USCIB in the News: Fighting for American Business

Throughout 2017, USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, alongside other USCIB leaders and staff, garnered important coverage from the news media on issues critical to USCIB members. Policy issues ranged from NAFTA and the need to enshrine investor protections to the need for reform at the United Nations.

USCIB members and committee leaders, particularly Jerry Cook of Hanesbrands and Tam Nguyen of Bechtel, also made headlines on issues such as customs and trade facilitation and the evolution of corporate sustainability standards, respectively.

“USCIB won important news coverage in a wide variety of areas,” said Jonathan Huneke, USCIB’s vice president for communications and public affairs. “Thanks to outstanding thought leadership from USCIB President Robinson, as well as committee leaders and our staff experts, we were able to consistently punch above our weight, holding our own in a crowded media environment.”

Read the full 2017 media review here. To request an interview with a USCIB expert, contact USCIB Communications.

US-Issued ATA Carnets Now Allowed Into Brazil

After months of awareness building on the scope of the ATA Carnet usage with Brazilian Customs, Brazil has officially announced the acceptance of ATA Carnets. This exciting new development will allow all contracting parties to the ATA and/or the Istanbul Convention to enjoy ATA Carnet facilitations in Brazil. This change is also accompanied by an acceptance of hand-carried goods into the country.

Most explicitly, this new development will provide for duty and tax-free temporary admissions, allowing companies to use U.S. issued ATA Carnet to temporarily enter goods.

“Companies generally pay between 35-60 percent in duties exporting to Brazil, which will now be saved,” said Andy Shiles, USCIB’s senior vice president for ATA Carnet and trade services. “This program will be particularly advantageous for U.S. companies bringing in products temporarily for trade shows and exhibits.”  Prior to the amendment, U.S. companies, as per domestic regulation, could not use U.S. issued ATA Carnets as they were not accepted in Brazil.

The ATA Carnet is the global gold standard for temporary admissions under the auspices of the World Customs Organization. ATA Carnets are international tools of trade facilitation, which serve as a temporary export-import documentation. The ATA System is in place in 87 countries and territories, and provides duty-free and tax-free imports on goods that will be re-exported within 12 months.

In calendar year 2017, there were over $6 billion worth of goods that moved under U.S. issued Carnets that helped to stimulate international trade for American businesses.

For more information, please visit our page dedicated to Brazil.

 

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.

China Announcement on ATA Carnet May Reduce Trade Deficit

The tenth installment of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) World Chambers Congress (WCC) concluded last week in Sydney, Australia, which brought together over 1,200 delegates from across the globe to discuss challenges impacting the business and chamber communities and to exchange knowledge and expertise while promoting result-oriented innovation. In an ever-changing business climate, the Congress addresses and examines today’s most significant global issues.

USCIB’s Senior Vice President for ATA Carnet and Trade Services Andy Shiles attended the ATA Carnet global management meetings held during the WCC. A major outcome of these meetings was China’s announcement of an expansion of goods under their Carnet to include professional equipment and commercial samples. While China has yet to announce when they will implement this expansion, Shiles believes this will have a positive impact on U.S. trade.

“China’s Carnet expansion is a huge step in the right direction and will certainly minimize the United States’ trade deficit with China,” said Shiles. “We are living in exciting times of ATA Carnet, but we need to continue making progress.”

Shiles also reported that commitment for the development of joint projects to benefit the ATA Carnet have been outstanding, with excellent progress being made with Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Poland.

Additionally, the meetings deliberated on the e-carnet development project, which is on track to begin a pilot in the latter half of 2018.

“I’m expecting great things for U.S. carnet development,” concluded Shiles. “2018 will be a historic year for the Carnet.”

If any U.S. companies have interest in getting exposure to their goods in the Chinese market, kindly contact Andrew Shiles.

Shiles to Promote Trade Services at World Chambers Congress

This year’s World Chamber Congress is taking place in Sydney, Australia

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) kicks off the tenth installment of its biennial World Chambers Congress this week in Sydney, Australia, which will bring over 1,200 delegates from across the globe to discuss challenges impacting the business and chamber communities and to exchange knowledge and expertise while promoting result-oriented innovation. In an ever-changing business climate, the Congress, with its high level speakers, addresses and examines today’s most significant global issues.

