Sam Gibbons, Chairman of Gibbons & Company, provides strategic counsel and advocacy on a broad range of public policy and international trade law matters to global businesses and governmental entities.
Mr. Gibbons served in the United States Congress as a Member of the House of Representatives for 34 years (1962 – 1997). He was Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and its Subcommittee on Trade, Vice-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, and U.S. Advisor to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He has extensive expertise in the areas of international trade, taxation, health care, public and private pensions, appropriations, and education. During his service in the Congress, Mr. Gibbons worked on a bipartisan basis with eight U.S. Presidents on major domestic and international policy initiatives. For his distinguished service in the Congress he was honored by his former colleagues in 2004 and received the Congressional Statesman Award.
As a leading architect of American trade policy for more than 25 years Mr. Gibbons is recognized as one of the foremost proponents of open markets and free trade. As Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee in Congress, he sponsored every major trade law enacted from 1976 – 1997, including The Trade Acts of 1979, 1984 and 1988, legislation implementing the Tokyo and the Uruguay Rounds of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade, the Caribbean Basin Initiative, the U.S./Israel Free Trade Agreement, the U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement, the Andean Trade Preference Act, expanded trade dialog with China and Vietnam, and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
While Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, Mr. Gibbons led trade and interparliamentary delegations throughout Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. He conferred regularly with heads of governments, their trade and economic officials, and business leaders in the United States and abroad.
Mr. Gibbons served as Chairman of the Trade and Economic Committees of the U.S./Canada and U.S/ Mexico Interparlimentary Groups, and Co-Chairman of the U.S./European Union Interparlimentary Group. He counseled numerous U.S. Trade Representatives on international trade negotiations and legislation and served as a Bush/Cheney transition advisor on international trade policy and presidential appointments. For his relentless leadership in promoting more open and free trade policies in the western hemisphere, he was unanimously selected by all the presidents of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to receive the distinguished Eagle of the America’s Award.
During his 28 years on the House Committee on Ways and Means, Mr. Gibbons advocated reform of the Federal income and payroll tax systems. He was a vigorous advocate of legislation to repeal these systems and replace them with a simplified, broad-based, border-adjustable, value-added tax. He was also involved in the development of every Federal healthcare financing law since the inception of Medicare in 1966. A strong proponent of pension protections and pension portability, he was the original sponsor of legislation creating the individual retirement account (IRA).
Before election to the United States Congress, Mr. Gibbons served for 10 years in the Florida Legislature, where he was instrumental in establishing the University of South Florida, now the 11th largest university in the United States. Prior to that he practiced law in Tampa, Florida. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida and is admitted to practice law in Washington, D.C., Florida, and before the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Gibbons served as an officer during World War II with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He led parachute infantry forces in major combat actions, including the pre-dawn D-Day invasion of Normandy, the invasion of Holland, the Battle of Bastogne, the capture of Berchesgarden and further operations in central Europe and Austria. He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor. French President Chirac recently presented Mr. Gibbons with France’s most prestigious award, the Legion of Honor.
Mr. Gibbons is the primary subject of Tom Brokaw’s best-selling book “The Greatest Generation.”
1920 - 2012
Clifford Gibbons has over twenty-five years experience representing clients before the U.S. Congress, the White House, Federal departments, regulatory agencies and foreign governments. His areas of expertise include taxation, appropriations, international trade, health care, higher education, insurance, financial services, environmental policy and food and product safety. He also advises clients on economic and commercial opportunities to enhance competitive market advantages.
Mr. Gibbons received his law degree from Florida State University and his undergraduate degree from University of South Florida. His professional career began in 1976 as a trial attorney prosecuting criminal cases for the State Attorney's office in Tampa, Florida. In 1979, he served in the Office of Vice President of the United States and was later appointed Special Assistant to the President, in the Office of the United States Trade Representative. While serving in that position, Mr. Gibbons authored A Preface to Trade.
After leaving the White House, Mr. Gibbons served as counsel to the Grocery Manufacturers of America, Inc. and later with the government relations practice with the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P. In 1990, Mr. Gibbons established the government relations and public affairs firm of Gibbons & Company, Inc., where he serves as president.
experience • integrity • results