs in “good” shape, while the reefs in Guam, the Northern Marianas and Hawaii rated “fair.” Congresswoman Amata has supported and cosponsored bipartisan legislation to fund coral reef preservation efforts, including H.R. 5996, along with H.R. 6665 which passed earlier this week. In November, American Samoa welcomed $560,000 in federal grant funds for our coral reefs.
Congresswoman Amata with EPA Regional Administrator Mike Stoker at the Coral Reef Task Force meeting.
“In American Samoa, we see our coral reefs and their role in the lifecycles of the islands from our homes and roads,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “These reefs are part our ecosystems and way of life. I’m pleased they are generally healthy, and I support federal efforts to monitor and preserve our reefs for future generations.”
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