In an exclusive interview with State department alum Taneka Thompson (Editor, The Tribune) Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Kenneth Merten said the U.S. government is looking to increase its engagement with countries in the region including The Bahamas. This is in an effort to find ways to grow economies, boost prosperity, increase cultural exchanges, work together on security issues and create diversity in energy use. A/PDAS Merten highlighted legislation HR-4939 that seeks to develop a program to increase engagement with the Caribbean. He noted his successful bilateral meetings with several foreign ministers during the CARICOM Meetings held in Nassau last week. Despite the void of a US Ambassador to the Bahamas, Merten spoke highly of US/Bahamas relations and highlighted the positive growth in the Bahamian economy. Ambassador Merten said he was pleased that the Bahamian government has taken steps to ensure that businesses can be created in as little as two weeks. A/PDAS Merten discussed the problem of illegal migration affecting countries in the region and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
Link to Tribune article: A/PDAS Merten says the US is seeking closer links to The Bahamas