Among them will be USCIB’s Senior Vice President for ATA Carnet and Trade Services Andy Shiles who will be attending ATA Carnet global management meetings in Sydney. Stay tuned for next week’s e-newsletter for a report from the field!

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian will officially opened the World Chambers Congress. While the Congress is taking place in Australia during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, ICC First Vice-Chair and Corrs Chambers Westgarth Partner and CEO John W.H. Denton acknowledged the important discussions taking place in New York and called on business and chamber leaders to show support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and help ensure that businesses worldwide are doing all they can —in their daily operations and investments—to drive their implementation.

The #10WCC is jointly organized by the Sydney Business Chamber, a division of NSW Business Chamber and the ICC.

In NAFTA Modernization Talks, Business Looks to Keep What’s Working

Earlier this month in Washington, D.C., the United States, Canada and Mexico kicked off the NAFTA modernization effort with their first round of negotiations. The next round will take place September 1-5 in Mexico. As the three countries noted in their joint statement, the negotiations will continue at a rapid pace, with a third round planned for Canada in late September, and a fourth round back in the U.S. in October.

USCIB has been actively representing member interests in the NAFTA modernization effort, including submitting comments to USTR and testifying at the public hearings. Our written submission focuses on ensuring beneficial provisions stay intact and improving upon the agreement in new areas, such as e-commerce, telecommunications, digital trade, cross border data flows, and state-owned enterprises. And several USCIB-penned op-eds have sought to present the business case for keeping what works in NAFTA while bringing the agreement into the 21st century.

“In light of the ambitious negotiating schedule, we will need to focus on priority issues that require specific attention in our advocacy efforts,” notes Eva Hampl, USCIB’s director of investment, trade and financial services. “We also need to be prepared to provide more detailed input as the governments move quickly to consideration of texts.”

Working with USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan, Hampl is spearheading the development of targeted USCIB comments on potential changes to NAFTA for submission to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. In addition, Hampl and USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly are working with USCIB members to demonstrate the continued importance of strong investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) provisions in NAFTA. And Megan Giblin, USCIB’s director of customs and trade facilitation, is working closely with members to provide targeted input on NAFTA’s customs-related provisions.

USCIB members should contact Hampl at ehampl@uscib.org to discuss their priority issues in the context of these fast-moving negotiations.

ICC and WTO Launch Small Business Champions Initiative

A joint effort to facilitate participation by smaller companies in international trade has been launched by Roberto Azevedo, the director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and John Danilovich, secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Those businesses putting forward successful proposals will be recognized as “ICC-WTO Small Business Champions.”

Despite their economic importance in developed, developing and least-developed countries, the share of trade accounted for by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) is disproportionately small, often because they are unaware of the potentially wider market and because they traditionally have not had the resources to navigate sometimes complex trading procedures. But new technologies are helping to pare back these obstacles and create a more level playing field for smaller companies in international trade. Helping more MSMEs to trade internationally is an important step in building a more inclusive trading system that benefits a wider array of citizens.

Secretary General Danilovich and Director General Azevedo are therefore calling for businesses and private sector organisations to step forward with proposals which can help MSMEs to participate in international trade. The aim is to raise awareness of the barriers that MSMEs face in doing business across borders, highlight the experiences and success stories of those MSMEs that are already trading, facilitate access to critical information, and raise skills among MSMEs to enable them to diversify export markets.

“I have heard many great ideas from the private sector over recent months about how we might be able to help MSMEs to trade,” said Azevedo. “This initiative is our response – it is about capturing some of those ideas and using the shared platform of the WTO and ICC to help make them a reality. I look forward to seeing innovative proposals aimed at raising awareness among MSMEs of the opportunities that trade can provide, and how they can seize those opportunities.

“The trading system is there for everyone, but MSMEs can often find it harder to reach overseas markets. The smaller the business, the bigger the barriers can seem. Spreading the benefits of trade further and wider means helping these companies to take part, particularly as MSMEs are such important job creators.”

