According to a CMC report, a bill has been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives to support debt relief for the Caribbean and other developing countries.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the Caribbean Media Corporation the measure was passed in the House on Friday as part of the America COMPETES Act.
The legislation among other things places a moratorium on debt payments.
The World Bank has warned of a 12 percent increase in the debt burden of developing countries to a record 860 billion U.S. dollars in light of the pandemic.
The World Bank said since its Debt Service Suspension Initiative took effect on May 1, 2020, it has delivered 10-point-3 billion US dollars in relief to more than 40 countries.
“The legislation strengthens the G-20’s (Group of 20) Common Framework, a multilateral debt relief initiative, to reflect the challenges countries have faced during the pandemic,” said Ocasio-Cortez, whose district includes the eastern part of the Bronx, portions of north-central Queens and Rikers Island in New York City.
“Critically, the legislation also places a moratorium on debt payments for countries that are applying to be part of the Common Framework,” she added. “Developing nations whose early economies and political systems were crippled by colonialism and foreign intervention deserve a real opportunity to compete – to build independent, sustainable economies, unburdened by impossible levels of debt.”
The congresswoman said the legislation will also have benefits at home as well as overseas.
“The race-to-the-bottom for wages that has cost the U.S. so many manufacturing jobs is driven by the economic vulnerability of developing nations,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party’s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district on June 26, 2018.
“We can’t have a healthy, competitive global economy, as long as the whims of a handful of nations dictate the financial stability of the rest of the world,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who along with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib are the first female members of the Democratic Socialists of America elected to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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