The current state of the U.S. economy and how it relates to the Pan Asian American business community were at the top of the agenda in the discussions held between Susan Au Allen, National President & CEO of US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC), and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, at his office in Washington, DC on October 10, 2017.
At the meeting, Secretary Ross asked Allen what issues and difficulties USPAACC members have and then responded with suggestions. The Secretary is familiar with the federal procurement process, and asked for specific instances where the process had not been handled fairly or legally. His Chief of Staff, Wendy Teramoto, will be working with Allen to help to find solutions that would lessen the regulatory restrictions and inefficiencies that hamper small business competitiveness.
Leading a team of Asian American business owners, Allen also briefed Secretary Ross on the challenges faced by the small and minority business community, how Pan Asian American businesses have been actively pursuing opportunities in both the federal and commercial contracting marketplace.
“We thank Secretary Ross for taking the time from his busy schedule to meet with our delegation of Asian American business owners from the technology, construction, food distribution and logistics industries, some of the community’s most accomplished and outstanding job creators,” said Allen. “Secretary Ross was in tuned with our direction, and we shared with him USPAACC’s vision and our community’s willingness to help to contribute to the realization of the Trump Administration’s economic priorities, which in turn would help our constituents in the Pan Asian American business community.”
Secretary Ross recently came back from a trip to Beijing to meet with top Chinese officials on several trade issues, including the reduction of the U.S. trade deficit with China, improvement of market access, investment, intellectual property, and more. Since 2005, USPAACC has led 9 trade missions to China, India and Taiwan to promote bilateral trade and connect U.S. small and medium businesses to their counterparts in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Subcontinent regions.
The USPAACC delegation included Kurt Nguyen, President & CEO of Qnexis, and USPAACC National Board Member; Dharmesh Shingala, CEO, Capital Novus; Seema Rani Singh, President & CEO, Foodco USA; Shawn Mak, President, H. Saga International; Lita Abele, CEO, US Lumber, Inc.; and Winnie Thong, Senior Advisor, Government Affairs, USPAACC Advocacy.
Last month, the USPAACC leadership team met with Linda McMahon, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). They discussed ways to collaborate to help small businesses – of which Asian Americans constitute a substantial part – to overcome the difficulties in competing for government contracts with Fortune corporations such as IBM, Accenture, etc., once they graduate from the SBA’s 8(a) business development program, which limits their growth by mandated size standards.