Danilovich added: “Trading internationally can provide a huge boost to MSME growth. We know that small businesses which export tend to grow more quickly, pay better salaries and create more jobs. But MSMEs still face significant barriers when it comes to accessing global markets. Small business owners often tell us that they lack the time and in-house expertise to deal with trade roadblocks – while many others aren’t aware of the potential opportunities that international trade can bring for their companies.

“Policy reforms have an important role to play in driving MSME exports. But we also think its time to take a different approach to these problems by leveraging the power of the private sector. This new initiative will seek to harness the knowledge, creativity and networks of the global business community to inspire and support MSME growth. We call on businesses and private sector organisations across the world to play their part as small business champions.”

What kind of proposals are ICC and WTO looking for under this initiative?

  • Proposals could take the shape of, for example, awareness campaigns, competitions, or capacity building, training and mentoring programs.
  • The ICC and WTO will use their shared platform to support and promote successful proposals. The precise support provided by the ICC and WTO will depend on the nature of the proposals received. The ICC and the WTO could, for example, help to promote initiatives and host events, or provide expertise and institutional support. No financial contribution will be provided by the WTO or ICC to implement proposals.
  • Proposals should be designed to be delivered by the entity making the proposal. Proposals should not focus on WTO negotiations, or proposed changes to WTO rules. Such ideas can be put forward through different fora.

What is the process for submitting proposals – and how will they be selected?

  • Proposals should detail the concept, aims, timelines and other information as appropriate. Proposals should be no longer than 3 pages. Proposals are only open to the private sector and representative bodies. All proposals should be sent in Word or PDF format to MSMEsubmissions@iccwbo.org

The call for proposals is open until the end of 2017. There is no limitation as to the number of proposals that may be selected. The selection of proposals will be carried out by the WTO secretariat and ICC. The successful proposals will be announced by  ICC and WTO on a rolling basis.

Robinson: NAFTA Talks an Opportunity to Modernize Agreement

As negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico to update the North American Free Trade Agreement got underway last week in Washington, D.C., USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson was quoted in Chief Executive magazine as saying that the talks provided a valuable opportunity to update an agreement that has been in place for more than two decades.

“Negotiators can do this especially by addressing such issues as digital trade, cross-border data flows, streamlined customs processes, treatment of state-owned enterprises and regulatory coherence,” said Robinson. “But negotiators should preserve those parts of NAFTA that have worked well for U.S. business. These include the investor protection provisions, including a strong investor-state dispute settlement framework. Access to strong ISDS arbitration procedures can be especially important for smaller companies, given their greater vulnerability to costly, protracted legal battles in foreign courts.”

In June, Robinson contributed an op-ed to The Hill outlining USCIB’s goals for NAFTA modernization.

Read the entire article on Chief Executive’s website here.

USCIB’s “International Business” Summer 2017 Issue

USCIB’s “International Business” Summer 2017 issue is now live!

The Summer 2017 issue features USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson‘s column on “Why International Organizations Matter to Your Business” as well as articles on developments in the B20, NAFTA and the UN high level political forum and the sustainable development agenda, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“International Business,” USCIB’s quarterly journal, provides essential insight into major trade and investment topics, a high-level overview of USCIB policy advocacy and services, USCIB member news and updates from our global business network.

Subscribe to USCIB’s International Business Magazine

Subscriptions to “International Business” are available free upon request to representatives of USCIB member organizations. Contact us to subscribe.

Non-members may subscribe to “International Business” and other USCIB print publications at an annual rate of $50 (U.S.) for domestic delivery, or $75 for overseas delivery. Contact us to subscribe. USCIB’s annual report, studies from the United States Council Foundation and related publications are included with your paid subscription.

Our free electronic newsletter, “International Business Weekly,” provides regular updates on USCIB’s major activities and priorities. Click here to view a sample issue. Click here to subscribe.

We welcome outside submissions and inquiries regarding our publications – send them to news@uscib.org.

We welcome advertising in International Business magazine — special discounted rates for USCIB member organizations! Contact Kira Yevtukhova (kyevtukhova@uscib.org) for more information.

USCIB Gears Up for APEC Meetings in Vietnam

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 is actively engaged in a number of the APEC issue areas and working groups related to ICT, Chemicals and, Customs and Trade Facilitation.

