2017 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner

USCIB is delighted to honor Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of MasterCard. Each year this gala event attracts several hundred industry leaders, government officials and members of the diplomatic community to celebrate open markets and the recipient of USCIB’s highest honor.

Established in 1980, USCIB’s International Leadership Award is presented to a senior business executive who has made significant policy contributions to world trade and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. Join us for what will be a truly memorable evening!

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

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.

ATA Carnets Paper Processing Moves Into the 21st Century

The World Customs Organization (WCO) has endorsed the launching of a pilot in 2018 of a digital ATA Carnet process! The eCarnet working group of the International Chamber of Commerce/World Chambers Federation (ICC/WCF) provided an update on the electronic Carnet (eCarnet) developments to the WCO’s eATA Carnet Working Group.

The group met at WCO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on June 30.  The ICC/WCF advised it is moving, on schedule, into phase three of creating a digitized ATA Carnet system.  There will be a pilot project launched in 2018 to test the system and processes for an eCarnet.

ICC/WCF showcased its recently developed Mercury system, a centralized database system of key ATA Carnet data.  A digitized ATA Carnet will facilitate transactions, increase data security, reduce exceptions and improve administration.  Customs, Carnet holders, service providers and national guaranteeing associations, such as USCIB, will be more productive with a modernized export/import process for items moving under an ATA Carnet. More than 15 nations and the European Union expressed their support and welcomed this initiative.  Some countries displayed an eagerness to join the pilot project.

USCIB’s Andy Shiles attends the WCO meetings in Brussels, Belgium

Andrew Shiles, USCIB’s new senior vice president of ATA Carnets and Trade Services, attended the WCO meeting and emphasized the large scale of business opportunities that ATA Carnets can provide for both small and large American enterprises. “It is exciting to be involved in such a dynamic time in the ATA Carnet industry,” said Shiles, adding that “We are truly making history by moving the ATA Carnet processes into the 21st century.  This means that billions of dollars worth of goods will move through efficient eATA Carnet processes resulting in jobs being created.”

The ATA Carnets are used by thousands of exporters around the world to get goods through customs quickly and easily. While the ATA Carnet is currently in force in 77 countries, Shiles is striving to see an expansion of even more countries.

ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that permit temporary duty-free, tax-free entry of qualified goods for up to one year. They are used widely to facilitate entry of goods for trade shows, product samples and professional equipment. “Astute business people utilize the unique tool of an ATA Carnet to promote their goods internationally where they can generate incremental sales, reduce handling costs and protect a company’s cash flow when it comes to international transportation,” noted Shiles.  “In fact, a company dealing with international sales may be missing out on a great opportunity if they if they are not using carnets,” he warned.

USCIB manages and guarantees the ATA Carnet system in the United States, with responsibility for issuing ATA Carnets falling to two outside service providers, Roanoke Trade and the Corporation for International Business. ATA Carnets are accepted in 77 countries and territories, while the global ATA systems are overseen by the WCO and the ICC. USCIB serves as ICC’s U.S. national guaranteeing association. For more information on ATA Carnets and the benefits they can provide for your business, please visit USCIB’s website.

Donnelly Talks NAFTA in California

USCIB Vice President for Investment and Trade Shaun Donnelly traveled to Riverside, California to address the Inland Southern California World Affairs Council on “NAFTA: Is It Good or Bad for America?” on June 22.  Clue – the correct answer is GOOD!  Donnelly, a retired U.S. diplomat and trade negotiator, laid out the history of NAFTA and broader U.S. trade policy and the key issues currently on the table as the U.S. government heads into a major effort to update the 23 year-old agreement with the Canadian and Mexican governments.

Addressing an audience of academics, students, business and community leaders plus Mexican consular representatives from the local consulate, Donnelly made clear the strong and broad support for NAFTA, and an updated, strengthened NAFTA, across USCIB’s membership and the broader business community.

