USCIB Gears Up for APEC CEO Summit in Vietnam

This week, USCIB’s Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Da Nang, Viet Nam, as a business delegate and representative of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition.

Organized under the leadership of the National Center for APEC (NCAPEC), USCIB will be joining other Coalition and NCAPEC members on the ground, including CEOs and executives from USCIB member companies. NCAPEC serves as the designated 2017 U.S. Strategic Partner for the CEO Summit, Secretariat to the U.S. members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and as Chair and Secretariat of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition.

Throughout 2017, USCIB has addressed a number of issues through APEC to advance discussions across a range of issue. These include chemicals regulation, advertising self-regulation, data privacy, customs, and digital trade. USCIB members and staff have engaged in several APEC working groups, including the Chemical Dialogue, APEC Business-Customs Dialogue, Customs Procedures Virtual Working Group, Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity, the Electronic Commerce Steering Group and Data Privacy Subgroup.

In Da Nang, Michener will meet with USCIB members, leaders from APEC economies and representatives of intergovernmental organizations to discuss member companies’ APEC priorities and USCIB’s work. They look forward to hearing from USCIB members in Da Nang, in addition to joining with Coalition partners, to advance common objectives.

“USCIB appreciates the numerous committed partnerships that APEC has established with the private sector,” said Michener. “These partnerships are addressing many economic opportunities, particularly on trade and regulatory issues, that will help foster greater economic integration among APEC’s twenty-one member economies.”

The upcoming APEC meetings in Da Nang include, in addition to the CEO Summit, the Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting, Fourth APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Meeting, APEC Ministerial Meeting and APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. USCIB has collected priority issues from its membership for 2018, and will have the USCIB 2018 APEC Priorities and Recommendations Paper available in Da Nang.

USCIB Urges Administration to Maintain Leadership on Trade

Harbor_tradeNew York, N.Y., January 23, 2017Peter M. Robinson, president and CEO of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“While we are disappointed that the United States will not take part in this ambitious and market-opening agreement, we hope this move sets the stage for future trade agreements that build upon the best in the TPP.

“As we noted in USCIB’s American Competitiveness Agenda 2017, which was released earlier today, the Asia-Pacific region is a very important market for U.S. business and the jobs they support. By 2030, two-thirds of all middle-class consumers in the world will be in Asia, so the area continues to be key to the future growth of many U.S. companies and their SME suppliers. We will work with Congress and the Administration to determine the best ways to further open markets in the Asia-Pacific region to U.S. goods and services, including by carrying forward key provisions from TPP.

“Maintaining U.S. leadership in the region should be a strategic priority. Trade relationships provide economic security but also important national security benefits. Letting other nations – including some with very different economic systems and priorities – write the rules in this fast-growing region would be a mistake. Moreover, some of our most important trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region have already ratified TPP or are continuing to undertake reforms consistent with the agreement.

“We encourage the Trump Administration to move quickly in pursuing its plan for the region, both to help American companies and workers compete, and to ensure that regional trade rules are not driven by others. We look forward to working with the Administration in support of these objectives.”

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence.  Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the American affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, International Organization of Employers, and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212.703.5043

Business Supports Expansion of APEC Privacy Rules

Global Communications. 3D rendering.

Eight major business groups — including USCIB, Japan’s Keidanren and ICC Mexico — released a joint statement calling on all Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies to expand participation in the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. An important priority for USCIB, the CBPR is a high-standard and enforceable privacy code of conduct that facilitates cross-border trade and ensures strong privacy protection of personal information. The statement commended the work done by policy makers in promoting the CBPR system, and urged the 21 APEC economies to commit to the system during 2017.

CBPRs are based on the internationally respected APEC Privacy Framework and endorsed by APEC Leaders since 2011. They are an interoperable, enforceable, and high-standard privacy code of conduct that facilitates cross-border trade of goods and services and ensures that strong privacy protection will follow personal information across the Asia-Pacific region. By creating a certification system that bridges the privacy regimes of each participating economy in a cost-effective and scalable way, the CBPRs allow participating companies to focus their time and resources on innovating, serving customers, and pursuing their business objectives.

