USCIB Urges Trump Administration to Remain Engaged in UN Climate Talks

With senior advisors in the Trump administration set to meet tomorrow to discuss U.S. engagement in the UN and other international climate change discussions, USCIB has urged the administration to keep the U.S. seat at the table.

Earlier this month, in a letter to the White House, USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson wrote: “In spite of challenges and shortcomings in the UN climate policy arena, USCIB reaffirms its support for the United States to continue as a Party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.”

However, USCIB’s letter, which was sent April 17 to National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, explicitly recommended that the U.S. place a number of conditions on continued engagement, including reassessing existing U.S. emissions reduction and related commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement in the context of broader consultation with the private sector.

The letter further recommended that the U.S. insist on greater access and transparency in the UN climate negotiation process for U.S. economic stakeholders, call on the UN to discourage unilateral trade measures related to climate, and work through the UN and other international forums to foster speedier development and deployment of environmentally sound technologies.

“Addressing climate change and its impacts will require a long-term international cooperative approach with due attention to national circumstances and priorities to assure ongoing economic development,” Robinson wrote. “USCIB members are convinced that U.S. engagement and leadership are required to champion economically sound approaches to energy and climate change risks that advance U.S. economic prosperity and create new job and market opportunities for U.S. businesses at home and abroad.”

USCIB Convenes Multistakeholder Roundtable on Business and Infrastructure for SDGs

L-R: USCIB Vice President, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, and Ambassador Lisa Kubiske from the U.S. State Department

As the UN gears up for its annual high-level political forum (HLPF) to review progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in July, the international community is turning its attention to SDG 9—building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation. The extensive role of infrastructure in achieving all 17 SDGs prompted USCIB to organize a ‘Business for SDGs’ roundtable on Infrastructure last Friday, April 21, hosted by Covington LLP in Washington DC.

Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president for strategic international engagement, energy and environment and the lead for USCIB’s work on the sustainable development goals opened the meeting and served as the event’s master of ceremonies.  “USCIB’s SDG Working Group realized that no SDG can be delivered without the right ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as education, financial inclusion, food systems and healthcare, in place. The pipeline for bankable projects for both has to accelerate to broadly deploy and leverage business resources and know,” said Kennedy.

The event, held on the margins of the UN Financing for Development Infrastructure Forum, drew participants from government and business, including USCIB member companies AT&T, Bechtel, Citi, KPMG, MasterCard, and Monsanto as well as the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, NGO groups such as the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation, and U.S. government representatives, notably Ambassador Lisa Kubiske from the U.S. Department of State who gave closing remarks.

The roundtable discussed obstacles to and best practices in public private partnerships for infrastructure projects, challenges in removing barriers or dealing with corruption, and the importance of scaling U.S. business investment, and the role of business in developing and utilizing SDG-relevant metrics. “There’s a huge financing gap, especially in terms of development and sustainable infrastructure projects around the world,” said Kubiske before citing U.S. government resources and initiatives that to de-risk and support U.S. companies competing for infrastructure projects, such as Power Africa.

“Investment in infrastructure is key to achieving a successful implementation of the SDGs,” emphasized Peter M. Robinson, USCIB’s CEO and president in discussing key takeaways from the roundtable. “We must actively search for ways to discourage governments from crowding out private investment; the implementation imperative requires scaling up business involvement and commercial opportunities. A first priority is to knock down obstacles to infrastructure investment, which can take the form of formal barriers to foreign investment in specific sectors or burdensome regulation affecting both foreign and domestic firms,” he said. Robinson’s remarks can be found here.

USCIB will host another roundtable on Innovation and SDGs in May in conjunction with the Financing for Development Forum.  Please see USCIB’s Businessfor2030 website for more information on the roundtable and other USCIB actions and engagement on the SDGs.

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.”

Doran Klein Attends UN Tax Committee Meetings

UN headquarterUSCIB’s tax expert Carol Doran Klein attended meetings at the UN related to tax policy earlier this month along with USCIB’s Tax Committee Chair Bill Sample. A major outcome of the meeting was the launch of the 2017 version of the UN Transfer Pricing Manual at the UN’s Economic and Social Council. The manual is almost 700 pages and is intended to be consistent with the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines. It also includes country practices for Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa.  The UN Committee of Tax Experts also approved a handbook on extractive industries, including a section on transfer pricing.

