USCIB Welcomes Michael Michener as Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation

New York, N.Y., February 21, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) announced that Michael Michener, a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive, has joined USCIB’s staff as vice president of product policy and innovation.

Working out of USCIB’s Washington, D.C. office, Michener will lead the organization’s policy work on chemicals, health, food, agriculture and intellectual property. He will also coordinate USCIB’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to USCIB, especially his background in working with international organizations, that will contribute greatly to our efforts on behalf of members,” said Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government relations. “We are excited to have him join our team at a time when the policy and regulatory challenges facing American companies are complex and growing.”

Michener most recently served in Brussels as director of multilateral relations for CropLife International, representing the association before a range of international organizations – including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the UN Environment Program and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – on issues related to crop protection products and agriculture biotechnology.

Previously Michener served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in two different roles. First, as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, he managed 1,100 employees and an annual operating budget of $300 million.  Then, as minister counselor at the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, he served as the special representative of the U.S. secretary of agriculture to UN bodies dealing with food and agricultural issues.

Michener has also worked with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Agency for International Development, and he served with the United States Army for seven years in Europe. Michener earned a master’s degree in public administration from Bowie State University and a bachelor’s degree East European studies from the University of Maryland.

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.

With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

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 Urges APEC to Take Concrete Steps to Expedite Trade

4607_image002New York, N.Y., October 2, 2013 – As leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies get set to meet in Bali, Indonesia, a key pro-trade business group urged a number of concrete steps to free up trade and facilitate business in this fast-growing region.

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) issued a comprehensive paper with priority issues and recommendations for APEC in 2014, when the group’s rotating host duties pass to China.

“APEC’s importance for U.S. and global business is growing,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, who will be part of the business delegation to the Bali summit, which takes place October 5 to 7. “We are recommending a number of steps leaders can take to help ensure the region remains a center for growth and innovation.”

USCIB said several current or prospective APEC projects offer special promise to smooth trade relations among the economies. These include:

  • the APEC Chemical Dialogue, which USCIB called a useful and important forum to address issues relating to chemicals management
  • discussion of long-term climate change adaptation planning, where USCIB is seeking to inject private-sector know-how
  • launch of the Virtual Customs Business Dialogue, which will look at reducing technical and administrative barriers to trade, during China’s host year

The business group is also urging APEC’s 21 member economies to undertake new work to address localization barriers to trade, and to work toward the elimination of barriers to trade in digital services and products. The USCIB paper, which is issued annually, covers more than 20 separate issue areas. USCIB said its member companies would be closely engaged throughout China’s host year.

Robinson said the business community would push for progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when trade ministers from the 12 TPP parties meet on the sidelines of the Bali summit. “We want a strong, comprehensive TPP agreement, with no carve-outs of issues or sectors, and which includes key provisions on forced localization and dispute settlement,” he stated.

Looking at the global trading system, Robinson said business would also encourage APEC members to work together in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to open global markets to trade, especially through a potential trade facilitation agreement that will be on the table at the WTO’s own Bali ministerial in December.

 

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. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

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

USCIB Welcomes President’s Commitment to Robust TPP Agreement

Honolulu, November 12, 2011–  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed President Obama’s comments at the APEC CEO Summit in Hawaii today supporting an ambitious and comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and commended all TPP countries for issuing an outline to complete the negotiations in 2012.

“The president’s strong statement for a comprehensive and forward-looking 21st-century trade agreement will help maintain the momentum for completing the TPP negotiations,” stated Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president and head of the Washington office, who is attending the APEC CEO Summit.  “The business community has been meeting with leaders from all of the TPP countries over the last few days to urge them to move forward expeditiously with a high-standard agreement that covers all sectors and products.”

Mr. Mulligan further noted: “Japan’s interest in joining the TPP talks highlights the importance of the negotiations for opening markets in the Asia-Pacific region.  If Japan is ready to take on the high-standards, comprehensive commitments that the U.S. business community is seeking in a TPP agreement, then this would be a significant addition to the negotiation.”

Mr. Mulligan said USCIB looks forward to working with U.S. leadership and its partners in the business community to ensure that the final TPP trade agreement produces new economic opportunities and exports to sustain and increase American jobs and the maximum commercial benefits of the growing Asia-Pacific market.