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson attended the annual APEC CEO summit and various side events alongside USCIB Vice President Helen Medina. Robinson featured the joint statement in his meetings with US government officials, as well as other APEC government representatives on the sidelines of the recent APEC Leaders meeting in Lima, Peru. “We applaud the support that APEC Leaders and Ministers have demonstrated towards expanding participation in the CBPRs. We believe this reaffirms both APEC’s recognition of the importance of data flows to trade and investment in the region and its commitment to building bridges between national privacy regulatory regimes. We see great potential for the CBPRs to serve as a platform for a truly global system of interoperable and robust privacy protection,” noted Robinson. USCIB members certified under the CBPR include Apple Inc., Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., IBM, and Merck and Co., Inc.

The CBPRs signal to governments in the Asia-Pacific and in other parts of the world that mutual cooperation between like-minded economies can serve as a rational, effective international approach to high-standard privacy and data protection, without requiring data to be stored, managed, or otherwise processed locally or prohibiting data transfers to other markets.

The next meeting of APEC’s Data Privacy Subgroup, which developed the CBPR framework and continues to oversee its implementation, will be held in 2017 in Vietnam. USCIB will work with APEC member economies to support these commitments and raise awareness with officials and stakeholders on the benefits of CBPRs, increasing participation and helping APEC economies set the standard for how to do privacy right globally.

APEC CEO Summit Highlights Need for Continued US Leadership

USCIB's Peter Robinson and Helen Medina in Lima
USCIB’s Peter Robinson and Helen Medina in Lima

The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit, which wrapped up over the weekend in Lima, Peru, coincided with concerns about an uncertain U.S. role in Asia and the Pacific at an especially pivotal time. But according to USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, who attended the summit and various side events alongside USCIB Vice President Helen Medina, there were also signs of progress and hope for continued U.S. leadership in the region.

“I believe that, despite the political rhetoric back home, our trading partners still want and expect the United States to play a leading role in APEC and in the region as a whole, and so do we,” said Robinson. “Now is the time to work even more closely together to promote trade and regional solutions that meet the needs of all parties.”

Under the leadership of the National Center for APEC, USCIB and other business groups joined a diverse array of American CEOs and other executives (including numerous USCIB members) in Lima. Throughout 2016, USCIB has addressed a number of key priorities through APEC, including chemicals policy, advertising self-regulation, data privacy, customs, digital trade, and women in the economy. Our members and staff have engaged in several APEC working groups, including the Chemical Dialogue, APEC Business-Customs Dialogue, Customs Procedures Virtual Working Group, Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity, the Electronic Commerce Steering Group and Data Privacy Subgroup.

Robinson gave introductory remarks at a roundtable hosted by the U.S.-APEC Business Coalition and USCIB member Deloitte, “Driving APEC Growth Through Competitive Services and High-Quality Regulations.” The focus of Peru’s 2016 host year was on quality growth and human development. Within this context, particular attention has been devoted to the services sector, which represents a large and expanding portion of the overall economic growth and development. The event, moderated by Deloitte Global Chairman David Cruikshank, focused on APEC’s current work in the areas of services and good regulatory practices, including the APEC Services Cooperation Framework and APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap, as well as further opportunities to drive the service sector in 2017.

Other speakers included John Andersen, deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for the Western Hemisphere; John Drummond, head of the OECD’s Trade in Services Division; and Ho Meng Kit, CEO of the Singapore Business Federation; and Vietnam ABAC Chair for 2017 Hoang Van Dung. Key themes addressed included the slowing pace of liberalization in services in the APEC area, its impact on small and medium-sized businesses, and the need to reinvigorate trade.

While in Lima, Robinson and Medina participated in business meetings with the prime minister and finance minister of Peru, the president of Vietnam and Canada’s international trade minister. They also joined APEC Business Coalition members at meeting with key U.S. Congressional staff attending the summit, as well as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman, where the post-election focus was on crafting better trade deals that can address concerns voiced by everyday Americans.

