DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Iowa Governor and U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad announced the launch of a new commerce group – The American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce on Monday. Headquartered in Branstad’s home state of Iowa, the group will serve as the voice for American business and is the first pro-business and free markets organization with national reach, rooted in common sense values.
“America’s business owners and entrepreneurs are the backbone of this nation, and for too long their voices have not been well-represented in Washington,” said Branstad, Chairman of American Free Enterprise Chamber (AmFree Chamber). “Our goal is to ensure that the interests of American businesses remain a top priority for our nation’s leaders while fighting for equal economic opportunity for every American.”
AmFree Chamber will focus on advocating for free markets and limited government while working to eliminate outdated regulations and tax policies that hurt entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses. Branstad’s experience as a former Ambassador to China will play a key role in the group’s efforts to hold China accountable to standards of fairness and reciprocity.
The group published the “Free Enterprise Bill of Rights” on the organization’s website outlining the group’s values:
- Free, fair, open markets are a global force for good.
- The role of government should be limited, transparent, and fair.
- Every American must have the freedom to participate, the freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail.
- Property rights must be protected.
- Tax Policy must be simple, fair, and affordable.
- Regulations must be limited, simple, fair, and affordable.
- The legal system must provide equal protection under the law.
- Monetary and Banking Systems must be safe, stable, and accessible.
- The American Education System should provide the best education in the world.
- Foreign Policy and Trade should be open and free, subject to equal protection and accountability to the rule of law.
Gentry Collins, the former Republican National Committee Political Director and former Executive Director of the Iowa Republican Party, will serve as the group’s CEO.
“Free, fair, open markets have created more progress and prosperity than all other economic systems combined. The AmFree Chamber will nurture and grow the principles that allow free enterprise to thrive,” said Collins.
Somsak Chivavibul, a financial expert with decades of experience in accounting, treasury, and financial reporting, will serve as Chair of the group’s Governance and Accountability Committee. Chivavibul previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Navient, a publicly traded, student-loan servicing business and spent over 20 years at Sallie Mae where he was a Senior Vice President.
“A group like this requires strong principles, and Chairman Branstad is the right leader for this mission,” said Chivavibul. “We are dedicated to earning and keeping the trust of our members and from a financial perspective that means transparency and accountability.”
AmFree Chamber is committed to transparency, and its IRS filings will be made publicly available. It will maintain an independent governance and accountability committee, and board members will be term limited. These measures will allow members to maintain confidence that their dues are well and effectively spent and will keep the organization mission focused.