Pres­i­dent’s Re­marks

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Contents - ( Con­tin­ues on page 8)

The big news on the trade front is the re­cent con­clu­sion on Oc­to­ber 5 of the Trans- Pa­cific Part­ner­ship ( TPP). TPP is the sin­gle largest free trade agree­ment ne­go­ti­ated to date which ac­counts for 40 per­cent of global GDP. It cov­ers twelve na­tions, in­clud­ing the U. S., Mex­ico, Canada, Brunei, Chile, Ja­pan, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Viet­nam, Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Peru.

The ex­cit­ing news for U. S. com­pa­nies do­ing busi­ness in the eleven part­ner coun­tries is that TPP is all about lev­el­ing the play­ing field so that all com­pa­nies have equal treat­ment and stan­dards. For U. S. ex­ports, TPP elim­i­nates over 18,000 dif­fer­ent taxes on Made in Amer­ica ex­ports. TPP also re­moves non- tar­iff bar­ri­ers that put U. S. busi­nesses at a dis­ad­van­tage, such as un­fair com­pe­ti­tion from sta­te­owned en­ter­prises and fully en­forced la­bor stan­dards that pro­hibit child and forced la­bor.

Next steps? Each coun­try needs, in their own reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment, to rat­ify the agree­ment. In the U. S., this means that Pres­i­dent Obama may use his author­ity to present TPP to Congress un­der the Trade Pro­mo­tion Author­ity ( TPA). TPA al­lows the Pres­i­dent to ne­go­ti­ate in­ter­na­tional agree­ments that Congress can ap­prove or dis­ap­prove but can­not amend or fil­i­buster. At this point, we do not know when Pres­i­dent Obama plans to present TPP to Congress for a vote, but we will be ad­vo­cat­ing hard to en­sure that it gets passed as quickly as pos­si­ble.

De­spite our en­thu­si­asm for TPP, you may have noted that Thai­land was not party to the ne­go­ti­a­tions. How­ever, TPP will help en­sure that Thai­land stays com­pet­i­tive, par­tic­u­larly visa- vis its neigh­bors such as Malaysia and Viet­nam, which are part of TPP. Hence we will con­tinue to urge the Royal Thai Gov­ern­ment to eval­u­ate and se­ri­ously con­sider join­ing TPP. And while new coun­tries may not be ac­cepted into TPP un­til such time as the agree­ment is rat­i­fied and pro­cesses for ac­cept­ing new coun­tries de­vel­oped, this doesn’t mean that Thai­land shouldn’t start to get their reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment in place so that they are ready when the time comes. We plan a se­ries of events next year which will look more closely at what TPP means to Thai­land and our mem­ber com­pa­nies’ busi­ness. To learn more about TPP and how it af­fects busi­ness, go to page 28 to find an ar­ti­cle dis­trib­uted by the White House on how TPP boosts ex­ports, sup­ports jobs and pro­tects work­ers.

Closer to home, we were de­lighted to wel­come newly- ar­rived Am­bas­sador Glyn Davies and his wife Jacqueline to the Cham­ber’s An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing ( AGM) on Oc­to­ber 27. We were hon­ored that AMCHAM was his first of­fi­cial speech in Thai­land and al­most 300 mem­bers were in at­ten­dance to wel­come and greet Am­bas­sador Davies. We are look­ing for­ward to work­ing with him in the com­ing years.

At the AGM, the mem­ber­ship elected the new Gov­er­nors for the 2016- 2017 term on the Board and I of­fer my con­grat­u­la­tions to all of them. They in­cluded: re­turn­ing Gov­er­nors David Car­den, Fedex; Neil Hansen, Esso; and Chris­tian Mal­herbe, Pfizer; and five newly- elected Gov­er­nors: Her­man Ehrlich, Con­rad Bangkok; Dale Lee, COF­FEE­WORKS; Teera Phutrakul, JTFP; Parn­siree Amatayakul, IBM; and Mark Kauf­man, Ford ASEAN. The 2015 Board also ap­pointed Dhanakorn Kasetr­suwan of LA- Z- BOY to fill a va­cant seat left by a de­part­ing Gov­er­nor ear­lier in the year.

I wish to thank the Elec­tion Su­per­vi­sion Com­mit­tee con­sist­ing of Gov­er­nors Mar­cos Purty, Gen­eral Mo­tors and Waewka­nee As­so­rat­goon, YUM Restau­rants In­ter­na­tional, Dana Caron of Road­house Bar­beque, and Tomi Latva- Kiskola of New Hamp­shire Life In­sur­ance for over­see­ing the elec­tion and ballot count­ing process to en­sure that it was trans­par­ent and fair.

Lastly, as we look at mem­ber­ship re­newals for 2016, please re­view the Cham­ber’s Cor­po­rate Part­ner­ship pack­ages which are de­tailed on page 51. Th­ese pack­ages bun­dle to­gether AMCHAM mem­ber­ship ( with un­lim­ited rep­re­sen­ta­tives) along with pro­mo­tional and spon­sor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties. Th­ese pack­ages help our mem­ber com­pa­nies in bud­get­ing for Cham­ber sup­port and help re­duce the amount of time the Cham­ber of­fice spends on reach­ing out for fi­nan­cial sup­port.

The Cham­ber of­fice is will­ing to cus­tom- de­sign one of the Part­ner­ship lev­els if you wish to have help in ar­rang­ing your own pack­age. I hope you avail your­self of this one- stop mar­ket­ing plan­ning pro­gram.

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