APCAC 2015 Doorknock
Every year, the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) meets annually with U.S. Government decision-makers during a “Washington Doorknock” in June. This annual trip increases the U.S. Government’s awareness of American business activities and concerns in the region.
AmCham Singapore’s delegation for the 2015 Doorknock included Penny Burtt of Visa, Angela Mancini of Control Risks, Steve Okun of KKR, Brian Rogove of Cognita, and Executive Director Judith Fergin. We were joined by representatives of the AmChams in Australia, China, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. We 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 USTR and the Departments of State, Commerce, and Defense; leading think tanks and political commentators; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The 2015 Doorknock coincided with Congressional approval of the Trade Promotion Authority Act. This landmark step cleared the path ahead for conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. We highlighted the importance of TPP in every meeting. Other topics included reform of the U.S. global taxation regime, the on-the-ground impact of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, and the APEC Business Travel Card.
An important feature was the presentation of the 2015 APCAC Award to Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) by AmCham Singapore Governor Steve Okun. Representative Meeks and Chief of Staff Sophia Larfargue (also pictured) participated in the bipartisan House Ways and Means Committee delegation led by Congressman Paul Ryan that AmCham Singapore hosted in February. Mr. Meeks is a founding co-chair of the Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Caucus in the House. 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.