Every summer, AmCham Singapore participates in the annual Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) Washington Doorknock. During the Doorknock, business leaders and executive staff from the member chambers meet with administration officials, think tank fellows, journalists, political commentators, Senators, Representatives, and Congressional staff members to discuss policy issues affecting American businesses in Asia. As the United States government continues to focus on supporting and promoting U.S. business in Asia, it is more and more important that frontline business leaders provide insights about opportunities and obstacles based on personal and corporate experience in the region.
APCAC 2017 Washington Doorknock
- The 2017 Doorknock took place from June 18 to 22. During the 2017 Doorknock, delegates met with more than 50 Senators, Representatives, and Congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle. We briefed and were briefed by senior administration officials from the Vice President’s Office, USTR and the Departments of State, Commerce; leading think tanks, journalists and political commentators; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
- The 2017 Doorknock coincided with the introduction of reauthorizing legislation to permanently extend the APEC Business Travel Card program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The legislation was approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Trump in October 2017. The card gives frequent business travelers pre-cleared, facilitated and short-term entry to participating APEC member economies, saving them valuable time at airports around Asia-Pacific.
- Other topics brought up during the Doorknock included support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), reform of the U.S. global taxation regime, the on-the-ground impact of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and full funding for the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, USAID, OPIC, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
- An important feature was the presentation of the 2017 APCAC Award to Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) by APCAC leaders including AmCham Singapore Governor Steve Okun. The award honors strong supporters of Asia-Pacific Council of American Chamber of Commerce (APCAC) principles and objectives who have made outstanding contributions over a period of time in furthering U.S. business interests in the Asia Pacific region, and who have promoted free and fair trade worldwide.
- The concluding highlight was a session that Singapore Ambassador to the United States Ashok Mirpuri hosted for the Singapore delegation. Themes of the wide-ranging discussion included the TPP and the role that American business will continue to play in Singapore’s economy.
APCAC Related Reading
To read the APCAC 2017 policy report, click here.
To read the APCAC 2017 policy one-page brief, click here.
OpEd published in The Hill that articulates APCAC’s core issues is here.