The Committee also approved final changes to its model income tax treaty and commentaries.  The 2017 version of the model will likely be released in October at the next meeting of the Committee of Tax Experts in Geneva, Switzerland.  The new model will adopt many of OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting treaty provisions including a new article on entitlement to benefits and modifications to the permanent establishment rules.  The new model will also include a controversial new article on taxation of fees for technical services.

“This article, if adopted in a bilateral income tax treaty, would permit the country where technical services are consumed to impose a tax on those services regardless of where the services are performed or whether the person performing the services had any presence in the country of consumption of the services,” said Doran Klein.

Members from countries that export services objected strongly to the inclusion of this new Article in the model.

International Business Spring 2017 Issue

IB_Spring2017USCIB’s “International Business” Spring 2017 issue is now live! A web version can be accessed here.

The Spring 2017 issue features USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson‘s column on “American Competitiveness and Innovation in the 21st Century” as well as articles on developments in the G20, WTO and the UN climate talks, 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.

 

2017 OECD Tax Conference

2017_USCIB_OECD_TaxConference_signature

Register Now!

The 2017 OECD International Tax Conference

Draft Agenda with Confirmed Speakers

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

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)

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

Registration Information

Draft Agenda with Confirmed Speakers

Hotel Room Block

2016 Conference Recap: USCIB Tax Conference Tackles BEPS Implementation

More on USCIB’s Taxation Committee

2017 Conference Sponsored By:

EY_Logo

 

TTI_BEPS_Logo_2160x1080

PWC

 

VERTEX Logo

 

exxonmobil

 

 

Black Deloitte Logo

 

KPMG_NoCP_RGB

ktMINE_finalogo_RGB (1)

Print

mayer_brown_c

Miller_Chevalier-logo_300dpi-01

 

Exhibitors:

 

bloomberg bna logo

Corptax_WEB

 

ivins-for IBCN Red

 

Presented by:

USCIB logo

OECD

Business at OECD Logo - 2016

In association with:

IFA Logo
ITPF
NFTC logo
Organization for International Investment
TCPI
Tax Executives Institute, Inc.
Tax Foundation

Taxation

 

Fountain pen on tax

Chair

Bill Sample
Vice President – Tax
Microsoft Corporation

Vice Chair

Timothy M. McDonald
Vice President, Finance & Accounting, Global Taxes
The Procter & Gamble Company

Vice Chair

Will Morris
Deputy Global Tax Policy Leader
PwC

Staff

Carol Doran Klein
Vice President and International Tax Counsel
202-682-7376 or cdklein@uscib.org

Erin Breitenbucher
Senior Policy & Program Associate and Office Manager, Washington
202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org

Working Groups / Subcommittees

BIAC/ICC Subcommittee

Inbound Investment Subcommittee

Legislative and Administrative Developments Subcommittee

Tax Treaties Subcommittee

Transfer Pricing Subcommittee

Working Group on Consumption Taxes

Working Group on Environment and Energy Taxes

Working Group on Financial Services Issues

Working Group on Permanent Establishment Issues

What’s at Stake for Business

  • Multiple sets of inconsistent rules drive up costs and result in double taxation.
  • Double taxation will have a negative impact on global trade and investment.

Current Priorities

  • Provide leadership and business perspective on key OECD projects including BEPS, transfer pricing guidelines for intangibles, permanent establishment rules.  USCIB works closely with BIAC on OECD issues.
  • Urge the OECD to consider the need for a predictable fiscal environment that will protect and encourage cross-border trade and investment in the context of developing and implementing BEPS recommendations.
  • Support enactment of foreign tax simplification provisions in the IRC that would significantly reduce the burden of complexity for U.S. companies and enhance their international competitiveness.
  • Successfully manage the 2017 OECD International Tax Conference in Washington, DC on June 5-6, 2017.

USCIB at Work

USCIB plays a leading role in advocating sound, consistent international taxation policies and opposes any efforts to unfairly increase the tax burden on companies in several forums:

  • At the OECD, leading voice through BIAC informing policymakers on the unintended negative consequences resulting from unilateral actions.
  • At the UN, providing business input at the UN’s Committee of Tax Experts including on changes to the UN Model and UN Transfer Pricing Guidance.
  • In Washington, promoting business interests to U.S. Treasury and House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees on International Tax Reform and U.S, competitiveness.