About USCIB
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, 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
(212) 703-5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

USCIB Applauds Passage of APEC Business Travel Card Bill

4196_image002New York, N.Y., November 7, 2011 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top global companies and exporters, welcomed Friday’s Congressional passage of a bill to speed business travel in the Asia-Pacific region.  The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2011 will allow American business and government personnel traveling in the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) region access to expedited visa processing and designated airport travel lanes.

“Adoption of the APEC Business Travel Card will provide a big boost for American companies and executives doing business in the Asia-Pacific region, and will contribute to improved competitiveness and job growth at home,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson.  “It comes as our engagement with Asian and Pacific markets is deepening, and policy makers need to take new measures to open up trade, investment and travel in this rapidly growing market.  It also levels the playing field, since the United States already gives expedited treatment to business travelers from the other APEC member economies.”

Passage of the measure came just in time for this week’s APEC CEO Summit and Leaders Meeting taking place in Honolulu.  USCIB will be represented at the APEC meetings by Rob Mulligan, senior vice president and head of USCIB’s Washington, D.C. office, and Justine Badimon, manager for APEC affairs.

USCIB and other U.S. APEC Business Coalition partners urged passage of the bill in the House and Senate during 2011, the U.S. APEC host year.  The measure was sponsored by a number of members of the House and Senate, including Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Wally Herger (R-Ca.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.),  Dan Lundgren (R-Ca) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).  Mr. Robinson said USCIB was grateful to the bill’s sponsors for their leadership and support.

USCIB boosts exports and helps American business travelers by issuing and guaranteeing ATA Carnets, the “merchandise passports” that permit duty-free, tax-free export of various types of goods to some 80 countries and customs territories around the world, including most APEC member economies, for up to one year.  More information on ATA Carnets is available at www.merchandisepassport.org.

About USCIB
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, 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
(212) 703-5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

Asia-Pacific Interactive Tariff Database Launch

The business community moves forward with initiative to make trade information in the Asia-Pacific region more widely available.

Washington, D.C., January 31, 2011 –The National Center for APEC (NCAPEC) and the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) are pleased to announce the official launch of the pilot phase of the Asia-Pacific Interactive Tariff Database.The Asia-Pacific Interactive Tariff Database provides business in the Asia-Pacific region with a tool to make cost-saving sourcing decisions based on up-to-date tariff information.

“This database will save Levi Strauss & Co. time and money by organizing information from many of our key trading partners in an easily searchable manner.  Access to accurate and up-to-date information allows us to remain competitive in the global business economy,” noted Laurie Goldman, senior manager of worldwide government affairs and public policy with Levi Strauss & Co.

In 2009 APEC economies agreed to make their customs and tariff information more transparent and available to the public. Members of the business community expressed interest in taking that important progress one step further by creating a robust trade database that would be fully searchable based on Harmonized System classification numbers.

This long-term initiative supported by NCAPEC and USCIB, aims to draw attention to the lack of publicly available information on tariffs and preferential rules of origin which have made it difficult for companies to take full advantage of the many free trade agreements negotiated in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The APEC economies account for 58 percent of all U.S. exports, while our direct investment in the region totals some $820 billion,” said USCIB Executive Vice President Ronnie Goldberg.  “As we seek to increase our competitiveness, create good-paying jobs at home and achieve President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years, companies will need access to new sources of information and market intelligence. This database is an important step in that direction.”

The pilot phase of the Asia-Pacific-wide tariff database is expected to test the concept of the database and obtain feedback and input from participating companies including 3M, Levi Strauss & Co. and Pfizer. The pilot will be active for a period of about six months and is expected to fully launch during the U.S. hosting of APEC in 2011.

“The Asia-Pacific Interactive Tariff Database will improve customs transparency, support export growth and make it easier for companies large and small to do business in the Asia-Pacific region.  It is a concrete example of the work being done in APEC to facilitate trade and to advance economic integration in this dynamic part of the world,” stated Monica Whaley, president of the National Center for APEC.

Integration Point, a global trade compliance solution provider, supplies the platform powering the Asia-Pacific Interactive Tariff Database. As part of the platform, the Integration Point Global Trade Content team maintains up-to-date tariff information such as applied tariff rates, rules of origin, preferential trade treatment and scheduled future tariff rates among other vital sourcing information.

