Summary of 2005 Policy Issues

2005 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 2005 Washington Doorknock.

Trade Liberalization

  • As the world’s greatest trading nation, more global trade liberalization is in the US interest.
  • With our open market, we need to open other markets to more American services, trade and investment.
  • ACPAC supports the WTO Doha agenda as well as comprehensive FTAs, including CAFTA.
  • We encourage Asian governments to be more consistent in following WTO rules

Non-Immigrant Visas to the USA

  • An “unwelcome” image is causing America to lose foreign business, tourists and students.
  • Create a State/Homeland Security/US Chamber task force to improve procedures to identify legitimate business applicants who will get visas quickly.
  • Need for more business orientation for visa officers and more resources for Consulates.
  • With tighter post-9-11 domestic tracking of foreign visitors, the need for “intention to immigrate” provision now applied to NIV applicants should be reviewed.

Protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

  • APCAC member AmChams are urging Asian states to do more to protect IPR, stem piracy and protect trade secrets.
  • Region needs tougher laws re copyrighting, protecting trademarks, criminalizing IPR exploitation

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 harms US exports, jobs, the spread of American values and culture.
  • US tax law should be changed to fully eliminate the current disadvantage.

Eliminating Corruption

  • APCAC urges greater efforts to reduce official and private corruption and increase transparency.
  • Asian governments should improve the rule of law and undertake judicial reform.
  • Improved public accounting and more transparent bidding will reduce corruption.
  • Regional states need effective laws on bankruptcy, sanctity of contracts and integrity of capital markets

Outsourcing

  • Although controversial in some US domestic sectors, outsourcing benefits the US economy through lower costs and substantial in-sourcing from abroad (for example, the apcac.org web site is “insourced” to a US service provider).
  • APCAC opposes protectionism to restrict outsourcing & supports worker retraining & education reform.

AmCham Sri Lanka - Colombo

AmCham Sri Lanka (Colombo)