Robinson and Medina attended a dinner hosted by Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Abbott and Merck KGaA, on “Driving Sustainable Health Systems to Achieve Quality Growth and Human Development.” The dinner, which featured remarks by Peruvian Health Minister Patricia García Funegra and Matt Matthews, the U.S. senior official for APEC, highlighted the region’s shared achievements to advance the APEC health agenda, which carries significant trade and investment, innovation and capacity-building components.

Statement on cross-border privacy rules

During the final day of the APEC CEO summit, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urged world leaders to invest in connecting citizens to the Internet. In a related move, eight major business groups — including USCIB, Japan’s Keidanren and ICC Mexico — released a joint statement calling on all APEC economies to expand participation in the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. An important priority for USCIB, the CBPR is a high-standard and enforceable privacy code of conduct that facilitates cross-border trade and ensures strong privacy protection of personal information. The statement commended the work done by policy makers in promoting the CBPR system, and urged the 21 APEC economies to commit to the system during 2017.

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the CEO Summit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the CEO Summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote address with a strong message in favor of open and free trade, saying that the Asia-Pacific region must lead the way in the face of slowing global growth and rising protectionism.

“President Xi clearly demonstrated that China is ready to take a leading role in APEC integration at a time when the U.S. appears to be reevaluating how it intends to engage with its economic and trading partners,” observed USCIB’s Medina.

But Robinson said that USCIB, NCAPEC and members of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition remain well-positioned to champion U.S. business interests in APEC. “The time and energy we have invested in APEC has resulted in some important accomplishments,” he said. “Whatever happens regarding a specific trade deal, the fact is that we in the United States still need APEC, and APEC needs us. I continue to have high hopes for APEC as we approach 2017.”

USCIB to Attend APEC Summit in Lima

apec_limaThis week, USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru, as a business delegate and representative of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition. Attending with him will be Helen Medina, USCIB’s vice president of product policy and innovation.

Organized under the leadership of the National Center for APEC (NCAPEC) USCIB will be joining other Coalition and NCAPEC members on the ground, including CEOs and executives from USCIB member companies. NCAPEC serves as the designated 2016 U.S. Strategic Partner for the CEO Summit, Secretariat to the U.S. members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and as Chair and Secretariat of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition.

“APEC actively supports economic growth, regional cooperation, and trade and investment,” said Robinson. “USCIB welcomes the committed partnerships that APEC, as the top economic forum in the region, has sustained with the private sector to address the complex economic issues that face the region. It is a vital platform for addressing trade and investment, which is especially important now that prospects for U.S. ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership look cloudy.”

Throughout 2016, USCIB has addressed a number of issues through APEC to advance discussions across a range of issue. These include chemicals regulation, advertising self-regulation, data privacy, customs, digital trade, and women in the economy. Our members and staff have engaged in several APEC working groups, including the Chemical Dialogue, APEC Business-Customs Dialogue, Customs Procedures Virtual Working Group, Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity, the Electronic Commerce Steering Group and Data Privacy Subgroup.

In Lima, Robinson and Medina will meet with USCIB members, leaders from APEC economies and representatives of intergovernmental organizations to discuss member companies’ APEC priorities and USCIB’s work. They look forward to hearing from USCIB members in Lima, in addition to joining with Coalition partners, to advance common objectives.

The upcoming APEC meetings in Lima include, in addition to the CEO Summit, the Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting, Fourth APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Meeting, APEC Ministerial Meeting and APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. As these meetings draw Peru’s host year to a close, USCIB has begun to gather priority issues from its membership for 2017, when Vietnam will serve as APEC’s host. We are continuing to collect input, and will shortly release our APEC Priority Issues and Recommendations for 2017.

APEC Looks at Advertising Standards, Self-Regulation

Lima_PeruMembers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held a third workshop on advertising standards in Lima, Peru August 22-23. The workshop brought together important government and advertising industry participants from APEC economies to advance the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development, and to share views on good practices and experiences in advertising self-regulation.

