The partial shutdown of the United States Government will not have any immediate effects on this country but is a serious cause for concern if it goes beyond the stipulated deadline, says Finance Minister Larry Howai.
Speaking to the media at the Piarco International Airport yesterday, Howai said a preliminary analysis was already done on the situation.
“We’ve done a preliminary analysis...we are still highly expectant this will only be for a short period of time. I’m told it can actually cost the US $300 million a day... We expect that measures will be taken to address it within the 17-day deadline,” said Howai.
This Government, he said, was hopeful that a resolution will be forthcoming.
“If that is so then we don’t expect there should be very many significant implications for the global economy as a whole. If for whatever reason it goes beyond the stipulated deadline date and it becomes an issue, it certainly will affect the bond markets very significantly, which means that the pricing of bonds and other related financial data could be affected,” he said.
“We were considering the possibility of going to market for bond issue ourselves for the Republic and in the circumstances we probably want to monitor what is happening before we make any decisions on that,” he added.
He said imports and exports to the United States will not be immediately affected given the time frames.
“In the US, whilst the Government is very important, the economy is highly diversified and a big part of it is in the private sector,” he said.
Howai said it was expected that normal relations will continue without any significant changes.
“Certainly if it goes beyond the deadline as established we then have to definitely look at it very much more closely.
“We will need then to monitor what’s happening in the financial markets particularly the impact it can have on the wealth of private citizens as well as companies and therefore what the potential impact that can have on their own business dealing and so on...but for the time being the expectation is that good sense will prevail and we should have some kind of resolution within the next two weeks,” he said.
Asked whether there were any lessons to be learnt from the US situation, Howai responded, “It’s always important for people in political life to recognise that the economy of the country is bigger than some of our own partisan interests and so on. We see what a partisan situation has created for the United States so I’m hopeful we ourselves learn from that and recognise the importance of ensuring irrespective of how we may differ on specific political issues at the end of the day the best interest of the country is always put first.”
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