The Federated States of Micronesia, a nation of small islands between Hawaii and Guam, has hired Washington lobbyists to ensure a key agreement with the United States remains in place.

Law and lobby firm Arnold & Porter submitted the contract to the Justice Department on Thursday.

Among the economic and international issues involved is the Compact of Free Association, a treaty between the U.S. and the FSM, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau.

Micronesia Locator [f0055](1)

COFA allows citizens of those countries to travel and work in the U.S. without special visa approvals. The U.S. has exclusive military control of the region.

Here’s more from the article:

During the last renewal of the compact, in 2003, it was decided to begin to transfer a portion of the aid into a jointly managed trust fund in an attempt to make Micronesia more self-sufficient post-2023.

Last November, three members of the FSM Congress introduced a resolution to cut ties with the United States and end the compact in 2018, but it never got off the ground.

Micronesia is the first foreign client signed by the firm since Kevin O’Neill (the co-chair of Arnold & Porter’s legislative and public policy group) came over from Squire Patton Boggs to expand Arnold & Porter’s lobbying business.

To learn more, read Civil Beat’s series The Micronesians.

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