As regulators increasingly target the tax practices of international companies, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) leading role in international tax policy is more important than ever. In 2012, the OECD launched its controversial base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project, a sweeping set of policy recommendations designed to combat tax avoidance, in response to concerns that multinational firms take advantage of gaps in the global taxation system to move income to lower-tax jurisdictions. The OECD released its final BEPS recommendations in October 2015, and now governments are looking ahead to their implementation. While the business community has been broadly supportive of the BEPS project, concerns remain that some of the recommendations may lead to the double taxation of income, and many of the project’s important details must still be worked out.
USCIB, as the American affiliate of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD, has played a leading role in organizing policy dialogues about changes to the rules of global taxation. Each year, USCIB, BIAC and the OECD organize an international tax conference in Washington, D.C., convening policymakers, business executives and tax professionals for timely discussions on the most pressing BEPS issues and other developments in international tax policy. USCIB has been pressing for clarity, the lack of which could have a negative impact on global trade and investment. USCIB also helped achieve a dramatic reduction of data requirements under the final OECD BEPS proposal on country-by-country reporting.
The business community relies on the Internet and the broader digital economy to deliver the solutions and innovations needed to create jobs and spur economic growth. But the digital economy can only work to its full potential if polices are in place that enable private-sector investment and promote cross-border data flows.
In March 2016, USCIB welcomed a comprehensive package of proposals developed by numerous Internet stakeholders that will enable global stewardship of the domain name system and enhance accountability of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages the global domain name system. The proposals permit the transfer of the stewardship of a set of core Internet functions from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration to the multi-stakeholder Internet community, with safeguards to enable active involvement by the in-processes designed to hold ICANN accountable as an independent entity. USCIB worked actively to help shape this ground-breaking initiative, helping shape a complaint mechanism designed to hold ICANN accountable to stakeholders, hoping to ensure the continued stability, security and resiliency of the domain name system as well as fundamental openness of the Internet.
USCIB also applauded the successful conclusion of the U.S.-EU negotiations governing transatlantic data transfers, known as the “U.S.-EU Privacy Shield.” Replacing the former U.S.-EU safe harbor agreement, the privacy shield strengthens privacy protections while promoting legal certainty for transatlantic data flows, fostering investments that increase economic and societal benefits.
Recognizing the vast changes in the digital economy, the OECD Digital Economy Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico this June will highlight the extent to which the entire economy has become digitized, and explore how this transformation has affected social interactions, business and government operations, laws and regulations, and jobs and skills. Numerous USCIB and other global companies are set to participate.
Central to the modern economy, chemicals are traded widely across borders and are used in the production of thousands of different products, from pharmaceuticals to computer microchips. USCIB represents the chemicals industry at high-level international conferences, where, thanks to our engagement, our members’ positions are reflected in the principles put forth in chemicals management guidelines. In several international bodies, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the United Nations Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), USCIB advocates for the protection of confidential business information, respect for intellectual property and consistent regulatory
In 2015, USCIB helped prevent the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs from needlessly prohibiting two high-volume industrial chemicals that touch nearly every sector of the economy. Banning those substances would have harmed a wide range of American industries. USCIB and its membership appreciate the World
Health Organization’s concern regarding the misuse of these two chemicals; however, USCIB urged the FDA to consider the potential adverse economic impact of banning the use or restricting the manufacturing of those substances.