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Chief Minister encouraged by "positive reception" in USA 16 November 2007

THE Isle of Man Government’s message of international co-operation and responsibility met with a ‘positive reception’ when it was conveyed to key figures in Washington this week, according to Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK.

Mr Brown is returning to the Island today (Friday November 16, 2007) after leading his first official visit to the USA accompanied by Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK, Chief Secretary Mary Williams, Director of External Relations Della Fletcher, and Attorney General John Corlett.

During an intensive three days of meetings on Capitol Hill, the Manx Government delegation spoke to a range of senior officials including the director of the Multistate Tax Commission, which advises all States on ‘tax haven’ legislation.

A meeting with the senior legislative advisor to Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama was extremely productive. Senator Obama was the original co-sponsor of a Senate Tax Bill introduced by Senator Levin, which included ‘blacklisting’ legislative provisions. A similar meeting was held with the tax legislation advisor to Senator Coleman, Senate Republican Member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation, who also co-sponsored Senator Levin’s Bill.

The delegation also met representatives of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to follow up on previous Isle of Man Government submissions to those bodies earlier this year.

Said the Chief Minister:

‘I was very pleased with the positive reception we received in Washington. The people we met were most appreciative of the fact that we had come to see them in person to explain the Isle of Man’s position. In fact the importance of face to face meetings was emphasised very firmly to the delegation by many whom we met, as such meetings allow personal dialogue and made a strong statement in Washington about the Isle of Man Government’s commitment to protecting the Island’s reputation and raising our profile internationally.
‘However, it is not easy for a small place like the Isle of Man to have its voice heard in the capital city of the world’s most powerful nation. But it is vitally important that we keep pushing our message in the USA to protect the Island’s reputation and economic interests. I do believe, though, that the message is getting through and there is now real understanding of what the Isle of Man represents and what we have achieved, rather than views based on misconceptions or assumptions.’

The Chief Minister added:

‘It has been a very busy visit and we have talked to a lot of key contacts in positions of influence. We have produced solid evidence to show that the Isle of Man is an internationally responsible and co-operative jurisdiction, which should not be associated with the disreputable tax havens of the world. It is very important that we continue to maintain our efforts and build on what has been achieved so far.’

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