Guam awarded EDA grant to build transshipment industry

Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes (Guam Legislature photo)

Guam is one step closer to increasing its capacity as a transshipment hub and playing a larger role in the global supply chain. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the Department of Commerce recently awarded Guam $1 million in American Rescue Plan grants to support local economic development planning and recovery efforts, which includes $250,000 for a transshipment survey.

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Authored by Vice Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes, Public Law 36-23 established the Transshipment Task Force (TSTF) to address supply chain vulnerabilities in a post-COVID era and explore the viability of a transshipment industry in Guam. The EDA grant will be used for a feasibility study regarding the potential for growth in transshipment, manufacturing, assembly, distribution and export business activities in Guam.

“Building a resilient and thriving local economy is a paramount to our island’s recovery beyond this pandemic. These American Rescue Plan grants allow our island to build back better than before. We are thankful to EDA for its partnership and ensuring resiliency for Guam,” said Acting Governor Josh Tenorio.

“Pursuing transshipment not only means capitalizing on Guam’s advantage as a transit point for cargo and diversifying Guam’s economy but it’s also an opportunity to decrease the cost of living for our people. The transshipment survey brings us closer to our goal of becoming an international maritime center, and I am committed to working with Governor Leon Guerrero and the Administration to make sure this becomes a reality,” said Vice Speaker Muña Barnes.

This will be the third grant Vice Speaker Muña Barnes has worked to have been awarded. Earlier this year, the Office of Insular Affairs awarded $174,900 in Technical Assistance Program grant funding to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) for and on behalf of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

This guarantees in-state tuition rates for students from the territories and the freely associated states at hundreds of institutes of higher education across the Western region of the United States. Vice Speaker Muña Barnes, on behalf of the Guam Legislature, also received grant funding from the Governor’s Education Assistance and Youth Empowerment Grant program for the Public Policy Institute, an internship program for students to learn about the legislative process and develop their analytical, writing, and communication skills.