Summary of 2006 Policy Issues

2006 Policy Issues for Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce

The below issues were presented to members of the U.S. Congress and the Administration during the 2006 Washington Doorknock, June 11-15.

Taxation of Americans Working Overseas

  • The US is the only developed country that taxes foreign earned income and benefits of citizens living and working abroad.
  • Fewer Americans abroad reduces US exports, jobs, the spread of American values and culture.
  • US tax law should be revised to join the international norm of not taxing the foreign earned income of citizens living and working abroad. As an intermediate step, the exclusion should be increased and indexed for inflation.

Trade Liberalization

  • APCAC urges the U.S. Government to negotiate and implement comprehensive FTAs.
  • We urge the U.S. Congress to approve legislation for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam.
  • We support the WTO and the Doha Development Agenda as the global trading framework.
  • We support the U.S.-ASEAN Enterprise Initiative and Enhanced Partnership.

Non-Immigrant Visas to the USA

  • APCAC supports enhanced security to protect the U.S. and also seeks to balance that security by renewing America’s welcome for international businesses, students and tourists.
  • APCAC supports full implementation of the Rice-Chertoff Joint Vision: “Secure Borders and Open Doors in the Information Age”.
  • APCAC endorses adequate resources to ensure shorter wait times for visa interviews, with special consideration for business and tourism.

Protect Intellectual Property Rights

APCAC urges the U.S. government to:

  • continue to work with governments in Asia to improve implementation of laws and policies to stem piracy and enforce IP protection
  • cooperate with governments of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping to develop a robust and measurable action plan to protect IP in the region
  • work with countries in Asia to develop effective methodologies to benchmark progress within the region to stem counterfeiting and piracy
  • encourage governments to share in a more transparent manner information with each other about illegal operators and landlords engaged in piracy and counterfeiting so they can be identified easily and blacklisted throughout the region

Avian Flu and Pandemic Preparedness

APCAC supports the initiatives of the U.S. Government in the Asia Pacific region which include:

  • Elevating the issue on national agendas
  • Coordinating efforts among donor and affected nations
  • Mobilizing and leveraging resources
  • Increasing transparency in disease reporting and surveillance
  • Building capacity to identify, contain, and respond to a pandemic

Eliminating Corruption

APCAC urges the United States Government to:

  • Push for rigorous implementation of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials
  • Work with other governments and international organizations to establish and enforce strict penalties for corruption, and deny safe haven to corrupt individuals and their assets
  • Ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption

APCAC strongly encourages governments in the region to:

  • Create credible and transparent legal and judicial systems to promote the rule of law
  • Establish independent systems to monitor the integrity of government agencies
  • Implement transparent bidding processes in areas such as procurement and privatization

Security and Foreign Investment in the United States

APCAC fully recognizes and supports effective measures to deprive international terrorists with the financial and other means to damage U.S. security not only in the United States itself but elsewhere as well. APCAC strongly opposes legislation in the Congress which would restrict the free flow of capital without materially enhancing U.S. security.

Concerns about security, anti-trust and other corporate behavior can best be met through enforcement and regulation and not by blocking foreign ownership. Similarly, cooperating with our trade and investment partners under programs such as the Secure Trade initiative, if adequately funded, would also add materially to our ability to prevent terrorist acts.

APCAC Policy Issues in Previous Years

Summary of 2005 Policy Issues.

AmCham Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City

AmCham Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter has 320 member and associate companies with nearly 600 representatives, based in Vietnam’s commercial and industrial center. The “Southern Economic Zone” represents over one-third of the GDP of Vietnam, and this share is expected to increase to 40 percent by 2010.

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