Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen, along with the other four territorial delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives, asked President Barack Obama to include the U.S. Virgin Islands and other territories in a new proposal to grant tax incentives for companies that create American jobs, otherwise known as “insourcing.”
Christensen joined the other delegates in writing the president a letter on Jan. 12, appealing to his announcement last week of filing legislation to give tax breaks to U.S. firms that bring jobs back to Americans shores and to eliminate credit to U.S. companies moving operations abroad.
“We write to respectfully ask that you work with us to ensure that our constituents are fully and fairly included in any proposal that the Administration puts forward, bearing in mind the unique tax systems that apply in our jurisdictions,” the letter said.
Christensen said via phone Tuesday night, the delegates wanted to make sure that the territories don’t get forgotten or mistaken, as they often do, as “foreign companies.”
“We have to make sure when good things are being done, that the Virgin Islands also benefits, and that we’re not seen as a foreign company – we want to make sure that it is recognized that we are all part of the United States,” Christensen said. “If there’s a tax credit, it should be made available to businesses.”
The president said last week that he planned to file legislation over the coming weeks that would create tax incentives for companies bringing jobs back to the United States and making additional investments in America. Mr. Obama used the term “insourcing,” to describe the plan.
The delegates lauded the Obama administration in the letter for establishing “a strong and consistent record of including the U.S. territories in tax-based initiatives designed to strengthen the national economy and reduce unemployment” over the last three years.
The letter cited the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, and the American Jobs Act, as measures with tax incentive initiatives that included the territories.
“We are grateful that your administration — through its actions ― has demonstrated its recognition that jobs in the territories are American jobs,” the letter said. “As you work to develop your most recent set of proposals aimed at putting our country back to work, we hope you will continue to build upon this record of inclusion.”
Christensen emphasized that any initiative that creates jobs is a positive one, and she added that the delegates just want to ensure that the territories always need to be included when those types of initiatives happen.