Drawing attention to the 2017 APEC host’s views on the importance of the issue, the two-day event was opened by Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Araoz, who emphasized the need for a self-regulatory space to reflect responsibility in society, mutual respect and the creation of values. On this note, the stage was set for the seminar which focused on sharing good practices and experiences on advertising self-regulation among APEC economies, followed by fruitful discussions between APEC regulatory authorities, SROs and the industry.

Several USCIB members took part in the workshop, as did representatives of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), part of USCIB’s global network. ICC maintains the oldest and most influential international code on marketing and advertising standards, and has been a force for robust self-regulation of the industry since the 1930s.

“Advertising is an important driver of economic growth within APEC,” said Raelene Martin, policy manager for ICC’s Commission on Marketing and Advertising. “Aligning advertising standards across the Asia-Pacific region will easier facilitate the delivery of advertising services, and enable business growth, greater regional trade and investment, non-tariff barrier reduction and drive economic growth among APEC economies.”

Martin elaborated on the Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications Practice, noting its flexibility to adapt to different legal backstops and local needs. The code has been classified by the APEC Policy Support Unit study as the global reference for international best practice/advertising self-regulation.

APEC is developing a set of guiding principles which call on government and industry to develop robust self-regulatory systems, and provide a regulatory checklist on self-regulatory best practice for developing general systems and specific industries. A mentoring network will also be established, hosted by the Australian Advertising Standards Authority, to help reinforce and develop self-regulatory organizations, particularly in key markets where they do not yet exist.

At the APEC senior officials meeting taking place that same week in Lima, members of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment recognized the continued importance of the APEC Action Agenda, with strong support for the work and follow-through on the key outcomes from the workshop, including a proposal for the next conference to be organized in Ho Chi Minh city in 2017, during Vietnam’s term as APEC chair, to review progress and develop a five-year implementation plan.

The ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising has renewed its commitment to work with industry and other key stakeholders to help advocate the benefits of advertising self-regulation and ensure local input is given into the global commission that writes and revises the ICC Code.

USCIB Attends APEC Digital Trade Policy Dialogue

APEC_Digital_TradeHelen Medina, USCIB’s vice president of product policy and innovation, recently attended the Trade Policy Dialogue on Digital Trade at the Third Senior Officials Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Peru.

The objective of the meeting was to discuss digital trade rather than to define the terms of digital trade. Participants included representatives from the U.S. government, various APEC economies, OECD, and industry, including several USCIB member companies.  Provided below is a brief summary of the meeting.

The dialogue was made up of several sessions, each focusing on a different topic within digital trade. The first session discussed the research on the value of digital trade, as well as challenges posed by issues of data privacy and cross-border data regulation. The second session focused on the EU’s data privacy framework and its potential burdensome impact on APEC SMEs.

Highlights from another session included shared stories from USCIB members PayPal and Walmart on their successes within the digital trade sphere. PayPal discussed the importance of their business for SMEs; through PayPal, smaller companies are able to do business globally because people trust sending payments through their services. Walmart shared their current experience of incorporating digital information to create better services for their customers, and the necessity of open data for this process. This session also recognized the potential for growth in APEC’s future role due to its cross-regional and interagency nature, in creating policies that best help digitization of traditional economies and promote legal environments for innovation.

To follow up from this Trade Policy Dialogue, a report will be submitted to APEC’s Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).

Digital Trade: Barbara Wanner, bwanner@uscib.org

USCIB APEC Priorities Paper (here): Elizabeth Kim, ekim@uscib.org

Government and Business Discuss Updates on Chemicals Management at APEC

APEC Chemical Dialogue
APEC Chemical Dialogue regulators forum

The chemicals trade cuts across many industries, and its products are widely traded across borders. The chemicals industry is a key economic building block in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum economies, and the APEC Chemical Dialogue (CD) serves as a forum for regulatory officials and industry representatives to find solutions to challenges facing the chemical industry in the Asia-Pacific region. It reflects APEC members’ recognition of the importance of engaging with the private sector and building public-private sector dialogue and cooperation for mutual benefit.

