B20-L20 Delivers Joint Statement to G20 Labor Ministers

The B20 and L20 presented a joint statement at a G20 labor ministers dinner on May 17 in Bad Neuenahr, Germany which was attended by USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg. Linda Kromjong, IOE’s secretary general and Sharan Burrow, ITUC’s secretary general, jointly presented the statement to the ministers and all B20 and L20 signatories at the handover ceremony  to German Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles.

This year’s statement builds on the IOE/BIAC and ITUC/TUAC statement from last year with a specific focus on sustainable growth, decent work and social cohesion in the digital economy.

In line with the key priorities of the G20 German presidency, the statement reinforces the important role that business and labor have in shaping policies that not only maximize the opportunities for employment creation, but that also minimize adverse effects on employment and working conditions. Given the special focus on the digital economy, the recommendations in the statement are linked to the impact of technological change on employment and call on governments to grab the chances that technological change presents as well as address its challenges.

To harness the opportunities of technological advancements, it is important that technology is widely diffused so that businesses can maximize the potential of its use. This will facilitate the creation of an agile business environment that can offer growth of income opportunities in all of its forms in the formal economy.

Going forward, the workforce using new technology needs to be well equipped for the new digital age. This requires taking a fresh approach to education, up- and re-skilling and ensuring that all individuals have access to opportunities that allow them to continually upgrade their skills. The B20/L20 joint understanding on key elements of quality apprenticeships, the G20 Skills Strategy as well as the G20 Apprenticeship Initiative clearly have a key role to play in modernizing existing training systems.

2017 OECD Tax Conference

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The 2017 OECD International Tax Conference

Final Agenda

 Four Seasons Hotel, Washington D.C
June 5-6, 2017

Keynote Speech by Mark Prater – Chief Tax Counsel and Deputy Staff Director for the Republican staff of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Finance

The OECD, USCIB and BIAC, in cooperation with IFA-USA, ITPF, NFTC, OFII, TCPI, TEI and Tax Foundation, will host a conference on the OECD’s new international taxation initiatives on June 5-6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. This annual conference provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. business community to interact with key representatives from the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration and senior tax officials from the U.S. and other key countries involved in the OECD’s international tax work.

For more information, please contact Erin Breitenbucher (202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org).

For information on how you can become a sponsor of the 2017 conference, please contact Abby Shapiro (617-515-8492 (mobile) / 212-703-5064 or ashapiro@uscib.org)

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Final Agenda

Hotel Room Block

Key Topics:

  • Tax Reform Trends
  • Improving Tax Certainty
  • Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI)
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Inclusive Framework on BEPS & Developing Countries

Featured Speakers:

  • Pascal Saint-Amans – Director of the Center for Tax Policy & Administration, OECD
  • Martin Kreienbaum – Director General, International Taxation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury
  • Doug O’Donnell – Commissioner, Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, IRS
  • Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director of the CTPA, OECD
  • Achim Pross – Head of International Cooperation and Tax Administration, OECD
  • Jefferson Vanderwolk – Head of the Tax Treaty, Transfer Pricing & Financial Transactions Division, OECD
  • James Karanja – Head of joint OECD/UNDP Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) Initiative
  • Will Morris – Chairman, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Other Senior Treasury and Foreign Tax Policy Officials

2016 Conference Recap: USCIB Tax Conference Tackles BEPS Implementation

More on USCIB’s Taxation Committee

2017 Conference Sponsored By:

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In association with:

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2017 OECD International Tax Conference – Hotel Room Block

A limited number of rooms have been blocked at the reduced rate of $405/night at the conference venue, The Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, D.C. Unbooked rooms (if any) will be released for general sale on May 17, 2017, and the group rate will not be available after this date.

Please call the hotel directly and mention the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) room block: 1-202-944-9157. To book online, please visit www.fourseasons.com/washington and use the promo code CI0617OEC.

Rooms reserved without a processed registration will be released for confirmed participants.

Below are a few other nearby options:

1)       The Graham Georgetown – thegrahamgeorgetown.com

2)       The Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown – www.fairmont.com/Washington

3)       Park Hyatt – parkwashington.hyatt.com

4)       The Westin, Georgetown, Washington, DC – www.westingeorgetown.com

5)       Melrose Hotel – www.melrosehoteldc.com

6)       The Georgetown Inn – www.georgetowninn.com

 

Conference Website

OECD Organizes Industry Meeting Ahead of June Ministerial

Ahead of June’s OECD Ministerial, Denmark, which holds the OECD presidency this year, organized a joint Business at OECD (BIAC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) consultation in Copenhagen with OECD member governments. USCIB’s President and CEO Peter Robinson gave remarks at the consultation on the importance of improving openness and competitiveness of economies as well as helping more people and companies of all sizes to participate.

