Above: USVI Governor John de Jongh at a prayer concert last week (Photo: OG)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh is praising the passage of amendments to the territory’s operating agreement with the company that produces Cruzan Rum.
The 29th legislature amended the 2009 agreement with Cruzan VIRIL, Ltd, a change made necessary by “significant” changes in the US bulk rum market, including competition from new producers, according to the Govrenor.
“With this modified agreement, Cruzan can now compete on a level playing field, and Virgin Islanders can feel assured that this company, so vitally connected to our territory’s economic prosperity, will continue to thrive,” De Jongh said.
The amendments mean the transition for bulk rum production is extended, slowing the reduction in the amount of support the government provides Cruzan for the production of bulk rum.
Under the new agreement, the level of support decreases from 31.5 percent to 25 percent, effective on the first day of this month, rather than 18 percent under the 2009 agreement.
The new rate will be in effect through 2018.
The amendments passed the legislature by an 11 to 4 vote.