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July 25, 2000

H.R. 2462 - Guam Omnibus Opportunities Act
(Underwood (D) GU)

Although the Administration supports some provisions of the bill, the Administration does not support H.R. 2462 as currently drafted. The Administration has the following concerns regarding other provisions.
  • Foreign Tax Treatment. The Administration has concerns with provisions that would give foreign investors in Guam the same lower withholding tax rates that would apply were Guam part of the United States for purposes of U.S. tax treaties with foreign countries. Combined with local Guam tax rebate schemes, this provision could result in certain investments escaping all tax liability. The Administration will work with the Congress to amend the bill to provide that the benefits of the lower withholding tax rate be denied in the case of any entity whose taxes are rebated under Guam law.

  • Federal Land Transfer. The Administration cannot support the provisions to transfer Federal lands to the local government of Guam for public purposes because they do not include adequate safeguards to ensure that: (1) the lands will not be used for private gain; and (2) Federal agency needs for excess property will be met.

  • Betel Nuts. The Administration opposes the provision that would undercut the Food and Drug Administration policy of refusing shipments of betel nuts grown in Guam into the United States, which is based on scientific evidence that betel nuts contain a carcinogen.