“NAFTA has, on balance, clearly been advantageous to all three countries,” noted Donnelly.  “It’s time to update the agreement to address new issues but we should be thinking in terms of ‘a facelift, not a lobotomy.’”

USCIB To Testify on NAFTA at Interagency Panel

Following up on the June 12 formal written submission to the Office of the US Trade Representative, USCIB will testify before the USTR-led interagency panel on “NAFTA Modernization” this week.  USCIB Vice President for Investment and Trade Shaun Donnelly will participate on Panel 8 “General Trade Matters” at 4:00pm today.  The hearings, which are open to the public, are scheduled to run 9:00 am to 8:00 pm at the Main Hearing Room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436.

Donnelly will draw on the USCIB written submission, developed with strong input from its members across its cross-sectoral membership.

The group calls on the administration to update the 20 year-old pact to accommodate new realities in global commerce, including the rise of the digital economy, while keeping what works from the original agreement.

“Our member companies, who collectively encompass America’s most successful enterprises on the global stage, strongly support modernization of NAFTA,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “But they are united in believing that this must take place as part of a broader strategy to open international markets for U.S. companies, and remove barriers and unfair trade practices in support of U.S. jobs.”

USCIB calls upon the administration to update and strengthen key NAFTA provisions, including the liberalization and protection of investment flows, protection of intellectual property, trade facilitation and improved agricultural market access. It also recommends tackling new areas not included or anticipated in the original agreement a quarter-century ago, such as the digital provision of goods and services, data localization requirements, treatment of state-owned enterprises. It further urges U.S. negotiators to work closely with a range of private-sector stakeholders to ensure that a revamped agreement meets business needs in the 21st century.

USCIB Urges Administration to Push Anti-Bribery Agenda in G20

USCIB joined with the Coalition for Integrity, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the AFL-CIO in a June 13 letter to President Donald Trump urging the administration to push aggressively for other leading global trading nations to match U.S. efforts against international bribery and corruption.  Specifically, the group urged the administration to press all of the 41 signatory countries to the OECD’s Anti-bribery Convention to take concrete steps to strengthen their implementation and enforcement of their foreign bribery laws.

In the context of the G20, USCIB joined in urging the administration to press for all G20 countries to become signatories and full partners in that OECD convention by the end of 2018.  Currently four G20 members (China, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia) have not signed the OECD Anti-bribery Convention.

The G20 Summit meeting will be held July 7-9 in Hamburg, Germany.

 

 

Giblin Attends ICC Customs, Trade Meetings in Dubai

USCIB’s Megan Giblin (center, second row) along with business colleagues from ICC-UAE in Dubai

USCIB’s Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin was in Dubai last week attending ICC-UAE and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry co-hosted Customs and Trade Facilitation Forum. The Forum discussed a wide range of topics including Trade Digitalization, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the Gulf Cooperation Council value-added Tax Implementation Framework.

The UAE was the first country in the Arab world to ratify the WTO’s TFA, which entered into force earlier this year and promises to boost global trade flows by over $1 trillion this year and generate opportunities for easier, less costly cross-border trade.

According to Giblin, this meeting was a tremendous opportunity for the international business community to discuss the role the private sector can play to ensure effective implementation of the TFA and its potential for investment and regional supply chains.

USCIB’s Customs Chair Writes on Trade, Customs in Adam Smith Project

USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee Chair and Vice President of Government and Trade Relations at Hanesbrands Jerry Cook recently posted commentary on the Adam Smith Project blog (formerly known as the American Shipper column).

The commentary urges all World Trade Organization (WTO) members to take necessary steps to join the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Harmonized System Convention or commit to using it as the basis of the national customs tariff as well as commit to implementing the 2017 Harmonized System in a timely manner, seeking technical assistance from the WCO when applicable.

“The business world likes certainty,” Cook writes. “Understanding the factors that go into such landed costs as customs duties are key to assessing production and distribution costs. If there is any uncertainty over the common language of international trade, it can mean headaches, delay and extra cost.”

Read his commentary on the Adam Smith Project.