Recent Advocacy Engagement

The Committee has a deep technical knowledge of the practical applications of tax policy and works to prevent any policies that may have unintended negative consequences.  USCIB is also:

  • Engaging with the OECD by submitting comment letters and participating in Public Consultations and informal consultations on BEPS to advocate for the need of effective dispute resolution and clarity in guidance regarding all BEPS outcomes.
  • Citing business concerns with BEPS and noting the threat of double taxation and its negative impact on global trade and investment in letters sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
  • On the Steering Committee of the BIAC Taxation Committee where we influence both agenda setting and policy development in the OECD.

Who We Are

The USCIB Tax Committee is composed of USCIB member companies representing a range of business and industry sectors. Advocacy priorities are determined that reflect consensus among the members.

Mission

The Committee works to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. business by promoting sound, appropriate and consistent international tax policy and also to prevent and eliminate government policies that result in double taxation in a range of strategic forums:

  • The OECD, particularly on the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
  • The United Nations
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury

Recent Accomplishments

News Stories

Doran Klein Attends UN Tax Committee Meetings (4/17/2017) - USCIB’s tax expert Carol Doran Klein attended meetings at the UN related to tax policy earlier this month along with USCIB’s Tax Committee Chair Bill Sample.
USCIB in the News: Doran Klein at Pacific Rim Tax Conference (3/13/2017) - USCIB’s vice president for international taxation policy Carol Doran Klein was recently quoted in a Bloomberg BNA piece “U.S. Will Remain Engaged in OECD Tax Work: IRS Official” regarding her comments during a panel in last week’s Seventh Annual Pacific Rim Tax Conference in Palo Alto, California.

Read More

Press Releases

USCIB Statement on the U.S. Election Results (11/9/2016) - USCIB congratulated Donald Trump on his election as president, saying a top priority for the new administration should be a strategy for U.S. engagement with the wider world.
USCIB Welcomes Treasury White Paper Criticizing EU State Aid Investigations (8/24/2016) - USCIB welcomed the U.S. Treasury’s statement criticizing the European Commission’s ongoing state aid investigations, aimed at recouping prior-year tax benefits.

Read More

Robinson Writes Commentary to Adam Smith Project on Trump Priorities

OECDweek_PMRUSCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson recently contributed commentary to the Adam Smith Project on what he believes should be priority issues for the Trump Administration. Priorities should include balancing globalization challenges with the values of economic openness and dynamism for Americans, growing the economy, maintaining American leadership in the world, and ensuring transparency and accountability in international institutions, such as the United Nations.

“Our nation’s continued prosperity and security demand that the United States remain engaged internationally on a range of key issues, including cross-border trade and investment, climate change, sustainability and support for a rules-based global economy,” writes Robinson.

The full commentary is available on the Adam Smith Project website, subscription is required.

 

B20 Issues High-Level Digitalization Statement

blue tone city scape and network connection conceptThe B20 issued a high-level statement on “Digitalization for All: Towards an Inclusive Interconnected World” which was signed by fifty leading business representatives including USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, who serves as co-chair of the Employment and Education Task Force. The high-level statement emphasizes the benefits of digitalization, from boosting consumer welfare to facilitating equality, and highlights it as a critical cross-sectoral and cross-cutting mean to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. However, obstacles remain in terms of inadequate internet access, insufficient broadband coverage and the need to build skills to realize the full potential of the digital economy.

The statement recommends public-private collaboration to better prepare business and people for the digital economy and the need to regularly adjust curricula in schools, continuing education and requalification programs, especially for women and girls. The statement notes that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) also need government support in increasing knowledge exchange and fostering expertise on technology application.

In addition to Robinson, signatories include Tom Donohue, co-chair of the Employment and Education Task Force and president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a USCIB Trustee, Daniel Funes, chairman, International Organization of Employers and co-chair of the Employment and Education Task Force and Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Trade and Investment Task Force.

The B20 Task Force on Digitalization also released a policy paper on “Digitalization for All: Future-Oriented Policies for a Globally Connected World.” Key recommendations in the policy paper include: (1) fostering global connectivity, which includes improving cybersecurity and enabling cross-border data flows; (2) strengthening Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet by fostering innovation and ICT infrastructure deployment; and (3) supporting the evolution of human-centric artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies.  USCIB actively contributed to this paper.