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’s Global Impact: 2017 Update on Advocacy

Welcome to USCIB’s Global Impact – an update on USCIB’s advocacy activities around the world in support of your interests. USCIB was at the table, along with many of our members, at key international deliberations– all for the express purpose of ensuring that the voice of U.S. business is heard where policies and regulations affecting your bottom line are determined.

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At a Glance

USCIB President and CEO Out Front for American Business: USCIB President & CEO, Peter Robinson’s leadership at the B20 and OECD Week.

Keeping Markets Open for U.S. Business: With uncertainty regarding trade agreements due to political developments at home and abroad, one thing remains certain: international markets need to be open for U.S. companies. USCIB was on the ground meeting with officials from the OECD and WTO pressing for strong investment agreements and the removal of trade barriers, all in support of U.S. jobs.

Advocating for a Continued Open and Dynamic Internet: Cross-border trade in digital goods and services has grown 45-fold over the past decade. USCIB was at ICANN and the OECD advocating for policies that do not hamper innovation and that allow the Internet and broader digital economy to realize the tremendous potential to create economic opportunity and address social challenges.

Safeguarding the Role of Business in Environment and Climate Change Policy: An increasing number of multilateral organizations are considering proposals to keep business out of policy deliberations where decisions are being made that impact U.S. business bottom lines. This is particularly prevalent in the UN environmental space. USCIB was on the front lines at UNEP and the UNFCCC pushing back against these efforts as private sector involvement is critical to the success in solving the very problems that these UN agencies seek to address.

Making International Taxation Rules Predictable for Business: New global tax rules have been developed under the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan. Now, the focus is on BEPS implementation and opportunities to improve tax certainty remain. USCIB met with OECD and other government officials urging them to consider the need for a predictable fiscal environment that will protect and encourage cross-border trade and investment in the context of implementing these BEPS recommendations.

Working to Reduce Trade Barriers: Unnecessary and burdensome barriers to trade can cost companies and national economies billions of dollars. The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which entered into force earlier this year, promises to boost global trade flows by over $1 trillion and generate opportunities for easier, less costly cross-border trade. USCIB crossed the globe pushing for global modernization of customs laws, regulations, processes and day-to-day practices are necessary for efficient supply chains.

Leadership at the ILO and more…
Review USCIB’s engagement at the ILO’s International Labor Conference and the ICC Marketing & Advertising Commission.

Upcoming USCIB Representation around the World to be Covered in the Next Global Impact
APEC SOM 3 Meetings – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; August, 2017

WCO Harmonized System Committee (HSC) Meeting – Brussels, Belgium; November, 2017

APEC CEO Summit – Da Nang, Vietnam; November, 2017

ICC Customs & Trade Facilitation Commission Meeting – Paris, France; November, 2017

UNFCCC COP23 – Bonn, German; November, 2017

WTO Ministerial – Buenos Aires, Argentina; December, 2017

UNEA3 – Nairobi, Kenya; December, 2017

ICC Advocates for Women Empowerment Through Technology

The annual UN High Level Political Forum wrapped up last week having measured progress and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the past two years. USCIB was on the ground during Agriculture and Food Day, which focused on Goal 2-Ending Hunger, as well as the UN SDG Business Forum, which focused on business support among all 17 SDG’s.  SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and calls for enhances use of enabling technology –information and communications technologies (ICT’s) in particular—to promote the empowerment of women.  For many women around the world, ICT’s can be leveraged for personal security, better access to education and jobs, financial inclusion and access to basic healthcare information. But benefits such as these rely on women having meaningful access to ICT which can be facilitated or prevented by several factors, including affordability, relevant content, skills and security.

To help turn commitment into action, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) partnered with UN Women – the global champion for gender equality – to host a side-event during the HLPF.  The event, Accelerating Women’s Economic Empowerment to Achieve the 2030 Agenda, showcased the global efforts stakeholders have embarked on to bring women’s economic empowerment to the forefront of all the SDG targets.

“Through innovation, investment and development of products and services, the private sector plays an important role in advancing gender equality and improving the lives of women,” said Barbara Wanner USCIB vice president for ICT Policy. ICC highlighted several private sector initiatives during the side-event that are catalyzing women’s economic empowerment in developed and developing countries and presented the role of ICT’s in advancing the SDG’s.

Participants included contributors to the UN Secretary General High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment and representatives from the governments of the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, UN Women, the International Labor Organization, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich, and Carolyn Nguyen of Microsoft who is also vice-chair of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy.

For additional information on this event, please visit ICC’s website.

