Mr. Kim attended the event at Georgia State’s Buckhead campus April 2.
Perhaps encouraged by Mr. Clark’s comments about the role he played in persuading the Georgia General Assembly to pass the legislation granting reciprocal driver’s licenses, he brought up the visa issue in the question and answer period following the presentation.
Korean companies, he said, have problems getting the U.S Congress to support the availability of visas for skilled workers from Korea in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Meanwhile, he added, the General Assembly has passed a joint resolution to increase the availability of these visas for Korean professionals.
Mr. Clark responded that joint resolutions are primarily ceremonial and have little political clout. He recommended Mr. Kim lobby the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and indicated that he would help the consul general do so.
He also pointed to the chamber’s success in beating back proposals in the General Assembly to amend Georgia’s constitution and declare English the state’s official language.
Accompanying legislation also sought to mandate that the state’s driver’s license exams be given only in English.
Mr. Clark was less upbeat about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on companies on small- and medium-sized companies. He said that the federal law already was responsible for shutting down several hospitals in the state due to the attrition of Medicaid reimbursements.
He added that he thought the small- to medium-sized companies would have to bear increased medical costs of their employees.
Aside from tracking legislation, the consulates should follow closely the procurement contracts offered by the state and local governments. On occasion, a foreign company might be in a position to receive the winning bid, but may not even compete because of a lack of awareness.