AmCham Abu Dhabi and American Business Council in Dubai Conduct Successful 2017 Advocacy Trade Mission in Washington, D.C.


For Immediate Release 
10, 2017 

AmCham Abu Dhabi and American Business Council in Dubai Conduct Successful 2017 
Advocacy Trade Mission in Washington, D.C.

Trade and Tax Reform Promoted in Meetings Across the Nations Capital 

ABU DHABI, U.A.E.  The American chambers of commerce in the U.A.E., AmCham Abu Dhabi and the American Business Council in Dubai, conducted a high-profile trade mission in Washington, D.C. from October 2-6, 2017. The combined delegation represented over 1,000 corporate members as the voice of American business in the U.A.E. 

Continuing a 17-year tradition of conducting advocacy missions for the benefit of AmCham members, the Abu Dhabi delegation was led by Sharief Fahmy, Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi, and Michael Dishman, Chairman of the U.S.-U.A.E. Public Affairs Committees U.S. Working Group. The Dubai delegation was represented by Bilal Sabouni, CEO of ABC Dubai, on behalf of American Business Council members across Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Members of the U.A.E. delegation represented a variety of industry sectors including accounting, construction, defense, engineering, finance, IT, legal, logistics, services, and trade.

The delegates emphasized Expats = Trade = Jobs policy positions in 50+ meetings with Congress, Administration officials and trade and industry associations. Key stakeholders were informed about the consequences on trade, investment and expatriate issues as Congress formulates trade and tax laws and the Government takes policy positions or implements regulations.

As Congress debates territorial-based tax reform for corporations, trade mission delegates supported the inclusion of American expatriates in proposed changes. This would enable Americans working overseas to compete equally against counterparts from other industrialized nations whose tax policies support their citizens living abroad. As the number one market for U.S. exports in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.A.E. trade relationship has supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. Delegates underscored the need to implement regulation reforms to further bolster U.S. exports to the region, thereby creating thousands more jobs in the U.S.

Sharief Fahmy summarized the key policy objective underlying the Trade Missions agenda: In todays competitive global market, it is important to support American citizens abroad who represent U.S. companies exporting goods and services or work for local firms who buy American products. Our message is simple: Americans Abroad = Exports = U.S. Job CreationBilal Sabouni noted This is the first time in years we have seen such optimism and confidence for tax reform as well as an overall appetite to ensure that the interests of American businesses and citizens overseas are represented in the legislative process.

On Capitol Hill, meetings were conducted with Members of Congress, Chiefs of Staff and legislative aides in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, including: House Ways and Means, Appropriations, and Foreign Affairs committees, and the Americans Abroad Caucus; and Senate Finance, Appropriations and Foreign Relations committees.

Meetings with Administration officials were held at the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce as well as the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Briefings and policy discussions were also conducted with trade and industry associations, research institutes and think tanks, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Heritage Foundation and the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

AmCham Abu Dhabi Trade Delegation with Steve Lutes, VP, Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 
Left to right:
Steven Downey, John McGowan, Theresa F. Weber, Steve Lutes, Sharief Fahmy, Elias Sayah, Michael Dishman, John Habib, Bilal Sabouni and Zaheer Anis. 

To honor the strong U.S.-U.A.E. relationship the delegation started the week with a meeting at the U.A.E. Embassy in Washington, D.C., and capped it off with a reception on Capitol Hill. The reception was supported by AmCham Abu Dhabi, the American Business Council in Dubai and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Representatives from all three organizations gave remarks. The guest of honor, Representative Steve Chabot, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, added his support and highlighted the strong U.S.-U.A.E. relationship.

Capitol Hill Trade Delegation Reception: Delegates with Representative Steve Chabot 
Left to right: Zaheer Anis, Steven Downey, John McGowan, Joey Musmar, Elias Sayah, Peter Eident, Representative Steve Chabot

Michael DishmanSharief FahmyTheresa F. Weber, Richard Olson and Bilal Sabouni.

To enhance our advocacy efforts throughout the year, AmCham Abu Dhabi and ABC Dubai have engaged Williams and Jensen, a Washington, D.C. based high-profile lobby firm.


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