If your company has interest in learning more about how to participate in the pilot phase of the Asia-Pacific Interactive Tariff Database, please contact the following staff at NCAPEC and/or USCIB:

Contacts:

Robert Fiddick, NCAPEC, Program Associate
206-441-9022 or rfiddick@ncapec.org

Justine Badimon, USCIB, Manager, Asia-Pacific, China and EU Affairs
212-703-5062 or jbadimon@uscib.org

 

About NCAPEC
NCAPEC is the only U.S. business association focused exclusively on facilitating American private sector input into the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) process. The National Center functions as a conduit for U.S. businesses into APEC by serving as the Secretariat for the three U.S. executives who are appointed members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

About USCIB
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms.  With a global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide.

About Integration Point
A leading provider of global trade compliance solutions, Integration Point assists international companies by providing import and export visibility globally, delivering up-to-date global regulatory information and facilitating connectivity to supply chain partners and government agencies around the globe.

www.IntegrationPoint.com or 704-576-3678.

Asia-Pacific Business Seeks Greater Transparency to Move Goods

L-R: Laurie Goldman of Levi Strauss & Co; Arrow Augerot of USTR and Raymond Yee of DHL
L-R: Laurie Goldman of Levi Strauss & Co; Arrow Augerot of USTR and Raymond Yee of DHL

Initiative to make trade information more widely available in the region discussed during APEC leaders’ meeting in Singapore

New York and Singapore, November 13, 2009 – Leading companies are urging governments throughout Asia and the Pacific to make their tariffs and related rules more transparent, saying this could provide a big boost to the region as trade rebounds from the past year’s severe drop-off.

To help draw attention to the complexity of trade in the region, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) and other members of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition, organized a November 12 business discussion on the APEC Transparency Initiative on Tariffs and Preferential Rules of Origin during the APEC CEO Summit and Leaders Meeting in Singapore.

Failure to take advantage of the current “spaghetti bowl” of regional trade agreements can be costly, attendees agreed. Raymond Yee, vice president for Asia-Pacific customs and regulatory affairs with DHL Express, provided his perspective on sourcing within the region and the possible impact of this initiative on business. Planning related to trade agreements is a crucial yet complex process.  Company representatives recognize the need for the transparency initiative and believe it would facilitate trade by businesses of all sizes across the APEC region.

Proposed by the U.S. and Japan and endorsed by APEC trade ministers in July 2009, the APEC Transparency Initiative aims to help companies take advantage of the significant trade liberalization in the region.  Arrow Augerot, deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for APEC affairs, was on hand to discuss the initiative at the November 12 event.

“This initiative is very timely because the lack of publicly available information on tariffs and preferential rules of origin has made it difficult for companies to take full advantage of the many free trade agreements negotiated in the APEC region,” said Laurie Goldman, senior manager of worldwide government affairs and public policy with Levi Strauss & Co.  “What we are proposing is a central database that would be searchable and up-to-date.  We would like to review the initiative with the broader APEC business community, exploring how to integrate information from all APEC economies.”

APEC trade ministers have pledged to provide the public with up-to-date and accurate tariff and rules of origin information by the time of their next meeting in June 2010, and to develop an APEC-specific website on tariffs and rules of origin by next year’s APEC leaders meeting in November.

The National Center for APEC (NCAPEC) and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council are co-chairs of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition, which encompasses many leading U.S. industry groups.

NCAPEC is the only U.S. business association focused exclusively on facilitating American private sector input to the APEC process. The National Center functions as a conduit for U.S. businesses into APEC by serving as the Secretariat for the three U.S. executives who are appointed members of the APEC Business Advisory Council.

The US-ASEAN Business Council is the premier advocacy organization for U.S. Businesses operating in Southeast Asia. The Council serves a select membership of companies, including 7 of the Fortune 10 and 20 of the Dow Jones 30 companies, from its headquarters in D.C. and its five regional offices.

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, 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, VP Communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

More on the APEC Transparency Initiative and USCIB Involvement:
http://www.uscib.org/apectitrprofile-ud-3933

APEC CEO Summit Website:
http://www.apec2009.sg/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=100&catid=38

Co-Chairs of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition:
NCAPEC: http://www.ncapec.org
US-ASEAN Business Council: http://www.us-asean.org