Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975, and came into force on 24 March 1976. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978.
The Bewohner der Mariana Inseln beschlossen in den 1970er Jahren nicht nach Unabhängigkeit zu streben, sondern sich enger den USA anzuschliessen. Sie standen zu diesem Zeitpunkt unter der Verwaltung der UN. Ein Abkommen mit den USA wurde 1975 anerkannt und trat am 24. März 1976 in Kraft. Eine neue Regierung und Verfassung traten 1978 in Kraft.
County Name: Commonwealth of the Norther Mariana Islands
Population (2008 est.):
Land Area: 477 sq km
The economy benefits substantially from financial assistance from the US. The rate of funding has declined as locally generated government revenues have grown. The key tourist industry employs about 50% of the work force and accounts for roughly one-fourth of GDP. Japanese tourists predominate. Annual tourist entries have exceeded one-half million in recent years, but financial difficulties in Japan have caused a temporary slowdown. The agricultural sector is made up of cattle ranches and small farms producing coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons. Garment production is by far the most important industry with the employment of 17,500 mostly Chinese workers and sizable shipments to the US under duty and quota exemptions. .