Government and industry representatives from 16 economies across the Asia-Pacific region attended the CD meeting in Lima, Peru on August 17 during APEC’s third senior officials meeting (SOM III). Helen Medina, USCIB vice president for product policy and innovation, participated in the dialogue along with USCIB members. During the meeting, officials agreed to revise the CD Strategic Framework document, which includes changes to the dialogue’s shared goals. The framework’s current goals include (1) expand and support cooperation and mutual recognition among chemical regulators in the region to facilitate trade; (2) enhance understanding of the chemical industry’s role as an innovative solutions industry; and (3) encourage chemical product stewardship, safe use, and sustainability.

During the meeting, the group discussed how it will promote the Best Practice Regulation
Checklist which was developed to assist APEC economies when considering changes to
chemicals regulation and when developing new chemicals regulation. The hope is that the
checklist will provide best practices for regulators.

Also noteworthy is the development of a form of self-certification by importers of chemical products, a project which is being conducted alongside the APEC Subcommittee on Customs Procedures.

“The project would develop a certification document to be used by economies that puts the burden of compliance with chemical control legislation on the importer of record and with enforcement of that legislation with the agency who issued the regulations,” Medina said.

The CD also discussed updates on an upcoming paper to examine chemical trade flows, possible contributions to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management policy and the American Chemistry Council’s proposal on sustainable chemistry. During the meeting participants also shared updates on countryspecific initiatives on chemicals management. For detailed information on these items, please contact Helen Medina, hmedina@uscib.org

USCIB Attends 2016 APEC Senior Officials Meeting in Peru

Lima_PeruComprised of 21 Asia-Pacific economies that account for 40 percent of the world’s population and half the world’s trade, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is the region’s top economic dialogue dedicated to encouraging economic growth, regional cooperation and trade and investment.

USCIB members are continuing to make the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) a priority forum in which to engage, as it is key to accelerating regional economic integration as well as promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth.

To aid private sector engagement, USCIB works with the U.S. APEC business coalition to meet with APEC officials and participate in APEC meetings throughout the year, culminating in the APEC CEO Summit, a meeting of CEOs and leaders from the APEC economies.

To direct and facilitate the work with our members and APEC officials, USCIB has compiled its annual priority issues and recommendations paper, which can be found here. As can be seen in our priorities, USCIB in actively engaged in a number of the APEC working groups related to Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) ICT, Chemicals and Customs.

Two of USCIB’s policy team are attending the third APEC Senior Officials Meeting and related meetings (SOM III) in Lima, Peru, held August 15-28. See details below for how they and our members will be engaging:

Customs and Trade Facilitation

Megan Giblin, USCIB’s director for Customs and trade facilitation will be participating in the following APEC meetings: APEC Business – Customs Dialogue (ABCD); Subcommittee on Customs Procedures meetings, under her role as co-chair for the Customs Virtual Working Group; the APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2) meetings; as well as an event that Peru will be hosting related to the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Megan will continue advocacy work initiated at SOM I related to WTO TFA ratification as well as engagement on implementation efforts, establishing and fostering relationships with Customs officials from APEC economies as well as members of industry, and identifying linkages to the work underway within the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee, including, but not limited to, e-commerce, de minimis, and single-window efforts.

Gilbin serves as the industry Co-Chair to the APEC Subcommittee on Customs Procedures Virtual Working Group (VWG), which is comprised of both customs officials and members of the private sector. The VWG will not meet in person at SOM III, but Megan will give the VWG update during the SCCP meetings. Additionally, Megan is a member of the A2C2, which is focused on capacity-building efforts and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Given that several USCIB members are part of the Customs VWG and the A2C2, Giblin will continue to consider ways to increase industry engagement and potentially reduce duplicative industry resource or input requests.

