Newt Gingrich photo

Gingrich Campaign Press Release - Newt Gingrich Joins Asian American Leaders in California

August 23, 2011

On Thursday, August 18, Newt Gingrich took a tour through Los Angeles, California for a series of roundtable meetings with community, business and political leaders in the local Asian American community.

Focused on a campaign of Inclusion, in which all communities in America are engaged in developing and sharing solutions to get the nation back track, Gingrich met with Thai-American, Korean-American and Chinese-American leaders in California – organized by Vice Chair of the CA Board of Equalization and Korean-American Michelle Steel – to listen and learn their ideas, solutions and concerns about local, state and federal government.

In Thai Town, Newt met with small business owners, community leaders and members from the local Thai Chamber of Commerce, who stressed the need to spur job creation in their community by reforming and streamlining local, state, and federal regulations that are right now preventing hiring in their community, largely dominated by the restaurant and tourism industries. Visa reform to allow for easier travel between the U.S. and Thailand was also a top concern.

After the meeting, Newt released this statement:

"Meeting with the Thai community in Los Angeles today it is clear we need a new pro jobs strategy at the state local and federal level. Thai business leaders stressed the damage caused by Obamacare and the rising cost of healthcare.

They also stressed the burden of state and local red tape and state and local fees.

Finally, they emphasized that the uncertainty of government policies and of government imposed costs meant that virtually no business they knew was going to hire more people.

There was unanimous support for streamlining and improving the legal visa system."

You can read (in Thai) about Thursday's roundtable in SIAMTOWN US, a Thai newspaper in Los Angeles, CA , here, and video coverage here.

Next, meeting with leaders of the Korean-American community in Korea Town, the discussion echoed concerns similar to the Thai-American community: creating jobs, growing the American economy and visa reform.

Korean-American leaders and Newt also discussed their support for the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which would help the economy of both the United States and the Republic of Korea.

Attendees at the roundtable discussion also made clear the need to reform public-private resources to assist with the needs of first-generation Korean-Americans. A member of the local planning commission pointed out that Koreans over 65 years of age have the highest poverty levels in the City of Los Angeles.

Koreatown Daily published an article on Thursday's meeting here, as did Korea Herald Business, which you can read here.

You can view Newt's interview and coverage of the roundtable meeting on Korean TV News LA 18 here.

Thursday's tour ended in Chinatown with a roundtable discussion with Chinese-American leaders from southern California, organized by Ling-Ling Chang, Mayor Pro Tem of Diamond Bar.

Newt's question to attendees asking what they'd like the first topic of discussion to be was met with an enthusiastic call for "jobs!"

Attendees explained that many Chinese immigrants and first-generation Chinese Americans are returning to China due to the lack of job opportunities in the United States. Local and state regulations, bureaucracy and red tape were also a main cause for concern among the local community struggling to create jobs.

A call for visa reform was once again a main topic of discussion as local leaders shared concern about the burdensome visa process for Chinese travelling to the U.S., particularly because of the government's outdated concern with individuals overstaying their visas.

Thursday's roundtable discussions with Thai-Americans, Korean-Americans, and Chinese-Americans made clear that a pro-jobs strategy is necessary not only on the federal level in Washington, DC, but also on a state and local level for small business owners and individuals wanting to create jobs and seek opportunity in their own communities.

It is also clear that immediate modernization of the United States visa system is necessary in order to attract talent from overseas as well as encourage tourism and travel to the U.S. that would help the American economy.

Listening and learning with local Asian American leaders in California helped share that first and second generation Americans – who come to the United States in search of hard work and opportunity – must have the resources necessary to know and utilize all the tools available to them to seek that work and opportunity, which requires modern and accessible local government.

Going forward, Newt will continue to work together with Asian American leaders from Thursday's roundtable meetings to incorporate their local and professional knowledge into solutions for job creation, visa reform and maximizing opportunities for first and second generation Americans.

Newt Gingrich, Gingrich Campaign Press Release - Newt Gingrich Joins Asian American Leaders in California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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