USCIB Highlights Business Role at UN Sustainable Development Meetings

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich opens the UN SDG Business Forum

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) were created to measure progress and achievements towards a sustainable future through a series of 17 goals adopted by the UN General Assembly under the moniker Agenda 2030.  During this year’s annual UN High-Level Political Forum, held from July 10 – 19 at UN headquarters in New York, the UN Secretariat worked with member states to discuss paths to implementation and to track progress on the SDGs. USCIB and its members were on the ground during the HLPF highlighting the role of engaging all business sectors to advancing environmental, economic and social cooperation for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

USCIB Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener supported USCIB’s longtime partner, the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN), on their event focusing on SDG2, Ending Hunger, during their side-event, Agriculture and Food Day on July 13. IAFN partnered with leading organizations to host this event to celebrate, discuss, negotiate, analyze, and brainstorm around the role of the agricultural and food sector in relation to the implementation of the SDGs. Agriculture and Food Day summarized the importance of targeting the agricultural sector and food issues to reach the SDGs by 2030. IAFN has been a consistent champion for a stand-alone goal on sustainable agriculture and food security.

However, “solutions cannot address just one goal, but must look to make a difference to several at once,” noted Michener.  “The purpose of Agriculture and Food Day was to examine how focusing on agricultural and food policy could achieve not only Goal 2 but make substantive contributions to the achievement of the other 16 goals.  Investments made in agriculture — the dominant occupation for the world’s poorest people — can accomplish much beyond Goal 2, including improvements in health, incomes, trade, infrastructure, and the environment,” he said.

USCIB policy experts and members also joined the SDG Business Forum on July 18, the first business-organized meeting held in the UN’s General Assembly Hall. Speakers from the UN, governments, NGOs and business discussed private sector investment, information sharing and public-private partnership to take forward the 17 SDGs.  The Forum was organized by the Global Business Coalition for 2030, a coalition of major business organizations and the UN Global Compact, facilitated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Speaking to the HLPF, USCIB Vice President for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy stated, “Innovation, infrastructure, economic growth and empowerment and good governance are the four inter-linked cornerstones for all 17 SDGs for business. Therefore it is crucial to consult with private sector groups at the national and regional level to develop enabling frameworks for business actions to advance the SDGs,” she said. Over 40 countries submitted national reports this year on their progress towards the SDGs.

Many of the speakers echoed the sentiment that neither the SDG’s nor the wider 2030 Agenda can be achieved without active participants of non-state actors, including business and industry, to drive  inclusive economic growth and prosperity.

In his remarks to the HLPF, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich noted, “There can be no doubt that the private sector means business when it comes to the SDG’s. Since their inception, I’ve said the SDG’s should be known as the BDG’s, the Business Development Goals, and that’s because their achievement represents a clear economic imperative. Business engagement on the UN SDG’s is not only a powerful way to enhance society’s trust but also a great business opportunity. Achieving the SDG’s opens up $12 trillion in market opportunity in sectors such as food, energy, health and cities.”

USCIB member KPMG’s Nick Chism, deputy head of Global Sales and Markets and global chair of Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare, discussed the importance of creating business-friendly environment and opportunities, indicating that enabling environments will lead to more private sector investment.

For this year’s HLPF, USCIB members, including Bechtel, Cargill, Citi, Hilton, Monsanto, Novozymes and Pirelli, added new examples of actions to advance the SDGs to USCIB’s Businessfor2030 web platform.

USCIB’s Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner also attended an event, Accelerating Women’s Economic Empowerment to Achieve the 2030 Agenda, which was organized by ICC and UN Women – the global champion for gender equality. For many women around the world, ICT’s can be leveraged for personal security, better access to education and jobs, financial inclusion and access to basic healthcare information. But benefits such as these rely on women having meaningful access to ICT which can be facilitated or prevented by several factors, including affordability, relevant content, skills and security. The event showcased the global efforts stakeholders have embarked on to bring women’s economic empowerment to the forefront of all the SDG targets.

“Through innovation, investment and development of products and services, the private sector plays an important role in advancing gender equality and improving the lives of women,” said Wanner.

ICC highlighted several private sector initiatives during the side-event that are catalyzing women’s economic empowerment in developed and developing countries and presented the role of ICT’s in advancing the SDG’s. For additional information on this event, please visit ICC’s website.

Historic Business Meeting at the UN Advances the Sustainable Development Goals

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich addresses participants at the Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum during the UN High Level Political Forum

USCIB members joined today’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Business Forum (live now on UN TV) during the High Level segment of the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) to highlight the role of business in advancing environmental, economic and social cooperation for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  At this first business-organized meeting in the UN’s General Assembly Hall, speakers from the UN, governments, NGOs and business discussed private sector investment, information sharing and public-private partnership to take forward the 17 SDGs.  The SDG Business Forum was organized by the Business Coalition for 2030, a coalition of major business organizations and the UN Global Compact, facilitated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

This year’s HLPF, from July 10 – 19, review and deliberations focused on SDGs on innovation and infrastructure, as well as food security, gender equality, health and oceans.  Speaking to the HLPF, USCIB Vice President for Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy stated, “Innovation, infrastructure, economic growth and empowerment and good governance are the four inter-linked cornerstones for all 17 SDGs for business.”  Kennedy also emphasized the importance of consulting with private sector groups at the national and regional level to develop enabling frameworks for business actions to advance the SDGs. Over 40 countries submitted national reports this year on their progress towards the SDGs.

