23 Mar 2006

Northern Marianas seeks funding from US government

10:32 am on 23 March 2006

The Northern Marianas government says it is confident the US Congress will approve a 140-million US dollar funding request.

The CNMI has submitted the bailout request to the congress asking for the appropriation for the 2007 fiscal year.

The government press secretary says the pull-put of Japan Airlines, the closing down of garment factories because of WTO measures and previous maladministration has led to the CNMI's dire economic situation.

Charles Reyes says his government is also asking the US for a return to a quota system for garment production in CNMI and the return of taxes paid to the federal government to the tune of 1-million US dollars.

Mr Reyes says if the requests are declined there could be a serious crisis so he believes the help be approved.

"We are a US territory and we don't think it is in the US government's interest to see a territory suffer grave consequences."