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November 21, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

Beyond the Fence Episode 91

Episode 91: “Political Status Options and Guam’s Economy”(hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance by Daisy Demapan and Marie Auyong) airs 10/28/11.

On September 20, 2011 the Guam Young Professionals ( of the Guam Chamber of Commerce ( orwww.guamyoung hosted an educational roundtable for members and interested individuals entitled Guam’s Quest for Economic Stability: How Our Economy is Affected by Our Political Status. About 100 people attended this two hour roundtable held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and moderated by Jay Rojas, GYP Chair.  The featured speakers were an economist, two attorneys and a tax expert: Joseph Bradley, Chief Economist, Bank of Guam; Juan-Carlos Benitez, President, Washington Pacific Economic Development Group; Neil Weare, attorney with the Litigation and Policy Council, Constitutional Accountability Center, Washington DC; and Joe Arnett, Tax Partner at Deloitte & Touche, LLP.

This episode features excerpts from this roundtable conversation. In the first segment, these experts discuss the political status ‘frameworks’ or ‘spectrum’ of options, the steps toward political status change, and the interconnections of visa waivers/human rights/national security interests.  In the second half, they comment on Guam’s duty free status and tax structures, trade decisions and the global economy, Guam’s mirror tax code and the need for tax reform, and revenue sharing/the differential treatment of non-states under federal programs (e.g. Medicaid and Supplementary Security Income (SSI) and provide closing comments. They emphasize the importance of examining the decolonization experiences of other insular areas, community education on political status options and leveraging the military buildup to Guam’s advantage [additional comments by these experts on Guam’s political representation options within the US framework, attractiveness to foreign investors, tax reform, and cost- of-living and the Jones Act are included at the end of this podcast].

Public discussion on this important subject continues today with a Guam Legislature forum on “Guam’s Quest for Decolonization” from 8:30-2:30 p.m. at the Speaker Antonio R. Unpingco Legislative Session Hall.

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