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Government Affairs Albany Update

March 4, 2000

Trade Relations with China

A number of Business Council members are actively supporting Congressional approval of "permanent normal trade relations" or PNTR (formerly referred to as "most favored nation" status) with China. This legislation is necessary to allow American companies to benefit from China s World Trade Organization (WTO) market-access concessions.

Proponents of PNTR stress that China s entry into the WTO will result in dramatically expanded access to one of the world's largest and fastest growing markets, creating more jobs for workers and farmers in New York State. But to take advantage of this, PNTR has to be extended to China.

Business advocacy efforts in New York are being coordinated by "goTRADE New York," a pro-trade advocacy group affiliated with The Business Roundtable. They stress that, since a Congressional vote on this issue can take place at any time, it is essential that interested businesses weigh in ASAP with their congressional representatives.

If you are interested in getting involved in Congressional advocacy on this issue, we urge you to contact John Manzella, Executive Director of "goTRADE New York." His phone number is (716) 681-8880 ext. 239.

Lobby Law Seminar

On February 17, the State Commission on Lobbying held an open forum to discuss recent changes to the Lobby Law. They covered a wide range of compliance issues, including issues related to the new gift restrictions. The Commission stressed that its presentation at this session did not represent "formal" interpretations of the law. It stated that it would soon be publishing formal guidelines on Lobby Law compliance, and that these guidelines will be posted on the Commission's web site Commission's web site when completed. As of yet, they are not available to the public. The Commission also stated that clients and lobbyists can request formal advisory opinions on specific compliance issues. For more information, contact Ken Pokalsky at The Business Council.

Senate Tax Package Announced; Senate Undertakes 100% Sales Factor Research and Analysis

The Senate Majority released their 2000 Tax Proposals this week. Citing other states' actions to adopt the 100% Sales Factor Apportionment Formula for corporate income taxation (e.g., Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois) "as a preferred way to allocate multi-state income", the Senate Majority included undertaking of research and analysis on a 100% Sales Factor Apportionment Formula for New York.

Other items included in the Senate Majority's proposals can be found here.