By Jacob Nakamura
The U.S. House of Representatives today unanimously added Congressman Michael San Nicolas's amendment reopening the H-2B labor market to civilian projects on Guam into the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
The House votes on the full NDAA tomorrow. If it passes, it will be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
If the amendment remains in the Senate version and President Trump signs the NDAA into law, Guam construction companies will be able to recruit skilled workers from labor-rich countries like the Philippines. For years, construction projects on Guam have been bottle-necked by the lack of workers to start jobs. The backlog in civilian construction projects helped to stagnate the economy and drive up the cost of living.
The availability of skilled workers to perform these projects may reinvigorate the economy and has the potential to drive down the cost of living.