Chemicals Management 

Helen Medina, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation will be attending the APEC Chemical Dialogue (CD) meetings.  She will be supporting USCIB members attending the CD-related meetings which include: the American Chemistry Council, American Petroleum Institute, The Boeing Company, General Electric and the Nickel Institute. The CD serves as a forum for regulatory officials and industry representatives to find solutions to challenges facing the chemical industry in the Asia-Pacific region. It reflects APEC members’ recognition of the importance of engaging with the private sector and building public-private sector dialogue and cooperation for mutual benefit. USCIB members have found this forum a valuable place to promote their regional business priorities. For example, USCIB members will be participating in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) capacity building workshop. The goal of the workshop is to

  • Raise awareness of the international trade obligations of GHS
  • Raise the level of knowledge on the aims and methodologies to implement GHS by government and the private sector; and
  • Determine the proper APEC actions to reduce non-tariff barriers (NTB) attributable to GHS implementation

Digital Trade

USCIB member Christopher Hoff (Crowell & Moring LLP), will be participating in the SOM III meetings of the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) and the Data Privacy Subgroup (DPS) on behalf of USCIB. Importantly, USCIB ICT Policy Committee Vice Chair Joseph Alhadeff (Oracle), who also chairs the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Digital Economy Commission, tapped Hoff to lead the ICC Delegation at the ECSG and DPS meetings. ICC enjoys special guest participatory status in the ECSG.

The ECSG meetings, August 15-16 and 19, will feature a workshop, “E-Commerce for Inclusion and Competitiveness.” The program will explore such issues as the use of new technologies to reach new customers who do not have access to financial services, the importance of policies to promote social inclusion through the use of e-commerce, and the importance of cloud computing and data services as tools in the digital economy. The ECSG Plenary, August 19, will include further development of an ECSG strategic plan, which will entail establishment of a Big Data Innovation Friends of the Chair (FOC) group and review of the 2008 APEC Digital Prosperity Checklist, among other issues.

DPS meetings, August 17-18, will continue to expand APEC economies’ understanding of and participation in the Cross-Border Privacy Rules system (CBPR). The DPS likely will revisit SOM I discussions of a communications strategy that more effectively explains the benefits of the CBPR system.

The CBPR system, endorsed by APEC leaders in 2011, is a voluntary, enforceable privacy code of conduct for data transfers by information controllers in the Asia-Pacific region, which implements the nine APEC Privacy Principles, requires third-party certification, and is enforceable by Privacy Enforcement Authorities of member economies. Perhaps most importantly, the CBPR system was conceived to preemptively discourage APEC economies from imposing unreasonable data flow restrictions on companies.

Reflecting the extent to which economic activity has become “digitalized,” APEC’s Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), which meets August 19, 23, and 24, will continue its year-long exploration of the opportunities and challenges of digital trade. Medina will represent USCIB interests in this meeting.

The APEC Trade Ministers acknowledged in their May 18 statement that digital trade indeed facilitates cross-border trade, innovation and economic growth. The CTI’s second Trade Policy Dialogue, “A New Digital Trade Agenda,” to be held August 19, is aimed at fleshing this out further, with an eye toward securing the endorsement of APEC Leaders that digital trade constitutes a next-generation trade and investment issue. The August 19 Dialogue will tackle an agenda that includes: (1) examining research undertaken by the APEC Secretariat that may suggest the possible scope of future digital trade work in APEC; (2) considering the elements of an enabling environment for digital trade; (3) highlighting case studies that offer useful practices for advancing digital trade; (4) exploring potential challenges economies face as they navigate the ever-changing digital and Internet environment, and (5) zeroing in on how recent trade agreements have sought to address digital trade challenges.

SOM III will also include a Workshop on Advertising Self-Regulation. Through ICC participation at the workshop, USCIB lends support to the efforts to improve advertising standards throughout the APEC region, and to provide input to APEC economies on the use of regulation and self-regulation, including the ICC Marketing Code.

If you would like any further information on the above meetings or issues, please feel free to reach out to our team.

