Senate Passes Whitehouse-Cicilline Bill to Strengthen U.S.-Portuguese Relations
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the Senate passed the Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success (AMIGOS) Act. The bill, introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), now heads to the President’s desk for signature.
This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will extend trade and investor visas to Portuguese citizens to increase international business between the United States and Portugal.
“Generations of Portuguese immigrants have made lasting contributions to Rhode Island’s culture and economy,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Our bipartisan AMIGOS Act strengthens our economic relationship with Portugal and promotes job-creating investments in the United States, and I look forward to the President signing it into law.”
“Portuguese-Americans and Portuguese nationals helped make Rhode Island the state we are today,” Congressman Cicilline said. “The members of our thriving Portuguese-American community make rich contributions to the fabric of our state in the arts, culture, business, and public service. Breaking down barriers that currently limit Portuguese investments in American businesses and projects will grow an already strong relationship between our two countries.”
The legislation would allow Portuguese citizens to apply for trade (E-1) and investor (E-2) temporary entry visas. These types of visas are eligible to citizens from countries that have treaties of “Friendship, Commerce and Navigation” with the United States. However, Portugal did not enter into an agreement allowing trade and investor visas before joining the European Union, making the country ineligible to independently enter into such an agreement.
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA), William Keating (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA) are all original cosponsors of the legislation.
Portugal is an important cultural and business partner of the United States. Bilateral trade with Portugal reached $8.9 billion in 2019, a six percent increase from the previous year.
Meaghan McCabe, (401) 453-5294
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