Two of USCIB’s policy team will be attending the third APEC Senior Officials Meeting and related meetings (SOM 3) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, held August 15-30.

Megan Giblin, USCIB’s director for Customs and Trade Facilitation will be participating in the APEC Business – Customs Dialogue (ABCD), the APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2) meeting,  moderating the “Streamlining Processes: Addressing Challenges from the Private Sector” panel and speaking on the “Single Window to Facilitate Trade and Economic Competitiveness” panel during the APEC Workshop on Single Windows (e.g., in U.S. ACE), moderating the WTO Trade Facilitation panel “Focus on Transparency: The WTO TFA” during the 2017 APEC Conference on Good Regulatory Practice (GRP), and working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) to present a case study tied to TFA implication during the GRP event. USCIB worked closely with both U.S. CBP and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to secure industry speakers and participation for the GRP and Single Window events.

During the closed meeting of the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures, Giblin will provide an update on the Customs – Chemical Dialogue project. The deliverable for this meeting is delivery of an analysis of country survey results, including common practices at the customs border regarding treatment of industrial chemicals.

Giblin will continue to establish and foster relationships with customs officials from APEC economies as well as members of industry, 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.

The decision was taken earlier this year at SOM 1 to reduce duplication and streamline working groups, to integrate the SCCP Virtual Working Group with the A2C2 given the level of issue overlap. Moving forward the A2C2 will bring together members of the private sector as well as among other departments or agencies, customs officials, from the APEC member economies. Giblin is a member of the A2C2, which is focused on capacity-building efforts and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and its implementation.

“Given the expanded scope of the A2C2 as well as the fact that many of our members are part of the A2C2, I will continue to consider ways to increase industry visibility, engagement and potentially reduce duplicative industry resource or input requests,” noted Giblin.

Giblin will also attend the APEC Chemical Dialogue (CD) meetings on behalf of Mike Michener, USCIB’s vice president of Product Policy and Innovation, to support USCIB members attending the CD-related meetings. 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.

Barbara Wanner, USCIB vice president for ICT policy, also will attend the SOM 3 meetings. In particular, Wanner will participate in a special “APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Facilitating MSMEs to Adopt Cross Border E-Commerce,” jointly organized by the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) and the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), August 18-19. In addition, Wanner will represent member interests at meetings of the ECSG and Data Privacy Subgroup (DPS), August 20-23.  Finally, Wanner will serve as a business observer at the APEC Advertising Standards Conference, August 24.

The Public-Private Dialogue is aimed encouraging greater MSME participation in cross-border e-commerce in the APEC region and beyond. The two-day workshop will focus on sharing information with MSMEs about trade promoting elements of the e-commerce chapters of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It also will educate MSMEs on the trade facilitating benefits of certification under APEC’s Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. USCIB has been a long-time supporter of the CBPR, viewing it as a foundation to promote high-level privacy standards while ensuring seamless flows of business information through the APEC region. USCIB members Apple, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, HP, IBM, and Merck are CBPR-certified.

The DPS meetings likely will feature discussion about the recent approval of South Korea as a CBPR-certified economy – making it the fifth APEC economy in the CBPR system, joining Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. The DPS also will include a special session with representatives of the European Commission and Article 29 Working Party aimed at pursuing greater interoperability between the APEC CBPR and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before the latter goes into effect in May 2018. An ECSG draft Strategic Plan, which was tabled by the U.S. Government earlier this year, likely will receive continued focus in the ECSG meetings.

SOM 3 will also include a Workshop on Advertising Self-Regulation. Through participation by USCIB members and ICC representatives at the workshop, USCIB is lending support to the efforts to improve advertising standards throughout the APEC region, and providing input to APEC economies on the use of regulation and self-regulation, including the ICC Marketing Code. The Advertising Standards Conference will devote a session to regulating and monitoring digital advertising, which is expected to include speakers from Google and ICC.

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

Advertising: Jonathan Huneke, jhuneke@uscib.org

Customs and Trade Facilitation: Megan Giblin, mgiblin@uscib.org

Chemicals: Michael Michener, mmichener@uscib.org

ICT and Data Privacy: Barbara Wanner, bwanner@uscib.org

APEC priorities: Elizabeth Kim, ekim@uscib.org