Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has told reporters that he hopes new United States President, Donald Trump, can make America great.
“I think if he can consistently grow the economy in excess of four percent, which is what his plan is, that is going to augur well for all of us,” the Saint Lucia leader said.
Chastanet observed that the unemployment rate in the US is some 4.7 percent.
“If you are growing your economy, where are those jobs going to come from? So if the white blue collar workers are dissatisfied with flipping burgers or working in the hospitality sector and the economy grows and they have the ability of getting jobs elsewhere, who is going to replace them in those jobs?” The Prime Minister said.
He asserted that the USA has always depended on immigration.
Chastanet declared that as a result, he is not overly concerned about some of the rhetoric that he is hearing.
He expressed the hope that Trump can actually grow the US economy and turn things around.
Chastanet spoke amid reports that President Trump will this week sign several executive orders restricting access to the United States for refugees and some visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The US President’s public statements regarding immigration have led to fears that a number of undocumented Caribbean nationals living in the United States could be returned home, while at the same time people of the region may reduce their travel to the US.
Trump, who took the oath of Office on January 20, has vowed to direct the US Department of Labour to “investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker”.
According to media reports, the H-1B visa programme issues work permits to as many as 85,000 foreign workers a year with “highly specialized knowledge” to fill jobs when qualified Americans can’t be found.