“We are living through a period of rapidly changing technologies and economic policies, especially regarding cross-border trade and investment,” said Robinson. “Economic nationalism and isolationist sentiment are posing challenges to the OECD’s fundamental orientation of greater openness and cooperation. The economic context should focus minds – without a comprehensive competitiveness agenda for OECD countries, there will be less wealth creation and less room to increase living standards.”

Robinson recommended a regular publication of the Better Business Index to help governments understand and improve the key drivers of private sector growth. “We think this is vital so as not to lose sight of – or take for granted – the role of the private sector in creating wealth,” he said. Robinson emphasized the importance of developing a new OECD Strategy for SMEs and sensible policies to ensure sustainable growth of the digital economy.

The OECD meetings took place on the eve of the B20 Summit in Berlin.

Registration: 2017 OECD Tax Conference

Registration Information

Registration:

If you received an email invitation from USCIB to one of our events, including the 2017 OECD Tax Conference, you already have an Events Portal Account. To activate your account, go to register online and click the “Forgot Password” link to receive your password via email. Then login and register. If your e-mail address is not recognized, you will have to create an account with USCIB, by filling out the Online Events Registration Login Request form.

Please contact Erin Breitenbucher at 202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org if you experience problems registering online. 

Click here to register online.

Registration Form:

If you prefer register by fax, email or standard mail, please click here to fill out the registration form. Confirmation emails are sent to registrants shortly after the registration has been processed.  If you think you have registered but have not received a confirmation email, please contact Ms. Erin Breitenbucher at 202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org to confirm.

Conference Website

OECD Secretary General Briefs USCIB Members as World Bank/IMF Meetings Get Underway

L-R: USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, BIAC Vice Chair Rick Johnston (Citi), Rob Mulligan (USCIB), Susan Fridy (OECD)
L-R: USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, BIAC Vice Chair Rick Johnston (Citi), Rob Mulligan (USCIB), Susan Fridy (OECD)

With the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund bring finance ministers and other top officials from around the world to Washington, D.C., USCIB members on April 21 met with OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria at Citi’s offices in the capital.

The wide-ranging, off-the-record discussion covered priorities for the OECD as well as the G-20, for which the OECD has undertaken a variety of high-level projects since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In the face of the ongoing populist backlash, Gurria reiterated the OECD’s fundamental support for open markets, as well as for policies to address the downside of global integration and technological change.

Gurria also looked forward to this year’s OECD Ministerial in June. Next week in Copenhagen, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and other members of Business at OECD (BIAC) will present their recommendations to OECD governments in advance of the ministerial.

Key topics at this year’s OECD ministerial are expected to include the digital economy, inclusive growth, migration, aging societies and the general backlash against globalization.

Gurria, who prior to becoming secretary general of the OECD served as foreign affairs and finance minister in the Mexican government, and who helped negotiate several market-opening trade deals with the United States and other nations, was honored earlier in the week by the Economic Club of Minnesota for his longstanding support of open trade. Click here to read his remarks at the event.

BIAC Releases Trade as a Priority for All Paper

BIAC_Trade_Priorities_PaperAs populist discontent with international trade continues to percolate around the world, Business at OECD (BIAC) today unveiled a new paper, “Trade as a Priority for All,” with recommendations for OECD action to help build renewed support for cross-border trade.

Last December, Business at OECD convened a workshop of heads of communications from its member federations around the world, to consider ways to push back against the populist narrative. It consulted with its global membership, a network of over 2,800 business experts, and identified critical trade barriers and opportunities. The paper makes recommendations to the OECD and its member governments on the role they can play in curbing barriers and enabling opportunities.

The paper also provides a better understanding of the way companies do business, shedding light on the hurdles they face at the border and in the global marketplace and provides recommendations on improving policymaking and creating better conditions for private sector-led growth, innovation and job creation.

“This paper is crucial in conveying priorities of the business community for OECD analysis and policy recommendations, especially given the rise in anti-trade rhetoric globally,” said Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government affairs, who is attending consultations with the OECD Trade Committee as well as an OECD conference on trade communications this week in Paris. “USCIB supports the recommendations in this paper, including those of eliminating localization requirements, ensuring open cross-border data flows and improving international regulatory cooperation.”

Paris Meetings Urge Global Level Playing Field for SOEs

SOE_PARIS_meeting_croppedThe Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held a meeting in Paris on Corporate Governance on March 28, which featured a special roundtable on flexibility and proportionality of corporate governance. Business at OECD (BIAC) attended the meeting and expressed strong support for the effective implementation of the G20/OECD Corporate Governance Principles. USCIB member Dan Konigsburg, managing director, corporate governance and public policy, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu attended these meetings.

BIAC also provided input to discussions on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) earlier this month, highlighting the need for transparency and a global level playing field, and calling for good practices for anti-corruption and integrity in SOEs. USCIB contributed comments to BIAC’s advocacy effort, reflecting priorities that transparency, including on the governance structure and the precise nature of the advantages SOEs enjoy, is a crucial first step for ensuring a level playing field.

