Members of the United States Congress are urging funding for the Compact Review Agreement with Palau. Representatives Brad Sherman and Ted Yoho in a June 7 letter to Mac Thomberry and Adam Smith, member of house armed service committee urged that the compact funding be included in the conference report for the national defense authorization act for Fiscal year 2018.
"The compact review agreement reinforces our relationship with a tremendous ally in the pacific and advances the national security interests of the United States in an increasingly complex region of the world. Palau has voted with the United States more than 90 percent of the time in the United Nations and Palauan volunteers in disproportionately large number for service in the U.S. military, "Reps. Sherman and Yoho said in the letter.
Palau government has expressed frustration over the delay in the approval of the funding. Remengesau said the June 7 letter is good news as members of congress has identified the source of funding for the Compact.
Palau and the U.S. concluded a review of the Compact of free Association on September 3, 2017 and signed a 15 years extension agreement that includes a $250 million package of assistance for Palau through 2024.
Since 2010, Palau gets a yearly disbursement from the U.S. as part of the approved financial package. Palau gets at least $13 million each year. A big chunk of Palau's Fiscal year budget is sourced from the Compact funding.
Sherman and Yoho said U.S.'s failure to fulfill it's commitment to Palau or to fund the agreement for 7 years, undermines the goal under the Compact which is to assist Palau in "achieving self-governance and long term economic advancement."
"Our failure to fund this agreement for seven years undermines those goal for our steadfast and patience ally and unnecessarily jeopardizes U.S. interest in the region," the letter stated.
It added that President Trump's budget for the Department of Defense includes $123.9 million to be transferred to the Department of Interior in support of Palau's Compact agreement.