"Fiscal and economic challenges facing the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) government raise several issues for Congress. Congress may choose to maintain oversight of federal policies that could affect the USVI's long-term fiscal stability. Congress also may consider further legislation that would extend or restructure long-range disaster assistance programs to mitigate those challenges and promote greater resiliency of infrastructure and public programs. Federal responses to the USVI's fiscal distress could conceivably affect municipal debt markets more broadly. The USVI, like many other Caribbean islands acquired by European powers, were used to produce sugar and other tropical agricultural products and to further strategic interests such as shipping and the extension of naval forces. Once the United States acquired the U.S. Virgin Islands shortly before World War I, they effectively ceased to have major strategic importance. Moreover, at that time the Virgin Islands' sugar-based economy had been in decline for decades."
CRS Report for Congress, R45235