Customs: Megan Giblin, mgiblin@uscib.org
Chemicals: Helen Medina, hmedina@uscib.org
ICT and Data Privacy: Barbara Wanner, bwanner@uscib.org
Marketing and Advertising: Jonathan Huneke, jhuneke@uscib.org
APEC priorities: Elizabeth Kim, ekim@uscib.org

USCIB Reports from Peru: APEC SOM I

Lima_PeruUSCIB staff attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meetings (SOM) in Lima, Peru last week, to coordinate business engagement on a variety of issues including customs, chemicals in products, and information and communication technologies (ICT). Comprised of 21 Asia-Pacific economies that account for 40 percent of the world’s population, 50 percent of global GDP and half the world’s trade, the APEC forum is the region’s top economic dialogue dedicated to encouraging economic growth, regional cooperation and trade and investment. The Asia-Pacific region is of great interest to USCIB members, as global companies are eager to tap the region’s growing markets.

Trade Facilitation

USCIB’s Director of Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan M. Giblin participated in meetings of the Global Supply Chain Integrity Workshop, APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2), and attended the APEC Subcommittee on Customs Procedures meetings through her role as Industry Co-Chair of the SCCP – Customs Virtual Working Group. USCIB member priorities were front and center at all the meetings attended, including the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), single window, customs reform, and other key topics such as e-commerce from a customs perspective and de minimis.

Giblin reported that the TFA and its implementation are on the minds of all APEC member economies. TFA implementation was the focus at most meetings. With respect to where APEC economies stand on TFA ratification, only 13 of the 21 APEC economies have ratified the agreement. 108 WTO members must ratify it before the agreement – which is estimated to reduce worldwide trade costs by up to 17 percent – can enter into force. Giblin leveraged her time with government delegations to promote TFA ratification, entry into force, and robust implementation of the commitments, and to simultaneously assess where the governments are in the ratification process.

Further, Giblin, assisted in a USAID-led presentation on the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, a new public private partnership tied to implementation of the TFA. In Giblin’s role representing USCIB as “ICC USA,” she spoke to the engagement with ICC Paris on the alliance, the structure and composition of the secretariat, broader alliance network, and aided in fielding questions from the delegates. She looks forward to continued communication and engagement on Alliance matters with ICC, but also with USCIB member companies in efforts to engage them directly in support of the alliance. For more information, please contact Giblin at mgiblin@uscib.org

E-Commerce and Data Privacy 

USCIB’s Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner participated in the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group’s Data Privacy Subgroup meetings from February 23 to 25 in Lima. The meeting’s highlights included a stock-take of the 11-year-old APEC Privacy Framework, exploration of efforts to expand participation in the Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system in the both APEC and non-APEC economies, and the launch of a new effort to develop a communications strategy to more effectively explain the benefits of the CBPR system.

These meetings came on the heels of recent negotiations between the United States and the European Union on a new data protection framework, the EU-US Privacy Shield, and USICB members took the opportunity to underscore the importance of APEC’s CBPR as a solid, accountable, and enforceable privacy code of conduct for cross-border data transfers and the need to more effectively communicate to all stakeholders its potential for enabling global interoperability. For more information, please contact Wanner at bwanner@uscib.org

Chemical Dialogue

The APEC Chemical Dialogue convenes government officials and industry representatives for discussions about how to best regulate the chemicals trade in a way that protects the environment while minimizing costs to business. USCIB’s Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Helen Medina attended the Chemical Dialogue and closely followed plans to revise the dialogue’s goals, which currently are: to facilitate trade by expanding and supporting cooperation and mutual recognition among chemical regulators in the region, to enhance understanding of the chemical industry’s role as an innovative solutions industry and to encourage chemical product stewardship, safe use and sustainability.

Highlights from the Chemical Dialogue include considering new work on sustainable chemistry, a self-certification form for chemical imports, and future workshops related to GHS and sharing of best practices in chemicals regulation. For more information, please contact Medina at hmedina@uscib.org