APCAC Goes to Washington

Some 40 delegates from 12 AmChams lobbied Capitol Hill

By Marie Kissel, Chairman, APCAC
Sunday, August 26, 2018

As your new Chairman of APCAC, I want to thank everyone for participating in this year’s Doorknock in Washington, DC (July 16-18), where we had 40 delegates from 12 AmChams participating. This update is being provided to the delegates who participated and to all AmChams in the region, so that you are aware of the result of this year’s Doorknock and the policy items that require additional follow-up. 

It was a fantastic Doorknock and we have already set the dates for the 2019 Doorknock, so please go ahead and mark your calendars for July 14-18, 2019.

We met with many senior leaders of the Trump Administration and over 60 members of the House and Senate. We made a strong case with this year’s APCAC Policy Report, found here and this year’s Policy Checklist, found here, which calls for bold action by Washington to support American business in the Asia Pacific. Ann Yom Steel, Executive Director of AmCham Singapore and Vice Chair of APCAC, published an OpEd in a prominent Washington paper, found here during the Doorknock to underscore our key priorities.

A summary of all meetings has been prepared by the BGR Group and is here for your reference. A number of our members also participated in side events during the Doorknock week, including: the Washington International Trade Association annual gala (aka the “Trade Prom”); a National Center for APEC Policy luncheon with the New Zealand and Peruvian ambassadors, and DCMs from the Embassies of Australia and Singapore; and a program on the Digital Economy Revolution in Australasia and ASEAN. All of these interactions beyond the Doorknock helped reinforce with our DC stakeholders the importance of our region and the key role that US business plays via our member AmChams.

We took the advantage in all our meetings to thank the Administration and Congress for their strong engagement with the American business community in the region and for successfully addressing some of our key issues in recent months: making the APEC Business Travel Card permanent and for passing territorial taxation for American companies. Each meeting provided a good opportunity to advance the visibility of all AmChams and the good work being done throughout the region. We also took the opportunity to invite Administration officials and Congressional officials to consider joining us for the 2019 APCAC Spring Business Summit in Hong Kong March 4-5, 2019.

In terms of immediate follow-up, we have a lot of work yet to do on securing Residence Based Taxation for American citizens abroad. Congressman Holding is close to introducing his Bill and APCAC will continue to play a leading role in pushing the proposal through the House and Senate with an aim for action later this year. This is monumental progress. As you know, this is an issue that has been around for decades and this will be the very first time that we will have actual legislation introduced that specifically addresses this important issue. The APCAC Tax Committee, made up of AmChams in China, Shanghai, Hong Kong, South China, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Japan, are working with BGR Group on this important initiative and we will continue keeping all Chambers updated on our progress. When the Holding Bill is introduced we will need all Chambers to rally support by your American citizen members.

The other item that will require further follow-up has to do with the GILTI provisions of the 2017 U.S. tax cut legislation. Please let me know if you have members that are concerned about this. APCAC is prepared to take a leading role in engaging both the Trump Administration and Congress to identify and build support for a workable solution that will exempt American SME owners abroad from these onerous provisions. 

We have some extra copies of the APCAC printed materials - the 2018 Policy Report, Policy Checklist, and APCAC brochure - please let Jackson know if you would like a few copies and he will arrange to get them to you. 

Finally, a big thanks to Adam for the great job in arranging the registrations and other logistics for our members and with the US Chamber, and a special thank you to Jackson Cox for organizing all of our policy documents and arrangements with our consultants, BGR.

Best regards,

Marie Kissel, Chairman, APCAC

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