“SOEs have become increasingly active in the global market place, with the highest percentage of the world’s largest first effectively under state control in decades. Transparency alone, however does not automatically level the playing field, and should merely be considered the minimum requirement for any good faith effort for SOEs to compete in the global market,” said Eva Hampl, USCIB’s director for investment, trade and financial services.

Business Finalizes Recommendations to G20 Sherpas

USCIB President Peter Robinson and IOE President Daniel Funes de Rioja (2ns and 3rd from right, respectively) at the B20 session in Paris
USCIB President Peter Robinson and IOE President Daniel Funes (2nd and 3rd from right, respectively) at the B20 session in Paris

USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson took part in today’s Special B20 Germany-OECD-BIAC meeting at the OECD in Paris, designed to provide coordinated private-sector input to the G20 leaders, in advance of a key G20 sherpas meeting this week in Germany. The main G20 leaders summit is scheduled for July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany.

“Today’s meetings were important because we finalized key recommendations to the G20 sherpas on trade and investment policy, job-creation and the digitalization of the economy, among other topics,” said Robinson, who serves as co-chair of the B20 Employment and Education Task Force. “We hope the G20 governments will take these recommendations to heart.”

B20 President Jürgen Heraeus stated: “If we want to ensure future-oriented, sustainable economic growth, business has an important role to play. We are ready to do so. This cooperation offers the outstanding opportunity to shape global economic governance. Our global economy is changing rapidly. We are facing a multitude of risks: climate change, political conflicts, terrorism to name just a few. The G20 can serve as an agenda-setter.”

The B20 meeting was co-hosted by Business at OECD (BIAC), and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria addressed the gathering. “Business at OECD provides continuity and expertise across G20 and B20 presidencies,” said Business at OECD Chairman Phil O’Reilly. “We support the OECD in its vital mission to improve domestic and global economic governance. At a time when trade and investment across borders are subject of much ill-informed debate, OECD evidence on the substantial benefits of open and competitive markets is more important than ever.”

Daniel Funes de Rioja, chairman of the International Organization of Employers, also took part in today’s meetings. Meanwhile, USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan participated in meetings in London around the conclusion of the G20 finance ministers meeting, which was notable in part for the ministers’ decision not to re-emphasize their shard commitment to resisting trade protectionism.

Following the conclusion finance ministers meeting, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General John Danilovich issued a statement calling on the G20 governments to commit to shared values of openness and cooperation.

“We continue to face the challenge of global growth being too low and benefiting too few,” said Danilovich. “This is the defining economic test of our times, and we urge all G20 economies to take concerted and urgent action to enable inclusive growth. A retreat into protectionism would be the wrong response to this challenge.”

Danilovich continued: “Trade and globalization are complex processes, but at their heart are some simple truths. Trade means more choice for consumers. It means lower prices, so the money in your pocket goes further. Companies that trade are more competitive, and create more and better-paid jobs. That’s why trade matters if we’re to deliver the increases in prosperity, and reductions in inequality, that G20 finance ministers rightly committed to realize this weekend.”

“The global business community is naturally concerned by any weakening of the G20’s decade-long stance on resisting protectionism. We remain encouraged that discussions on this issue will continue in the coming months at official level. ICC will do all it can to urge G20 leaders to take the strongest possible stance on maintaining open markets at their annual summit in Hamburg in July. Protectionism is no path to progress.”

Donnelly Leads Business Push at OECD for FDI

ShaunDonnelly_BIAC_OECD_InvestmentForumUSCIB’s Vice President for Investment and Financial Services Shaun Donnelly was leading the business voices at multiple events around the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Investment Week in Paris last week. Donnelly was the lead business speaker at the panel on “Is Investment Liberalization Shifting into Reverse?” at the OECD Global Forum on International Investment and the lead business respondent to presentations by academic experts on “Societal Benefits and Costs of Investment Treaties” at the OECD’s Third Annual Conference on Investment Treaties.

In both formal presentations, as well as in formal and informal interactions with government delegations from both ‎OECD member countries and leading developing and emerging governments, Donnelly emphasized the importance of investment agreements, including strong enforcement provisions, to facilitate much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows.

Per established OECD practice, Donnelly played a lead role in BIAC’s formal consultation, along with the parallel labor and civil society stakeholder groups, with the OECD’s Investment Committee on Wednesday, March 8.  With investment agreements under attacks from some quarters, it is important for business to speak up these sorts or international fora, whether at OECD or elsewhere, on the importance of FDI for both the host economy and the home country and especially on the important role high standard investment agreements and strong enforcement provisions play in today’s global economy.

Senior investment policy experts from the State Department, U.S. Trade Representative and Treasury Department also participated in the meetings last week.