In the wake of the United States Presidential election some people have asked the question: what now? Well, generally we now know that Republican President Donald Trump have taken the helm of government as President of the United States of America. We also know that the Republican Party now controls both houses of the US Congress.
Every other answer to the question “what now?” Will depend largely on our best guesses. Anyone’s best guess. . .One thing for sure in this sea of unknown is that business will not be as usual for the United States, between the United States and other nations, allies and non-allies. While we can only assume that there will be many changes, we can be sure that change will come, and that some of these changes may have far reaching effect on US-International relations, and that those of us closely allied with the United States must be prepared for change, too.
For the Federated States of Micronesia 2023 is a time for change. The financial and economic provisions of the Compact will expire, leaving for the future to decide on the immigration, defense and security provisions which will continue until either the FSM or the US request for termination.
The 2023 change will bring Micronesia to the crossroad of economic and financial reality, where the true test of our economic independence will demand answers from within. In the meantime to state some facts of our current status with the US under the compact:
President Trump has clarified that he intends to focus on illegal aliens who engage in criminal conduct for deportation. FSM citizens who travelled to the United States pursuant to the terms of the Compact are lawful non-immigrants and therefore are protected unlike illegal and undocumented aliens. FSM citizens, however, are still subject to deportation if they commit crimes that meet the criteria for deportation.
Finally, the treaty between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States of America (the Compact of Free Association) is protected under United States Public Law and cannot be terminated except by an act of the US Congress. We, of course, would be right in being concerned to some extent considering that both houses of the US Congress have new members who may not be more informed or knowledgeable about our bilateral relationship with the United States.
For the time being, let us continue as we have been and see where the winds of change will take us when it reaches us. I ask that you continue to abide by the rules and laws of the United States and be good ambassadors of the FSM in your respective communities.
Peter M. Christian
Federated States of Micronesia