Congresswoman Waters Welcomes Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at Reception with CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield & Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of House Financial Services Committee, welcomed Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at a reception on Capitol Hill hosted by Congresswoman Waters, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairman, Congressman G.K. Butterfield and New York Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who is of Jamaican descent, delivered remarks at the reception, which was attended by Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); Francisco Palmieri, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Caribbean and Central America in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and other members of the Jamaican Delegation, including the Honorable Dr. Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaican Ambassador to the U.S. and; Lorna Johnson, Honorary Consul of the Consulate of Jamaica in Los Angeles.
During the reception, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller thanked Congresswoman Waters and members of the CBC Task Force, including Representatives Charles Rangel, Sheila Jackson Lee, Yvette Clarke, and Gregory Meeks for their vocal advocacy in support of Jamaica, during Jamaica’s negotiations with the IMF. These negotiations culminated in the IMF’s approval of $923.3 million arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Jamaica on May 1, 2013. “I really want to thank you,” said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. “Had it not been for you, we would not be where we are today. We will never forget the Black Caucus and your contribution to the Jamaican economy.”
Congresswoman Waters commended Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for her commitment to the people of Jamaica. “The Prime Minister is profoundly concerned for the people of Jamaica: its businesspeople, workers, children and families,” said Congresswoman Waters. “It was because of her passion that we decided to do everything within our power as Members of Congress to make certain that Jamaica got the assistance that it needed from the IMF.”
Congresswoman Waters also congratulated Jamaican officials on the country’s sustained economic growth and job creation that prompted IMF’s Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu to describe the nation’s economic transformation as “miraculous,” during a High Level Caribbean Financial Forum at Montego Bay in October 2014, according to Jamaican news sources. In December, the Executive Board of the IMF completed its sixth review of Jamaica’s economic performance, subsequently approving a $62 million disbursement under the arrangement supported by the EFF.
“I applaud Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Finance Minister Peter Phillips, and Governor of the Bank of Jamaica Brian Wynter for their determination to turn around the Jamaican economy,” said Congresswoman Waters. “The unemployment rate in Jamaica decreased to 13.8 percent in July 2014 from 15.4 percent just a year earlier, and due to Jamaica’s significant structural reforms the country’s fiscal performance is predicted to meet all IMF targets.”