Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett released the following statement regarding the Caribbean Financial Access Roundtable co-hosted by Chairwoman Maxine Waters of the House Committee on Financial Services and the Honorable Mia Amor Mottley QC MP, prime minister of Barbados:
“I am very pleased with the outcome of the Caribbean Financial Access Roundtable, which convened U.S. policymakers, CARICOM heads of state, financial institutions and industry experts to confront the economic challenges triggered by the harmful trend of financial de-risking in the Caribbean. De-risking efforts have led many U.S. banks to sever ties with their Caribbean affiliates, resulting in significant economic disruption to countries and businesses in the region.
“The financial exclusion facing our Caribbean neighbors has also impacted remittances, posing serious financial challenges for families with modest resources. Under the leadership of Chairwoman Maxine Waters, we examined solutions to expanding financial access and shifting the economic landscape for present and future generations.
“Since the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), efforts to strengthen and expand trade ties between the Caribbean and the United States have largely faltered. A robust U.S.-Caribbean trade agreement will help alleviate major pressures on local food systems and contribute to economic stability in the region. To this end, in addition to introducing the Caribbean Trade Resolution (H.Res.1047) on the House floor, this week I sought to promote further discussion among Caribbean leaders on effective trade solutions.
“The Caribbean Financial Access Roundtable and the Caribbean Trade Resolution, if passed in the House, are the result of a concerted effort to enhance the economic vitality of the Caribbean. It is my hope that the Ninth Summit of the Americas will build on the significant progress made this week and move the region one step closer to attaining our shared goals of economic integration and growth.”