Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie has touted an aspect of the economic philosophy being expressed by United States President Donald Trump.
President Trump has been pushing measures such as trade protectionism. He has proposed huge cross-border taxes for companies that produce their goods overseas for the United States market, instead insisting that such production should take place in his country.
Fahie, in the House of Assembly a few days ago, lauded President Trump’s approach, adding that the British Virgin Islands should adopt such protectionist posture.
“Say what you want about President Trump; look what Trump doing…. I am not supporting him [politically] because he wasn’t my vote. But he is making a good point. He said all you manufacturing outside the United States – that’s your business, but once you bringing it (products) back in [the United States] there is a special tax here for you. Why you think he doing that? He is trying to help the economy and he is trying to create more jobs for Americans,” Fahie said.
It is the first time that Fahie is publicly expressing a clear view on any of President Trump’s policies.
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith, in the meantime, had much to say about President Trump during his budget speech on January 16 – five days ahead of Trump’s inauguration.
“The BVI, with the remainder of the world, anxiously await the Trump presidency. Why? Because the North American market supplies the overwhelming majority of the tourists who visit our shores, and most of our trade is done within that market. A challenge? Surely, but also an opportunity! We know that many Americans are feeling confident about their future economic prospects under this President, and we are positioning ourselves to capitalize on that optimism through more aggressive tourism marketing, upgrading our tourism infrastructure, and addressing air access,” Premier Smith said in January.
Despite utterances by the British Virgin Islands’ political leaders, many in the territory are still assessing the likely impact of a Trump administration.
In fact, at 6pm today (April 27), the H Lavity Stoutt Community College will host a public lecture looking at the “politics and policies of the Trump presidency and their possible impact on the BVI and the wider Caribbean”.
The lecture will be presented by renowned author, scholar and international lecturer Dr Max Hilaire.
Dr Hilaire anticipates that changes to United States tax policy could impact the BVI’s position, considering that the territory is a leading international finance centre as well as a United States-dominated tourism destination.
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