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H.J.Res. 549 (94th): Joint resolution to approve the “Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America”, and for other purposes.


The text of the resolution below is as of Mar 24, 1976 (Passed Congress).


PUBLIC LAW 9 4 - 2 4 1 — M A R . 2 4 , 1976                      90 STAT. 2 6 3

Public Law 94-241
94th Congress
                           Joint Resolution
To approve the "Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern             Mar. 24, 1976
  JIariana Islands in Polilical Union with the United States of America", and    [HJ. Res 549]
  for other purposes.

Whereas the United States is the administering authority of the 48 u s e 1681
   Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the terms of the note.
   trusteeship agreemojit for the former Japanese-mandated islands
   entered into by the United States with the Security Council of
   the United Nations on April 2, 1947, and approved by the United
   States on J u l y 18, 1947; and
Whereas the United States, in accordance with the trusteeship agree-
   ment and the Charter of the United Nations, has assumed the
   obligation to promote the development of the peoples of the trust
   territory toward self-government or independence as may be
   appropriate to the particular circumstances of the trust territory
   and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples
   concerned; and
Whereas the United States, in response to the desires of the people of
   the Northern M a r i a n a Islands clearly expressed over the past
   twenty years t h r o u g h public petition and referendum, and in
   response to its own obligations under the trusteeship agreement
   to promote self-determination, entered into political status nego-
   tiations with representatives of the people of the Northern
   Mariana I s l a n d s ; and
Whereas, on F e b r u a r y 15,1975, a "Covenant to Establish A Common-
   wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with
   the United States of America" was signed by the Marianas Politi-
   cal Status Commission for the people of the Northern Mariana
   Islands and by the President's Personal Representative, Ambas-
   sador F . H a y d n Williams for the United States of America,
   following which the covenant was approved by the unanimous
   vote of the Mariana Islands District Legislature on F e b r u a r y 20,
   1975 and by 78.8 per centum of the people of the Northern M a r i a n a
   Islands voting in a plebiscite held on J u n e 17, 1975: Now be it
   Resolved hy the Seriate and House of Representatives     of the United
States of America in Congress ay.serribled^ T h a t the Covenant to Estab-      Covenant to
lish a Commonwealth of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands in Political          Establish a
Union with the United States of America, the text of which is as                Commonwealth
follows, is hereby approved.                                                    of the Northern
                                                                                Mariana Islands
                                                                                in Political Union
"COVENANT To ESTABLISH A COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN                           with the United
  MARIANA ISLANDS I N POLITICAL U N I O N W I T H T H E U N I T E D STATES      States of
  OF AMERICA                                                                    America.
                                                                                Congressional
  "Whereas, the Charter of the United Nations and the Trusteeship               approval.
Agreement between the Security Council of the United Nations and                48 u s e 1681
the United States of America guarantee to the people of the Northern            note.
M a r i a n a Islands the right freely to express their wishes for self-
government or independence; and

9 0 STAT. 2 6 4 PUBLIC LAW 9 4 - 2 4 1 — M A R . 24, 1976 "Whereas, the United States supports the desire of the people of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands to exercise their inalienable r i g h t of self- determination; and "Whereas, the people of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands and t h e people of the United States share the goals and values found in the American system of government based upon the principles of govern- ment by the consent of the governed, individual freedom and democ- racy; and "Whereas, for over twenty years, the people of t h e Northern M a r i a n a Islands, through public petition and referendum, have clearly expressed their desire for political union with the U n i t e d S t a t e s ; "Now, therefore, the INIarianas Political Status Commission, being the duly appointed representative of the people of t h e Northern Mariana Islands, and the Personal Representative of the President of the U n i t e d States have entered into this Covenant in order to estab- lish a self-governing commonwealth for the Northern Mariang, Islands within the American political system and to define the future relation- ship between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States. This Covenant will be mutually binding when it is approved by the United States, by the Mariana Islands District Legislature and by the people of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands in a plebiscite, constituting on their p a r t a sovereign act of self-determination. "ARTICLE I "POLITICAL RELATIONSHIP "SECTioisr 101. T h e Northern M a r i a n a Islands upon termination of the Trusteeship Agreement will become a self-governing common- wealth to be known as the ^Commonwealth of the N o r t h e r n M a r i a n a Islands', in political union with and under the sovereignty of the United States of America. "SECTION 102. T h e relations between t h e Northern M a r i a n a Islands and the U n i t e d States will be governed by this Covenant which, together with those provisions of t h e Constitution, treaties and laws of the U n i t e d States applicable to the N o r t h e r n M a r i a n a Islands, will be the supreme law of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands. "SECTION 103. T h e people of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands will have the r i g h t of local self-government and will govern themselves with respect to internal affairs in accordance with a Constitution of their own adoption. "SECTION 104. T h e United States will have complete responsibility for a n d authority w i t h respect t o matters relating t o foreign affairs and defense affecting the Northern M a r i a n a Islands. "SECTION 105. T h e U n i t e d States may enact legislation in accord- ance with its constitutional processes which will be applicable to t h e N o r t h e r n M a r i a n a Islands, b u t if such legislation cannot also be made applicable to the several States the N o r t h e r n Mariana Islands must be specifically named therein for it to become effective in t h e N o r t h e r n M a r i a n a Islands. I n order to respect the r i g h t of self-government guaranteed by this Covenant t h e U n i t e d States agrees t o limit t h e exercise of t h a t authority so t h a t t h e fundamental provisions of this Covenant, namely Articles I , I I and I I I and Sections 501 and 805, may be modified only with the consent of t h e Government of t h e United States and the Government of t h e Northern M a r i a n a Islands.
PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 90 STAT. 265 "ARTICLE II CONSTITUTION OF T H E NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS "SECTION 201. The people of the Northern Mariana Islands will formulate and approve a Constitution and may amend their Consti- tution pursuant to the procedures pixjvided therein. "SECTION 202. The Constitution will be submitted to the Govern- Submittal to U.S. ment of the United States for approval on the basis of its consistency for approval. with this Covenant and those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States to be applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands. The Constitution will be deemed to have been approved six months after its submission to the President on behalf of the Govern- ment of the United States unless earlier approved or disapproved. If disapproved the Constitution will be returned and will be resub- mitted in accordance with this Section. Amendments to the Constitu- tion may be made by the people of the Northern Mariana Islands without approval by the Government of the United States, but the courts established by the Constitution or laws of the United States will be competent to determine whether the Constitution and subse- quent amendments thereto are consistent with this Covenant and with those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands. "SECTION 203. (a) The Constitution will provide for a republican form of government with separate executive, legislative and judicial branches, and will contain a bill of rights. " ( b ) T h e executive power of the Northern Mariana Islands will be vested in a popularly elected Governor and such other officials as the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may provide. " ( c ) T h e legislative power of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands will be vested in a populai'ly elected legislature and will extend to all rightful subjects of legislation. The Constitution of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands will provide for equal representation for each of the chartered municipalities of the Northern Mariana Islands in one house of a bicameral legislature, notwithstanding other provisions of this Covenant or those provisions of the Constitution or laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands. " ( d ) T h e judicial power of the Northern Maria,na Islands will be vested in such courts as the Constitution or laws of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands may provide. The Constitution or laws of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands may vest in such courts jurisdiction over all causes in the Northern Mariana Islands over which any court estab- lished by the Constitution or laws of the United States does not have exclusive jurisdiction. "SECTION 204. All members of the legislature of the Northern Mari- ana Islands and all officers and employees of the Government of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands will take an oath or affirmation to s u p p o r t this Covenant, those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Constitution and laws of t h e Northern M a r i a n a Islands. "ARTICLE III " C I T I Z E N S H I P A N D NATIONALITY "SECTION 301. T h e following persons and their children under the age of 18 years on t h e effective date of this Section, who are not citizens or nationals of the United States under any other provision of law,- and who on t h a t date do not owe allegiance to any foreign state, are
90 STAT. 266 PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 declared to be citizens of the United States, except as otherwise pro- vided in Section 302: " (a) all persons born in the Northern Mariana Islands who are citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands on the day preceding the effective date of this Section, and who on that date are domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands or in the United States or any territory or possession thereof; "(b) all persons who are citizens of the Tmst Territory of the Pacific Islands on the day preceding the effective date of this Sec- tion, who have been domiciled continuously in the Northern Mari- ana Islands for at least five years immediately prior to that date, and who, unless under age, registered to vote in elections for the Marianas Islands District Legislature or for any municipal elec- tion in the Northern Mariana Islands prior to January 1, 1975; and "(c) all persons domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands on the day preceding the eft'ective date of this Section, who, although not citizens of the Trust Tei ritory of the Pacific Islands, on that date have been domiciled continuously in the Northern Mariana Islands beginning prior to January 1, 1974. "SECTION 302. Any person who becomes a citizen of the United States solely by virtue of the provisions of Section 301 may within six months after the effective date of that Section or within six months after reaching the age of 18 years, whichever date is the later, become a national but not a citizen of the United States by making a declara- tion under oath before any court established by the Constitution or laws of the United States or any court of record in the Commonwealth in the form as follows: " 'I being duly sworn, hereby declare my intention to be a national but not a citizen of the United States.'" "SECTION 303. All persons born in the Commonwealth on or after the effective date of this Section and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States will be citizens of the United States at birth. "SECTION 304. Citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands will be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States of the United States. "ARIICLE IV u JUDICIAL, AUTHORITY District Court for "SECTION 401. The United States will establish for and within the the Northern Northern Mariana Islands a court of record to be known as the Mariana Islands. 'District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands'. The Northern Establishment Mariana Islands will constitute a part of the same judicial circuit of the United States as Guam. "SECTION 402. (a) The District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands will have the jurisdiction of a district court of the United States, except that in all causes arising under the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States it will have jurisdiction regardless of the sum or value of the matter in controversy. " (b) The District Court will have original jurisdiction in all causes in the Northern Mariana Islands not described in Subsection (a) jurisdiction over which is not vested by the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands in a court or courts of the Northern Mariana Islands. In causes brought in the District Court solely on
