Councilman Tom Berg Pushes for APEC Free Trade Zone and Visa Waivers To Create More Commerce and Tourism Jobs for Hawaii

Tom Berg
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Tom Berg

HONOLULU HALE – West Oahu Councilman Tom Berg introduced 3 City Council Resolutions to promote jobs through making Hawaii the transportation, communications, and financial hub of the Pacific, like a Singapore in Paradise.

RESO11-310  Urging the U. S. congress to establish the state of Hawaii as a free-trade zone.


RESO11-329  Urging the state of Hawaii to work with the United States congress to establish the State of Hawaii as an area of free-trade.  

RESO11-330  Urging the United States of America and all member nations of APEC to establish as an area of free-trade for countries of Asia and the Pacific. 

Right now the European Common Market is the largest free trade block in the world followed by NAFTA which combines 49 US states with Canada and Mexico into a massive trading block.

In the middle of the Pacific, Hawaii is the only U.S. state that is not contiguous with the NAFTA block and international and national trade restrictions like the Jones Act is hurting Hawaii’s people by raising the cost of shipping food and materials to Hawaii.

“To compensate for Hawaii’s tremendous disadvantage of being disengaged and separated from NAFTA, congress can create a free trade zone with APEC countries and to make Hawaii the hub of international trade and commerce as well as the center for transportation, communications and banking,” said Councilman Tom Berg, “With APEC coming to Hawaii, now is the time to step up efforts to making Hawaii the center of a Pacific Rim Free Trade Zone that will exceed the European Common Market and NAFTA.” 

West Oahu Councilman Tom Berg introduced City Council RESO11-274 urging the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to work to include the People’s Republic of China in the Visa Waiver Program and to simplify or relax visa requirements and procedures for citizens of China to encourage tourism and business travel to the United States.  He introduced Similar Resolution for the Philippines (reso11-311) and for Taiwan (reso11-314). 

“The recent inclusion of the Republic of Korea in the Visa Waiver resulted in double number of visitor arrivals from Korea,” said Councilman Tom Berg, “We need to encourage visitors from the People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Taiwan and all of Asia to boost our tourism industry and create jobs for our local workers.”

Submitted by the office of Councilman Tom Berg