2015 Initiatives to Promote an Optimal Trade Environment

Federal Initiatives

  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform: U.S. immigration policy is in need of immediate and comprehensive reform. The Arizona District Export Council supports comprehensive immigration reform in the 2015 legislative session.
  • Immigration Reform for High-Skilled Workers : Our country’s outdated immigration policy prevents recruitment of the best and brightest from around the world, placing our nation at a competitive disadvantage. Although the Arizona District Export Council seeks comprehensive immigration reform, which includes reform relating to high-skilled workers, to the extent immigration reform is pursued in a piecemeal fashion, the AzDEC supports prioritization of high-skilled immigration reform in the 2015 legislative session.
  • Promote Rules to Protect an Open Internet: “Net Neutrality” rules prevent broadband ISPs from blocking and slowing down access to Internet content and web services on their networks. Because the Internet should remain a place where all business, regardless of size, should be able to compete with one another on a level playing field, the Arizona District Export Council supports the FCC’s proposal to pass new open Internet rules under Section 706 of the Communications Act.
  • Information Technology Agreement Expansion: Expand the scope of the existing WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to include additional products that have been developed since the original agreement in 1996, so that these new products can take advantage of the applicable tariff reductions.

State Initiatives

  • Taxation
    • Expand the Refundable Research and Development Tax Credit: Continue and expand (from $5million to $10million) the refundable research and development tax credit as an inducement to Arizona companies raising early-stage capital.
    • Recapitalize the Angel Investment Tax Credit Program: Fund the Angel Investment Tax Credit program at the level of $20million for the period from 2016-2021.
    • Increase Capital Gains Deduction: Increase the current capital gains deduction from 25% to 57% to help reduce the advantages enjoyed by other states with tax systems that more closely align with the federal government.
  • Infrastructure
    • Viable Transportation Funding: Evaluate and implement new options for funding transportation infrastructure to ensure Arizona’s ability to develop and maintain the transportation infrastructure required to facilitate international trade. Prioritize funding for improvements within defined “Key Commerce Corridors.”