In his remarks to the HLPF, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich noted that after two years of implementation, “the SDGs have been embraced by companies of all sectors and sizes as ‘Business Development Goals.’”

For this year’s HLPF, USCIB members, including Bechtel, Cargill, Citi, Hilton, Monsanto, Novozymes and Pirelli, added new examples of their actions to advance the SDGs to USCIB’s Businessfor2030 web platform.

For more information on USCIB’s SDG Working Group and Advocacy, please contact Norine Kennedy or Gabriella Rigg Herzog.

USCIB has been on the ground during the HLPF for the past two weeks, including supporting an International Agri-Food Network event on Agriculture and Food last week.

SDG Business Forum

Following the success of last year’s inaugural forum, the second annual SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations on 18 July 2017 during the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda recognizes the critical role of business in delivering on the promise of sustainable and inclusive development. The business case for sustainable development is based on the understanding that business and social values are inextricably linked and business efforts to improve lives and strengthen local communities can also have long term bottom line benefits. The private sector has been invited to share its support for the Agenda during the HLPF at the SDG Business Forum.

Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030, the SDG Business Forum will convene leaders from business and government, together with the heads of UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society groups to delve into the role business will play in delivering the 2030 Agenda. Featuring a showcase review of business engagement on the 7 goals in focus at this year’s HLPF, as well as individual sessions examining investment, partnerships, and monitoring, this event will foster robust dialogue between governments and the private sector on critical issues and the way forward.

The Forum will report on significant achievements and commitments undertaken by business and gauge private sector efforts to catalyze sustainable growth and development during this critical implementation phase. Ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, the global business community is committed to contribute to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the realization of a long-lasting, prosperous future for all.

USCIB Supports HLPF Side-Event on Agriculture and Food

With the UN High-Level Political Forum taking place in New York from July 10-19, USCIB has been on the ground, starting with Agriculture and Food Day, an event hosted by the International Agri-food Network (IAFN) on July 13, which summarized the importance of targeting the agricultural sector and food issues in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The SDGs help to guide people and the planet towards a sustainable future, and they were created to measure progress and achievements towards this series of 17 goals adopted by the UN General Assembly under the moniker Agenda 2030.  During the High-Level Political Forum, the UN Secretariat works with its member states to discuss paths to implementation and to track progress on the SDGs.  IAFN has advocated for several years during the SDG development process on the need for a stand-alone goal on sustainable agriculture and food security; this goal is SDG2, Ending Hunger.

However, “solutions cannot address just one goal, but must look to make a difference to several at once,” noted Mike Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation who also covers USCIB’s work on health and food and agriculture. “The purpose of Agriculture and Food Day was to examine how focusing on agricultural and food policy could achieve not only Goal 2 but also make substantive contributions to the achievement of the other 16 goals.  Investments made in agriculture — the dominant occupation for the world’s poorest people — can accomplish much beyond Goal 2, including improvements in health, incomes, trade, infrastructure, and the environment,” he said.

IAFN partnered with a number of leading organizations to host “Agriculture and Food Day” to celebrate, discuss, negotiate, analyze, and brainstorm around the role of the agricultural and food sector in relation to the implementation of the SDGs. The day included a thematically-focused plenary session with high-level speakers including high-ranking UN diplomats, a series of roundtable discussions on inter-linkages in SDGs, and a dynamic luncheon featuring of youth in agriculture with the goal to raise awareness of the critical need for investment in Goal 2, Zero Hunger. IAFN hosted the event with the Farming First coalition, a group that advocates for agriculture programs to be farmer-centered and knowledge-based.

USCIB is also participating in the SDG Business Forum on July 18.

USCIB Pushes for a Pro-Business Policy in Multilateral Forums

As an increasing number of multilateral organizations consider proposals to keep business out of policy deliberations, USCIB met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations (IO) Affairs Nerissa Cook on June 26 to encourage the administration to implement a consistent pro-business access policy in multilateral forums and to build on existing positive interactions between the UN and U.S. business.

The State Department has the lead for managing U.S. government engagement with international organizations, including many in the UN system which take decisions impacting U.S. business interests from the standpoint of regulations, norms and standards in the global marketplace.  USCIB members have voiced concerns about several of these bodies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), whose rules limit engagement with some private sector interests and set business-discriminatory precedents across the UN system.

“We appreciate the strong efforts across the State Department, IO and EB to advance and protect U.S. business interests,” said Mike Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation, who leads USCIB work in the health, agriculture, and chemicals policy.  “American business strongly supports continued U.S. government engagement in multilateral forums particularly where decisions are being made that impact U.S. business bottom lines.  Moreover, business brings its commitment, innovation, know-how, and investment to solving the very problems that these UN agencies seek to address via the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. UN agencies stand to benefit from employing the inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership approach used by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Montreal, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm treaties.”

In concluding the discussion, USCIB President and CEO, Peter Robinson, highlighted the practical importance of good governance principles throughout the UN, stating, “access, transparency and accountability to the U.S. private sector are prerequisites for business engagement in implementation of UN initiatives and policies.”