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Rubio Discusses Importance of U.S.-Jamaica Partnership

Feb 8, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) served as Ranking Member during a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations nominations hearing, where he discussed the challenges currently facing Jamaica, including drug trafficking. During his opening remarks, Rubio urged Nickolas Perry, nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, to work to bolster the United States’ relationship with the Caribbean nation. Video of Rubio’s remarks can be found here and a full transcript is below. 
 
Rubio is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee On Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.

“When it comes to Jamaica, it’s the largest English-speaking nation in the Caribbean. It has very strong cultural, historical, and economic ties to this country and particularly to South Florida. We have a very robust Jamaican-American [community] and Jamaican expat community that does business in our state but remain citizens of Jamaica. 
 
“[Jamaica is] undergoing a pretty ambitious reform program under Prime Minister Holness. The public debt fell below 100 percent of GDP for the first time, [which is] very impressive. The United States is [Jamaica’s] largest trading partner, and that does include companies that now provide products that form the very basis of exactly the kind of sustainable and secure supply chains we need more of. So [the Jamaicans] have a very strong economic relationship with the United States and my home state. 
 
“But they are suffering the consequences of the illegal drug crisis that we’re facing in this country. [Jamaica’s] location geographically makes it ripe for drug trafficking. Jamaica has been a very strong partner in countering these drug trafficking networks, and obviously we should continue to do more to bolster their capabilities to do that. 
 
“So if confirmed, Assemblyman Perry, I hope you’ll build on your experience — not just [your experience] in the legislature, but also your deep ties to Jamaica — to help foster and continue to build on that U.S.-Jamaica partnership.”