Welcome to APCAC

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The Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) consists of 27 member AmChams in 21 economies shown on the Google Earth map to the right. Click the link for more information.

APCAC AmChams represent the growing interests of over 50,000 executives and over 10,000 businesses in the region.

The APCAC membership manages trade volumes in excess of US$ 400 billion and direct investments (FDI) of nearly US$ 300 billion. Click here for information on APCAC’s current leaders. And click here to see a Members Directory as of October 2009.

U.S. Overseas Voters: Register now to vote on Nov 2, 2010

Issues Highlights and News

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released on July 27 an assessment of China’s indigenous innovation policies authored by James McGregor, senior counselor at APCO. The report, China’s Drive for Indigenous Innovation: A Web of Industrial Policies, analyzes the origins, current state, and potential future impact of China’s “indigenous innovation” policies on American and foreign businesses. Link to a Wall Street Journal article about the report: China Fuels Trade Tension With Policies, Report Says, Wall Street Journal Online, Jul 27, 2010.

The U.S. Takes Tougher Tone with China,” John Pomfret, Washington Post, July 30. Pomfret reports that in the face of China’s testing of U.S. capabilities, the United States has a responded by rejecting Chinese claims to sovereignty over the whole South China Sea and rebuffed Chinese demands that the U.S. end its policy of conducting military exercises in the Yellow Sea.

Indonesia’s Mediocre Harvard Grade: A Comprehensive Report Finds Depressing Vestiges of the Suharto (Era) Are Still Around,” Asia Sentinel, July 30. The authors argue that Indonesia must engage in wide ranging institutional reforms if it wants to compete in the new globalized economy.

TPP Expected to Have Better Sense of Direction Come APEC 2011,” Bernama (Malaysia news service), July 28 . This is a report on a visit to Malaysia by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis. One of the topics discussed was Malaysia’s application to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement.

The Foreign Investment Solution for American Jobs: You Know that Battery Plant in Michigan the President Visited the Other Day? It’s Korean-owned,” op.ed. by Robert M. Kimmitt and Matthew J. Slaughter, Wall Street Journal, July 27. The authors argue that the administration should acknowledge that it can promote job creation by supporting investment by foreign companies in the U.S. and that it should begin with pushing Congress to pass the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement.

POSCO expands to Vietnam In addition, the company will use the second factory of POSCO VHPC (Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Processing Center), completed last week, as a distribution center for other Southeast Asian nations as well as Vietnam.

Clinton urges legal resolution on Eastern Sea Dispute the United States does not take sides in the territorial disputes in the Eastern Sea, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Obama administration wants claimants to pursue their disputes in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea rather than through coercion.

APCAC Participates in Section 911 Panel at the Heritage Foundation At the APCAC Door knock, APCAC leadership participated in a panel with the Heritage Foundation, a popular think tank in Washington, DC, to discuss the harmful effects of harsh taxation on Americans living abroad, and how this taxation hurts American competitiveness.

The Obama Trade Games The Obama Administration is finding free trade more attractive as it continues to pursue its international trade policy. The Colombia Free Trade Agreement and Korea Free Trade Agreement have both been kicked around by US policy makers for years. Could this be the time to take action?

Tax Bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950 A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% of people living in the USA thought that taxes were “too high” and that 45% thought that they were “about right.” However, taxes bills in the United States is lower than it has been for decades due to stimulus law and progressive tax rates.

Pass the U.S.-Columbia and U.S.-Panama trade agreements The Latin America Trade Coalition (LATC), a broad-based group of more than 1,200 U.S. business and agricultural organizations, chambers of commerce, and companies that together employ more than 10 million American workers, urged the administration to expedite its work to secure Congressional approval this year of the U.S.-Colombia and the U.S-Panama trade agreements. After these two, the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement is next in line.

Federal Voting Assistance Program system simplifies and accelerates voter registration and request for absentee ballot.

More Americans Expatriates Give Up Citizenship (NY Times). Frustrations over tax and banking questions, not political considerations, appear to be the main drivers. Expat advocates say that as it becomes more difficult for Americans to live and work abroad, it will become harder for American companies to compete. American expats have long complained that the United States is the only industrialized country to tax citizens on income earned abroad, even when they are taxed in their country of residence.

In the APCAC Report 2010, American business leaders across Asia Pacific offer their recommendations for advancing the competitiveness of American products and services in the fastest growing region of the world. The APCAC Report was a new initiative stemming from the 2009 APCAC Conference in Singapore. Now in its second year, the APCAC Report 2010 has been expanded to include even more feedback from companies to both the U.S. and regional governments.

Top U.S. official pledges support for international investment “We know that some overseas investments by American companies can lead to job losses in the United States. But for many companies, expansion abroad tends to support employment and dynamic opportunities here at home. For many, foreign affiliate activity has tended to complement, not substitute for, key parent activity in this country, boosting wages, employment and capital investment.”

New U.S. National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports and support two million new jobs. Five steps the Administration is taking under the NEI to help U.S. firms expand sales of their goods and services abroad: creating a new Cabinet-level focus on U.S. exports; expanding export financing; prioritizing government advocacy on behalf of U.S. exporters; providing new resources to U.S. businesses seeking to export; and ensuring a level playing field for U.S. exporters in global markets. Read more …

What U.S. Business Can Expect in 2010: U.S. Chamber of Commerce With average U.S. GDP growth of 3.0% to 3.5%, the economy will create about 1.7 million jobs in 2010. We have a lot of ground to make up. We lost some 7.3 million jobs in the recession, and an additional 4.5 million to 5 million full-time workers were forced into part-time jobs. Also, some 1.3 million new workers will enter the labor market in 2010. The greatest fear about the economy in 2010 is a chance that we’ll experience a “double-dip recession” later this year. That could be caused by the collapse of the dollar, a spike in oil prices, an unexpected new war, or a collapse of the commercial mortgage market. Read more …

U.S. to double exports in five years: U.S. Chamber Sr VP Myron Brilliant “International business presents some of the clearest opportunities for job creation, as senior Obama Administration officials have acknowledged. The rationale is clear. The American consumer’s credit cards are maxed out. The same is true for the federal government.” Read more …

The Stakes for U.S. Engagement in Asia - Thomas J. Donohue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nov 11, 2009 When the first APEC leaders’ meeting was held in 1993, the United States, Europe, and Japan represented the commanding heights of the world economy. Since then, we have witnessed a tremendous shift to the East. More than half of the world economy is now centered in the Asia-Pacific region. Within Asia, economic cooperation is moving forward. Regional trade agreements are being formulated which, in a number of cases, do not include the United States. While we remain the world’s largest exporter and largest importer, and our trade with Asia continues to grow, our share of Asian trade has declined over the last decade as countries here increasingly trade among themselves. As APEC leaders gather here this week, my message is simple: expanding free trade across the Pacific can drive the global economic recovery, create badly needed jobs, and advance economic and social progress in developing and developed countries alike. Remarks to AmCham Singapore, Nov 11, 2009.

APCAC Welcomes U.S. Commitments to Free Trade with Asia In November 2009, business leaders, heads of state, and government officials from the U.S. and 20 other Asia-Pacific economies gathered in Singapore for the 20th anniversary Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). APEC was established to increase economic growth and strengthen the Asia-Pacific community and has embraced the goals of free and open trade and investment among member economies.

AmCham Philippines - Manila

The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. is a private, independent and non-profit association incorporated under Philippines laws in July 1920. It is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A. (COCUSA) and the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers (APCAC).