PUBLIC LAW 9 4 - 2 4 1 — M A R . 24, 1976 90 STAT. 267 the basis of this subsection, the District Court will be considered a court of the Northern Mariana Islands for the purposes of determining the requirements of indictment by g r a n d jury or trial by jury. " ( c ) The District Court will have such appellate jurisdiction as the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may pro- vide. When it sits as an appellate court, the District Court will consist of three judges, at least one of whom will be a judge of a court of record of the Northern IMariana Islands. "SECTION 403. (a) The relations between the courts established by the Constitution or laws of the United States and the courts of the Northern Mariana Islands with respect to appeals, certiorari, removal of causes, the issuance of writs of habeas corpus and other matters or proceedings will be governed by the laws of the United States pertain- m g to the relations between the courts of the United States and the courts of the several States in such matters and proceedings, except as otherwise provided in this Article; provided t h a t for the first fifteen years following the establishment of an appellate court of the Northern Mariana Islands the United States Court of Appeals for the judicial circuit which includes the Northern Mariana Islands will have jurisdiction of appeals from all final decisions of the highest court of the Northern Mariana Islands from which a decision could be had in all cases involving the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States, or any authority exercised thereunder, unless those cases are reviewable in the District Court for the Northern M a r i a n a Islands pursuant to Subsection 402(c). " ( b ) Those portions of Title 28 of the United States Code which apply to Guam or the District Court of Guam will be applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands or the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, respectively, except as otherwise provided in this Article. "ARTICLE V uAPPLICABILITY OF LAWS "SECTION 501. (a) To the extent t h a t they are not applicable of their own force, the following provisions of the Constitution of the United States will be applicable within the Northern Mariana Islands USC prec. title 1. as if the Northern Mariana Islands were one of the several S t a t e s : Article I , Section 9, Clauses 2, 3, and 8; Article I , Section 10, Clauses 1 and 3 ; Article I V , Section 1 and Section 2, Clauses 1 and 2 ; Amend- ments 1 through 9, inclusive; Amendment 13; Amendment 14, Section 1; Amendment 1 5 ; Amendment 19; and Amendment 2 6 ; provided, however, that neither trial by jury nor indictment by g r a n d jury shall be required in any civil action or criminal prosecution based on local law, except where required by local law. Other provisions of or amend- ments to the Constitution of the U n i t e d States, which do not apply of their own force within the Northern Mariana Islands, will be appli- cable within the Northern Mariana Islands only with approval of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands and of the Government of the United States. " ( b ) T h e applicability of certain provisions of the Constitution of the United States to the Northern Mariana Islands will be without prejudice to the validity of and the power of the Congress of the TJnited States to consent to Sections 203, 506 and 805 and the proviso in Subsection (a) of this Section.
90 STAT. 268 PUBLIC LAW 9 4 - 2 4 1 — M A R . 24, 1976 "SECTION 502. (a) The following laws of the United States in existence on the effective date of this Section and subsequent amend- ments to such laws will apply to the Northern Mariana Islands, except as otherwise provided in this Covenant: " ( 1 ) those laws which provide federal services and financial assistance programs and the federal banking laws as they apply to G u a m ; Section 228 of Title I I and Title X V I of the Social 42 u s e 428, Security Act as it applies to the several States; the Public H e a l t h 1381. Service Act as it applies to the Virgin I s l a n d s ; and the INIicrone- 42 u s e 201 note. sian Claims Act as it applies to the T r u s t Territory of the Pacific 50 u s e app. 2018. Islands; " ( 2 ) those laws not described in p a r a g r a p h (1) which are applicable to Guam and which are of general application to t h e several States as they are applicable to the several S t a t e s ; and " ( 3 ) those laws not described in p a r a g r a p h (1) or (2) which are applicable to the T r u s t Territory of the Pacific Islands, but not their subsequent amendments unless specifically made appli- cable t o t h e Northern M a r i a n a Islands, as they apply to the T r u s t Territory of the Pacific Islands until termination of the Trustee- ship Agreement, and will thereafter be inapplicable. " ( b ) The laws of the United States regarding coastal shipments and the conditions of employment, including the wages and hours of employees, will apply to the activities of the United States Govern- ment and its contractors in the Northern Mariana Islands. "SECTION 503. T h e following laws of the United States, presently inapplicable to the T r u s t Territory of the Pacific Islands, will not apply to the Northern Mariana Islands except in t h e manner and to the extent made applicable to them by the Congress by law after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement: " ( a ) except as otherwise provided in Section 506, the immigra- tion and naturalization laws of t h e United S t a t e s ; " ( b ) except as otherwise provided in Subsection (b) of Sec- tion 502, the coastwise laws of the United States and any prohi- bition in the laws of the United States against foreign vessels landing fish or unfinished fish products in the United S t a t e s ; and " (c) the minimum wage provisions of Section 6, Act of J u n e 25, 29 u s e 206. 1938, 52 Stat. 1062, as amended. eommission on "SECTION 504. T h e President will appoint a Commission on Federal Federal Laws. Laws to survey the laws of t h e United States and to make recom- mendations to the United States Congress as to which laws of the United States not applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands should be made applicable and to what extent and in what manner, and which applicable laws should be made inapplicable and to w h a t extent and in Membership. what manner. T h e Commission will consist of seven pei-sons (at least four of whom will be citizens of the T r u s t Territory of the Pacific Islands who are and have been for at least five years domiciled con- tinuously in the Northern Mariana Islands at the time of their appoint- ments) who will be representative of the federal, local, piivate and public interests in the applicability of laws of the United States to the Reports to Northern Mariana Islands. T h e Commission will make its final report eongress. and recommendations to the Congress within oue year after the ter- mination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and before tliat time will make such interim reports and recommendations to the Congress as it considei-s appropriate to facilitate the transition of the Northern Mari- ana Islands to its new political status. I n formulating its recommenda- tions the Commission will take into consideration the potential effect of each law on local conditions within the Northern Mariana Islands,
PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 90 STAT. 269 the policies embodied in the law and the provisions and purposes of this Covenant. The United States will bear the cost of the work of the Commission. "SECTION 505. The laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, of the Mariana Islands District and its local municipalities, and all other Executive and District orders of a local nature applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands on the effective date of this Section and not inconsistent with this Covenant or with those provisions of the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands will remain in force and effect until and unless altered by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands. "SECTION 506. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection 503(a), upon the effective date of this Section the Northern Mariana Islands will be deemed to be a part of the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended for the following pur- 8 u s e 1101 note. poses only, and the said Act will apply to the Northern Mariana Islands to the extent indicated in each of the following Subsections of this Section. "(b) With respect to children born abroad to United States citizen or non-citizen national parents permanently residing in the Northern Mariana Islands the provisions of Sections 301 and 308 of the said Act will apply. 8 USC 1401, "(c) With respect to aliens who are 'immediate relatives' (as defined 1408. in Subsection 201(b) of the said Act) of United States citizens who "Immediate relatives." are permanently residing in the Northern Mariana Islands all the 8 USC 1151. provisions of the said Act will apply, commencing when a claim is made to entitlement to 'immediate relative' status. A person who is certified by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands both to have been a lawful permanent resident of the Northern Mariana Islands and to have had the 'immediate relative' relationship denoted herein on the effective date of this Section will be presumed to have been admitted to the United States for lawful permanent residence as of that date without the requirement of any of the usual procedures set forth in the said Act. For the purpose of the requirements of judicial naturalization, the Northern Mariana Islands will be deemed to constitute a State as defined in Subsection 101(a) paragraph (36) of the said Act. The Courts of record of the Northern Mariana Islands 8 USC 1101 and the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands will be included among the courts specified in Subsection 310(a) of the said Act and will have jurisdiction to naturalize persons who become 8 USC 1421 eligible under this Section and who reside within their respective jurisdictions. "(d) With respect to persons who will become citizens or nationals of the United States under Article I I I of this Covenant or under this Section the loss of nationality provisions of the said Act will apply. "ARTICLE VI u REVENUE AND TAXATION "SECTION 601. (a) The income tax laws in force in the United States will come into force in the Northern Mariana Islands as a local terri- torial income tax on the first day of January following the effective date of this Section, in the same manner as those laws are in force in Guam. "(b) Any indiAddual who is a citizen or a resident of the United States, of Guam, or of the Northern Mariana Islands (including a
9 0 STAT. 270 PUBLIC LAW 9 4 - 2 4 1 — M A R . 24, 1976 national of the United States who is not a citizen), will file only one income tax return with respect to his income, in a manner similar to the provisions of Section 935 of Title 26, United States Code. " ( c ) Eeferences in the I n t e r n a l Revenue Code to G u a m will be deemed also to refer to the Northern Mariana Islands, where not other- wise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with the intent thereof or of this Covenant. Additional taxes "SECTION 602, T h e Government of the N o r t h e r n Mariana Islands levied by Island may by local law impose such taxes, in addition to those imposed under government. Section 601, as it deems appropriate and provide for the rebate of any taxes received by it, except t h a t the power of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands to rebate collections of the local terri- torial income t a x received by it will be limited to taxes on income derived from sources within the N o r t h e r n M a r i a n a Islands. "SECTION 603. (a) The N o r t h e r n Mariana Islands will not be included within the customs territory of the United States. " ( b ) T h e Government of the Northern INIariana Islands may, in a manner consistent with the international obligations of the United States, levy duties on goods imported into its territory from any area outside the customs territory of the United States and impose duties on exports from its territory. " ( c ) I m p o r t s from the Northern Mariana Islands into the customs territory of the United States will be subject to t h e same treatment as imports from Guam into the customs territory of the United States. " ( d ) T h e Government of the United States will seek to obtain from foreign countries favorable treatment for exports from t h e Northern Mariana Islands and will encourage other countries to consider the Northern M a r i a n a Islands a developing territory. "SECTION 604. (a) T h e Government of the United States may levy excise taxes on goods manufactured, sold or used or services rendered in the Northern INIariana Islands in the same manner and to the same extent as such taxes are applicable within Guam. " ( b ) T h e Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will have the authority to impose excise taxes upon goods manufactured, sold or used or services rendered within its territory or upon goods imported into its territory, provided t h a t such excise taxes imposed on goods imported into its territory will be consistent with the international obligations of the United States. U.S. property "SECTION 605. Nothing in this Article will be deemed to authorize exclusion from the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands to impose any cus- customs duties. toms duties on the property of the United States or on the personal property of military or civilian personnel of the United States Govern- ment or their dependents entering or leaving the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to their contract of employment or orders assign- ing them to or from the Northern M a r i a n a Islands or to impose any taxes on the property, activities or instrumentalities of the United States which one of the several States could not impose; nor will any provision of this Article be deemed to affect the operation of the 50USCapp.501. Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940, as amended, which will be applicable to t h e N o r t h e r n M a r i a n a Islands as it is applicable to Guam. Northern "SECTION 606. (a) Not later t h a n at t h e time this Covenant is Mariana Islands approved, t h a t portion of the T r u s t T e r r i t o r y Social Security Retire- Social Security ment F u n d attributable to t h e Northern Mariana Islands will be trans- Retirement Fund, transfer to U.S. ferred to the Treasury of the United States, to be held in t r u s t as a Treasury.
PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 90 STAT. 271 separate fund to be known as the 'Northern Mariana Islands Social Security Ketirement Fund'. This fund will be administered by the Administration, United States in accordance with the social security laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in effect at the time of such transfer, which may be modified by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands only in a manner which does not create any additional differ- ences between the social security laAvs of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and the laws described in Subsection (b). The United States will supplement such fund if necessary to assure that persons receive benefits therefrom comparable to those they would have i-eceived from the Trust Territory Social Security Retirement Fund under the laws applicable thei'eto on the day preceding the establish- ment of the Northern Mariana Islands Social Security Retirement Fund, so long as the rate of contributions thereto also remains comparable. "(b) Those laws of the United States which impose excise and self- employment taxes to support or which provide benefits from the United States Social Security S^^stem will upon termination of the Trusteeship Agreement or such earlier date as may be agreed to by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Govern- ment of the United States becom.e applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands as they apply to Guam. "(c) At such time as the laws described in Subsection (b) become applicable to the Northern IMariana Islands: "(1) the Northern JNIariana Islands Social Security Retirement Fund will be transferred into the appropriate Federal Social Security Trust Funds; "(2) prior contributions by or on behalf of persons domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands to the Trust Territory Social Security Retirement Fund or the Northern Mariana Islands Social Security Retirement Fund will be considered to have been made to the appropriate Federal Social Security Trust Funds for the purpose of determining eligibility of those persons in the Northern Mariana Islands for benefits under those laws; and "(3) persons domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands who are eligible for or entitled to social security benefits under the laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or of the North- ern Mariana Islands will not lose their entitlement and will be eliofible for or entitled to benefits under the laws described in Subsection (b). "SECTION 607. (a) All bonds or other obligations issued by the Bonds and other Government of the Northern Mariana Islands or by its authority will obligations, be exempt, as to principal and interest, from taxation by the United exemption. States, or bv any State, territory or possession of the United States, or any political subdivision of any of them. "(b) During the initial seven year period of financial assistance provided for in Section 702, and during such subsequent periods of financial assistance as may be agreed, the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will authorize no public indebtedness (other than bonds or other obligations of the (Government payable solely from revenues derived from any public improvement or undertaking) in excess of ten percentum of the aggregate assessed valuation of the property within the Northern Mariana Islands. 89-194 0—78—pt. 1 21
90 STAT. 272 PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 "ARTICLE VII " U N I T E D STATES riNANCIAIi ASSISTANCE "SECTION 701. The Government of the United States will assist the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands in its efforts to achieve a progressively higher standard of living for its people as part of the American economic community and to develop the economic resources needed to meet the financial responsibilities of local self- government. To this end, the United States will provide direct multi- year financial support to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands for local government operations, for capital improvement programs and for economic development. The initial period of such support will be seven years, as provided in Section 702. Seven year grant "SECTION 702. Approval of this Covenant by the United States will assistance, constitute a commitment and pledge of the full faith and credit of appropriation the United States for the payment, as well as an authorization for the authorization. appropriation, of the following guaranteed annual levels of direct grant assistance to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands for each of the seven fiscal years following the effective date of this Section: " (a) $8.25 million for budgetary support for government opera- tions, of which $250,000 each year will be reserved for a special education training fund connected with the change in the political status of the Northern Mariana Islands; "(b) $4 million for capital improvement projects, of which $500,000 each year will be reserved for such projects on the Island rjo of Tinian and $500,000 each year will be reserved for such projects on the Island of Rota; and " (c) $1.75 million for an economic development loan fund, of which $500,000 each year will be reserved for small loans to farmers and fishermen and to agricultural and marine coopera- tives, and of which $250,000 each year will be reserved for a special program of low interest housing loans for low income families. Federal programs "SECTION 703. (a) The United States will make available to the and services Northern Mariana Islands the full range of federal programs and availability. services available to the territories of the United States. Funds pro- vided under Section 702 will be considered to be local revenues of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands when used as the local share required to obtain federal programs and services. "(b) There will be paid into the Treasury of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, to be expended to the benefit of the people thereof as that Government may by law prescribe, the proceeds of all customs duties and federal income taxes derived from the North- em Mariana Islands, the proceeds of all taxes collected under the internal revenue laws of the United States on articles produced in the Northern Mariana Islands and transported to the United States, its territories or possessions, or consumed in the Northern Mariana Islands, the proceeds of any other taxes which may be levied by the Congress on the inhabitants of the Northern Mariana Islands, and all quarantine, passport, immigration and naturalization fees collected in the Northern Mariana Islands, except that nothing in this Section shall be construed to apply to any tax imposed by Chapters 2 or 21 26 u s e 1401, of Title 26, United States Code. 3101. "SECTION 704. (a) Funds provided under Section 702 not obligated or expended by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands
PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 90 STAT. 273 during any fiscal year will remain available for obligation or expendi- ture by that Government in subsequent fiscal years for the purposes for which the funds were appropriated. " (b) Approval of this Covenant by the United States will constitute Pro-rata share, an authorization for the appropriation of a pro-rata share of the appropriation funds provided under Section 702 for the period between the effective authorization. date of this Section and the beginning of the next succeeding fiscal year. "(c) The amounts stated in Section 702 will.be adjusted for each fiscal year by a percentage whicli will be the same as the percentage change in the United States Department of Commerce composite price index using the beginning of Fiscal Year 1975 as the base. "(d) Upon expiration of the seven year period of guaranteed annual direct grant assistance provided by Section 702, the annual level of payments in each category listed in Section 702 will continue until Congress appropriates a different amount or otherwise provides by law. "ARTICLE V I I I PROPERTY "SECTION 801. All right, title and interest of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in and to real property in the Northern Mariana Islands on the date of the signing of this Covenant or thereafter acquired in any manner whatsoever will, no later than upon the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, be transferred to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands. All right, title and interest of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in and to all personal property on the date of the signing of this Covenant or thereafter acquired in any manner whatsoever will, ho later than upon the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, be distributed equitably in a manner to be determined by the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in consultation with those concerned, including the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands. "SECTION 802. (a) The following property will be made available Leased property, to the Government of the United States by lease to enable it to carry U.S. defense out its defense responsibilities: purposes. "(1) on Tinian Island, approximately 17,799 acres (7,203 hectares) and the waters immediately adjacent thereto; "(2) on Saipan Island, approximately 177 acres (72 hectares) at Tanapag Harbor; and "(3) on Faiullon de Medinilla Island, approximately 206 acres (83 hectares) encompassing the entire island, and the waters immediately adjacent thereto. " (b) The United States affirms that it has no present need for or present intention to acquire any greater interest in property listed above than that which is granted to it under Subsection 803(a), or to acquire any property in addition to that listed in Subsection (a), above, in order to carry out its defense responsibilities. "SECTION 803. (a) The Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will lease the property described in Subsection 802(a) to the Govern- ment of the United States for a term of fifty years, and the Gov- ernment of the United States will have the option of renewing this lease for all or part of such propeity for an additional term of fifty years if it so desires at the end of the first term.
90 STAT. 274 PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 "(b) The Government of the United States will pay to the Govern- ment of the Northern Mariana Islands in full settlement of this lease, including the second fifty year term of the lease if extended under the renewal option, the total sum of $19,520,600, determined as follows: "(1) for that property on Tinian Island, $17.5 million; "(2) for that property at Tanapag Harbor on Saipan Island, $2 million; and "(3) for that property known as Farallon de Medinilla, $20,600. The sum stated in this Subsection will be adjusted by a percentage which will be the same as the percentage change in the United States Department of Commerce composite price index fix>m the date of sign- ing the Covenant. Technical ''(c) A separate Technical Agreement Regarding Use of Land To Agreement Be Leased by the United States in the Northern Mariana Islands will Regarding Use of be executed simultaneously with this Covenant. The teiins of the lease Land To Be Leased by the to the United States will be in accordance with this Section and with U.S. the terms of the Technical Agreement. The Technical Agreement will also contain terms relating to the leaseback of property, to the joint use arrangements for San Jose Harbor and West Field on Tinian Island, and to the principles which will govern the social structure relations between the United States military and the Northern Mari- ana Islands civil authorities. "(d) From the property to be leased to it in accordance with this Covenant the Government of the United States will lease back to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, in accordance with the Technical Agreement, for the sum of one dollar per acre per year, approximately 6,458 acres (2,614 hectares) on Tinian Island and approximately 44 acres (18 hectares) at Tanapag Harbor on Saipan Island, which will be used for purposes compatible with their intended military use. "(e) From the property to be leased to it at Tanapag Harbor on Saipan Island the Government of the United States will make avail- able to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands 133 acres (54 hectares) at no cost. This property will be set aside for public use as an American memorial park to honor the American and Marianas dead in the World War I I Marianas Campaign. The $2 million received from the Government of the United States for the lease of this property will be placed into a trust fund, and used for the develop- ment and maintenance of the park in accordance with the Technical Agreement. "SECTION 804. (a) The Government of the United States will cause all agreements between it and the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands which grant to the Government of the United States use or other rights in real property in the Northern Mariana Islands to be terminated upon or before the effective date of the Sec- tion. All right, title and interest of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in and to any real property with respect to which the Government of the United States enjoys such use or other rights will be transferred to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands at the time of such termination. From the time such right, title and interest is so transferred the Government of the North- ern Mariana Islands will assure the Government of the United States the continued use of the real property then actively used by the Gov- ernment of the United States for civilian governmental purposes on terms comparable to those enjoyed by the Government of the United
PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 90 STAT. 275 States under its arrangements with the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands on the date of the signature of this Covenant. "(b) All facilities at Isely Field developed with federal aid and Isely Field all facilities at that field usable for the landing and take-off of air- facilities, craft will be available to the United States for use by military and availability to naval aircraft, in common with other aircraft, at all times without U.S. charge, except, if the use by military and naval aircraft shall be sub- stantial, a reasonable share, proportional to such use, of the cost of operating and maintaining the facilities so used may be charged at a rate established by agreement between the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Government of the United States. "SECTIOX 805. Except as otherwise provided in this Article, and Landholding notwithstanding the other provisions of this Covenant, or those pro- restrictions. visions of the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, in view of the importance of the owner- ship of land for the culture and traditions of the people of the North- ern Mariana Islands, and in order to protect them against exploitation and to promote their economic advancement and self-sufficiency: "(a) will until twenty-five years after the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and may thereafter, regulate the aliena- tion of permanent and long-term interests in real property so as to restrict the acquisition of such interests to persons of Northern Mariana Islands descent; and " (b) may regulate the extent to which a person may own or hold land which is now public land. "SECTION 806. (a) The United States will continue to recognize and respect the scarcity and special importance of land in the Northern Mariana Islands. If the United States must acquire any interest in real property not transferred to it under this Covenant, it will follow the policy of seeking to acquire only the minimum area necessary to accomplish the public purpose for which the real property is required, of seeking only the minimum interest in real property necessary to support such public purpose, acquiring title only if the public purpose cannot be accomplished if a lesser interest is obtained, and of seeking first to satisfy its requirement by acquiring an interest in public rather than private real property. "(b) The United States may, upon prior written notice to the Gov- ernment of the Northern Mariana Islands, acquire for public purposes in accordance with federal laws and procedures any interest in real property in the Northern Mariana Islands by purchase, lease, exchange, gift or otherwise under such terms and conditions as may be nego- tiated by the parties. The United States will in all cases attempt to acquire any interest in real property for public purposes by voluntary means under this Subsection before exercising the power of eminent domain. No interest in real property will be acquired unless duly authorized by the Congress of the United States and appropriations are available therefor. " (c) In the event it is not possible for the United States to obtain an interest in real property for public purposes by voluntary means, it may exercise witlim the Commonwealth the power of eminent domain to the same extent and in the same manner as it has and can exercise the power of eminent domain in a State of the Union. The power of Power of eminent eminent domain will be exercised within the Commonwealth only to domain. the extent necessary and in compliance with applicable United States laws, and with full recognition of the due process required by the United States Constitution. u s e prec. title 1.
90 STAT. 276 PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 "ARTICLE IX a NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS REPRESENTATIVE AND CONSULTATION "SECTION 901. T h e Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may provide for t h e appointment or election of a Resident Representative to the United States, whose term of office will be two years, unless otherwise determined by local law, and who will be entitled to receive official r e c o ^ i t i o n as such Representative by all of the departments and agencies of t h e Government of t h e United States upon presentation through the Department of State of a certifi- cate of selection from the Governor. T h e Represenative must be a citizen and resident of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands, at least twenty- S five years of age, and, after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, a citizen of the United States. "SECTION 902. T h e Government of the United States and the Govern- ment of t h e Northern M a r i a n a Islands will consult regularly on all Special matters affecting the relationship between them. A t the request of representatives, either Government, and not less irequently t h a n every ten years, t h e report. President of the United States and the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands will designate special representatives to meet and to consider in good faith such issues affecting the relationship between the Northern M a r i a n a Islands and t h e United States as m a y be desig- nated by either Government and to make a report and recommenda- tions with respect thereto. Special representatives will be appointed in any event to consider and to make recommendations regarding future multi-year financial assistance to the Northern M a r i a n a Islands pursuant to Section 701, to meet at least one year prior to the expiration of every period of such financial assistance. "SECTION 903. Nothing herein shall prevent the presentation of cases or controversies arising under this Covenant to courts estab- lished by the Constitution or laws of the United States. I t is intended t h a t any such cases or controversies will be justiciable in such courts and t h a t the undertakings by the Government of the United States and by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands provided for in this Covenant will be enforceable in such courts. "SECTION 904. (a) T h e Government of the United States will give sympathetic consideration to t h e views of the Grovernment of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands on international matters directly affecting the Northern M a r i a n a Islands a n d will provide opportunities for t h e effective presentation of such views to no less extent t h a n such oppor- tunities are provided to any other territory or possession under com- parable circumstances. Promotion of " (b) T h e United States will assist and facilitate the establishment local tourism. by the Northern Mariana Islands of offices in the United States and abroad to promote local tourism and other economic or cultural interests of the Northern M a r i a n a Islands. " ( c ) On its request the Northern M a r i a n a Islands may participate in regional and other international organizations concerned with social,.economic, educational, scientific, technical and cultural matters when similar participation is authorized for any other territory or possession of t h e United States under comparable circumstances. •-u
PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 90 STAT. 277 "ARTICLE X APPROVAL, EFFECTIVE DATES, AND DEFINITIONS "SECTION 1001. (a) This Covenant will be submitted to the Mariana Islands District Legislature for its approval. After its approval by the Mariana Islands District Legislature, this Covenant will be sub- mitted to the people of the Northern Mariana Islands for approval in a plebiscite to be called by the United States. Only persons who are domiciled exclusively in the Northern Mariana Islands and who meet such other qualifications, including timely registration, as are promulgated by the United States as administering authority will be eligible to vote in the plebiscite. Approval must be by a majority of at least 55% of the valid votes cast in the plebiscite. The results of the plebiscite will be certified to the President of the United States. "(b) This Covenant will be approved by the United States in Covenant accordance with its constitutional processes and will thereupon become approval by U.S. law. "SECTION 1002. The President of the United States will issue a Trusteeship proclamation announcing the teimination of the Trusteeship Agree- Agreement ment, or the date on which the Trusteeship Agreement will terminate, termination; and the establishment of the Commonwealth in accordance with this establishment of Commonwealth, Covenant. Any determination by the President that the Trusteeship proclamation. Agreement has been terminated or will be terminated on a day certain will be final and will not be subject to review by any authority, judicial or otherwise, of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands or the United States. "SECTION 1003. The provisions of this Covenant will become effective Effective dates. as follows, unless otherwise specifically provided: " (a) Sections 105, 201-203, 503, 504, 606, 801, 903 and Article X will become effective on approval of this Covenant; "(b) Sections 102, 103, 204, 304, Article IV, Sections 501, 502, 505, 601-605, 607, Article VII, Sections 802-805, 901 and 902 will become effective on a date to be determined and proclaimed by the President of the United States which will be not more than 180 days after this Covenant and the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands have both been approved; and "(c) The remainder of this Covenant will become effective upon the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement and the establish- ment of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. "SECTION 1004. (a) The application of any provision of the Consti- tution or laws of the United States which would otherwise apply to the Northern Mariana Islands may be suspended until tennination of the Trusteeship Agreement if the President finds and declares that the application of such provision prior to termination would be incon- sistent with the Trusteeship Agreement. "(b) The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands will become Constitution of effective in accordance with its terms on the same day that the provi- the Northern sions of this Covenant specified in Subsection 1003 (b) become effective, Mariana Islands, provided that if the President finds and declares that the effectiveness effective date. of any provision of the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands prior to termination of the Trusteeship Agreement would be incon- sistent with the Trusteeship Agreement such provision will be ineffec-
90 STAT. 278 PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 tive until termination of the Trusteeship Agreement. Upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands the Constitution will become effective in its entirety in accordance with its terms as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Definitions. "SECTION 1005. As used in this Covenant: "(a) 'Trusteeship Agreement' means the Trusteeship Agree- ment for the former Japanese Mandated Islands concluded between the Security Council of the United Nations and the United States of America, which entered into force on July 18, 1947; "(b) 'Northern Mariana Islands'means the area now known as the Mariana Islands District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which lies within the area north of 14° north latitude, south of 21° north latitude, west of 150° east longitude and east of 144° east longitude; • " " (c) 'Government of the Northern Mariana Islands' includes, as appropriate, the Government of the Mariana Islands District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands at the time this Covenant is signed, its agencies and instrumentalities, and its successors, including the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; "(d) 'Territory or possession' with respect to the United States includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa; "(e) 'Domicile' means that place where a person maintains a residence with the intention of continuing such residence for an unlimited or indefinite period, and to which such person has the intention of returning whenever he is absent, even for an extended period. "Signed at Saipan, Mariana Islands on the fifteenth day of Feb- ruary, 1975. "For the people of the Northern Mariana Islands: EDWARD D L G . PANGELINAN, Chairman, Marianas Political Status Commission. VICENTE N . SANTOS. Vice Chairman, Marianas Political Status Commission. "For the United States of America: Ambassador F. HATDN WILLIAMS, Personal Representative of the President of the United States. "Members of the Marianas Political Status Commission: JUAN L G . CABRERA. VICENTE T . CAMACHO. JosE R. CRUZ. BERNARD V. HOFSCIINEIDER. BENJAMIN T . MANGLONA. DANIEL T . MUNA, Dr. FRANCISCO T . PALACIOS. JOAQUIN I. PANGELINAN. MANUEL A. SABLAN. I ^ JOANNES B . TAIMANAO. PEDRO A. TENORIO."
PUBLIC LAW 94-241—MAR. 24, 1976 90 STAT. 279 SEC. 2. It is the sense of the Congress that pui-suant to section 902 Special of the foregoing Covenant, and in any case within ten years from the representatives, date of the enactment of this resolution, the President of the United appointment by States should request, on behalf of the United States, the designation {jcin "ggg^^*^'^ of special representatives to meet and to consider in good faith such ^ usc'^i^^i issues affecting the relationship between the Northern INIariana Islands ^^^^^ and the United States as may be designated by either Government and to make a report and recommendations with respect thereto. Approved March 24, 1976. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY; HOUSE REPORT No. 94-364 (Comm. on Interior and Insular Affairs). SENATE REPORTS: No. 94-433 (Comm. on Interior and Insular Affairs) and No. 94-596 (Committees on Foreign Relations and Armed Services). CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: Vol. 121 (1975): July 2 1 , considered and passed House. Vol. 122 (1976): Feb. 24, considered and passed Senate, amended. Mar. 11, House concurred in Senate amendments. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS: Vol. 12, No. 13 (1976): Mar. 24, Presidential statement.