July 25, 2000
H.R. 2462 - Guam Omnibus Opportunities Act
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.
(Underwood (D) GU)
- 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.