Cayman Needs Relations with US
Published 9th March 2009, 2:57pm
The Cayman Islands Government delegation visiting Washington, D.C. from 4-6 March made solid progress in furthering relationships with U.S. counterparts. The delegation drew attention to a history of co-operation between the two countries and conveyed the need to continue to work in partnership for mutual benefit, particularly in the face of a challenging global economic environment.
“The Cayman Islands delegation was welcomed and well-received. It’s ‘early days’ in the current session of Congress, so there was significant opportunity to inform opinions,” said Leader of Government Business, the Honourable Kurt Tibbetts. “We were able to reinforce our commitment to partnership with the U.S. and stress that, while legislative changes are the U.S.’ prerogative, policy decisions should be made based on the facts.” Between them, the delegation conducted close to 30 meetings in a two-day period with a cross-section of House and Senate representatives from numerous legislative committees, including the House Ways and Means Committee, House Committee on Financial Services, and Senate Finance and Senate Banking Committees. The group also met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, State Department, as well as the U.S. Trade Representative and interest groups outside of government.
Where needed, the group was also able to directly address inaccuracies raised by the proposed Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which has been introduced in each of the past four sessions of Congress but has failed to progress through the U.S. legislative process. The delegation stated that any potential U.S. legislative proposals which identify the Cayman Islands as uncooperative ignore the long-standing international cooperation channels in tax, regulation and law enforcement between the two countries.
An important underlying message delivered by the group in discussions was the contribution that jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands make to the world economy, facilitating capital flows between countries, which is particularly important as the U.S. Congress looks for ways to stimulate economic growth.
Members of the delegation identified the fluid legislative environment, the fact that there are several appointments in the U.S. administration that have not yet been made – for example no assistant secretaries have been appointed in Treasury – and the policy focus on the U.S.’ economic concerns will require Cayman to be diligent in ensuring interests are represented through proactive and continued relationship building and outreach.
The delegation included the Minster for International Financial Services Policy, the Honourable Alden McLaughlin; Financial Secretary the Honourable Kenneth Jefferson; Attorney General the Honourable Samuel Bulgin and Cayman Islands Monetary Authority Chairman Carlyle McLaughlin. The delegation was supported and advised by Portfolio of Finance Public Relations Director, Ted Bravakis as well as Government’s global external public affairs counsellors in financial services.
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