USCIB Urges Senate to Confirm Trump Administration Nominees

USCIB is among approximately 90 American business and industry associations to have signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, urging the Senate to take expeditious steps to ensure the timely confirmation of qualified pending nominees to administration positions.

“The slow pace of confirmations is depriving agencies across the government of critical leadership and in the case of independent agencies, the quorum necessary to conduct critical business,” reads the letter.

Additionally, it notes: “The breakdown of the confirmation process results in a breakdown in the efficient and effective functioning of government and ultimately to a drag on the economy. Workers are sidelined as projects await permits from agencies that lack the quorum necessary to issue the permit. Businesses are left waiting for important administrative decisions that simply cannot be made in the absence of Senate-confirmed officials.”

To date, among President Donald Trump’s 283 executive and judicial nominations, only 67 have been confirmed. Of those 67, only 13 were confirmed by voice vote or unanimous consent, while 37 (55%) were confirmed only after going through the cloture process. By way of comparison, at approximately the same point in President Obama’s first term, the Senate had confirmed 206 nominees, 182 by voice vote or unanimous consent.

The full letter, along with the list of signatories, can be found here.

USCIB Statement on Impact of Brexit Vote on ATA Carnet

Last week’s UK vote to leave the European Union has spurred many questions regarding the country’s future trade and treaty commitments, including the ATA Carnet system for temporary imports. At this time, the UK remains a member of the EU, and the process for leaving the bloc has not yet begun. We have no indication of any changes affecting the use of ATA Carnets in the UK, or in the EU as a whole, for the foreseeable future.

The earliest Brexit could take effect is two years after a treaty mechanism has been triggered. The latter part of 2018 is considered the most likely date at the moment.

“In the meantime members of the chain can continue to issue ATA Carnets for the UK as part of the EU in exactly the same way as they do now.  The UK will continue issuing exactly as present as well.” said Peter Bishop, deputy chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

As the U.S. National Guaranteeing Association for the global ATA Carnet system, USCIB is monitoring the situation closely, working with ICC and affected parties including our ATA Carnet Service Providers. We will provide updates as new information becomes available.

USCIB Shares its Trade Facilitation Priorities on US/Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan

The USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee recently laid out its priorities on the trade facilitation aspects of the United States – Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan, released by President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper on December 7, 2011. Click here for USCIB’s statement.

Work had been underway on the Action Plan since the February 4, 2011 announcement by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper on the United States-Canada joint declaration, Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. The Action Plan lays out a shared approach to border security and economic competitiveness in which the United States and Canada work together to address the safety and security of our shared border, while expediting lawful trade and travel. The trade facilitation provisions establish steps, which upon implementation, will reduce costs and regulatory burdens, significantly enhance the flow of goods across the border, and facilitate trade and travel.

USCIB has shared its trade facilitation priorities with leaders of both the U.S. and Canadian teams leading the implementation efforts, and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, met with Canadian Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast to convey USCIB’s support for the Action Plan and to emphasize interest, in particular, in Canada raising its de minimis level. USCIB applauds the effort to establish a long-term partnership between the United States and Canada, built upon a perimeter approach to security and economic competitiveness, and will continue to meet with officials on both sides of the border to engage in the implementation of the Action Plan.

U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan

USCIB Trade Facilitation Priorities

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Global Business Seeks Coordinated Action to Curb Maritime Piracy

Map_CompassAgainst the backdrop of ever-more aggressive forays by Somali pirates against shipping in the Indian Ocean, USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson recently wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials involved in national security to draw attention to a global Call for Action on Piracy, issued by our affiliate the International Chamber of Commerce at the May 25-27 International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany.

ICC calls on governments to take immediate action to improve the rules of engagement given to the navies present in the Indian Ocean, to refocus the efforts of the United Nations and other international bodies to ensure that required institutions in south-central Somalia are established to maintain economic and social standards, and to hold pirates accountable for their conduct.

In the past year, there has been an escalation in both violence and the number of attacks on ships and crew in the area off the coast of Somalia. According to ICC’s International Maritime Bureau, there were 219 attacks off Somalia in 2010, in which 49 vessels were hijacked and 1,016 crew members taken hostage.

Despite measures taken by the UN Security Council and the presence of naval units in the area, pirates continue to strike with increasing violence. In addition to placing individuals and crews in danger, piracy is disrupting international trade and shipping. In 2010, the One Earth Foundation estimated the economic cost of piracy on the supply chain to be in the range of $7-12 billion.

In the call to action, ICC “urges governments to recognize that piracy, in addition to its effect on the safety of seafarers, has an important financial impact on global trade and shipping, and furthermore poses increased threat on the stability and security of energy supply lines not only for major industrial nations.”

The ICC Call for Action on Piracy has been endorsed by over 20 CEOs from key shipping and trading companies around the world.

 

ICC Call to Action on Piracy

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USCIB Urges Closer Cooperation on Air Cargo Security

In June, USCIB urged the heads of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration to work more closely to improve air cargo security, including taking other countries’ rules and regulations into account when implementing new air cargo security rules.

In a letter to Customs chief Alan Bersin and TSA Administrator John Pistole, USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson commended the two agencies for working with the private sector to implement protocols and rules of engagement for the air cargo security program, and expressed hope that heightened interagency cooperation would continue to ensure a streamlined program.

On the international aspect of new security rules, Mr. Robinson wrote: “Although CBP recently suggested increasing the number of countries in the pilot program from 28 to 42 countries, … we urge that any increase be done with significant private sector consultation to ensure the proper consideration of issues such as timing and availability of information, volume of shipments for each country, as well as data privacy rules and regulatory hurdles in each country. USCIB urges CBP and TSA to assess the regulatory environment in other countries before increasing the scope of this pilot program.”

 

USCIB letter on air cargo security

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