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!

Finance Disrupted Economist Event

Initially seen as a threat, banking incumbents have acknowledged the profitability behind collaborating with fintech insurgents and the opportunity to create win-win partnerships.

On September 28th at Finance Disrupted top venture capitalists and established banks will bring a hollistic perspective to find out: who is succeeding, who is failing, and where is the new seed and growth capital going?

Registration is now open! For a limited time, take advantage of the Early Bird Rate and save $400.

Download the program for full event details.

What Does Fintech Mean for Startups and Incumbents?

Finance Disrupted BannerIn today’s financial services landscape, innovative collaborations between established firms and start-ups surviving disruption. This fall, join editors of The Economist and more than 275 financial services leaders, innovative thinkers and disruptive entrepreneurs at Finance Disrupted, to ask: to succeed in the fintech revolution, must you collaborate or die?

Click here to learn more and view the agenda.

Some of our notable speakers participating in the event include:

  • Jeremy Allaire, Founder, chairman and chief executive, Circle
  • Mike Cagney, Chief executive, chairman and co-founder, SoFi
  • Thomas Curry,Comptroller of the currency, US Department of Treasury
  • Usama Fayyad,Chief data officer, Barclays
  • Neil Hiltz,Head of financial services, global vertical strategy, Facebook
  • John E. Schlifske,Chairman and chief executive, Northwestern Mutual
  • Alexa von Tobel,Founder and chief executive, LearnVest.com

Save 15% on the current available rate when you register with our special code, USCIB15. Please note that rates will increase after September 23rd 2016.

Register here.

Financial Services

Background

The present financial crisis has created systemic risks which no economy can afford to take. Governments are responding to these extraordinary circumstances under the auspices of the G-20 to establish financial and regulatory reform.

Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. Recent actions by governments and central banks in several key countries to reduce interest rates, help recapitalize major banks, and get credit flowing more normally again were necessary steps toward restoring confidence in the banking system, although they have not yet produced their full effect.

Objective

Promote financial stability and an effective regulatory and supervisory framework for financial markets; develop recommendations for governments and international organizations on international economic and financial policy, investment, and debt, U.S. monetary and exchange rate policies, and structural issues; provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas on U.S. and international economic policy issues.

Current Priorities

  • Support WTO negotiations that include all aspects of financial services, emphasizing transparency of existing rules, regulatory reform and liberalization of barriers.
  • Avoid financial and investment protectionism.
  • Work to maximize ICC contributions promoting WTO financial services liberalization, including implementation of an active program informing governments of ICC positions on liberalization of financial services and insurance.
  • Promote principles of good corporate governance in developing countries through work with ICC in the development of outreach seminars on corporate governance.
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Chair

TBA

Economic and Financial Policy Working Group Chair

TBA

Staff

Shaun Donnelly
Vice President, Investment and Financial Services
202-617-3156 or sdonnelly@uscib.org

Stephen J. Canner
Senior Advisor
646-709-2481 or scanner@uscib.org

Diana Jack
Policy & Program Assistant, Washington
202-617-3156 or djack@uscib.org

Recent Accomplishments

 

Please use the links below to explore recent statements and reports, news stories on USCIB’s website, and media coverage related to our work.

Positions and Statements

Business Asks for Realistic Approach on OECD Corporate Governance Principles (2/24/2004) - During February’s meeting of a key steering group of the 30-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, negotiations on the newly revised OECD Principles on Corporate Governance reached a crucial stage.  The principles are to be finalized for adoption at May’s OECD ministerial meeting in Paris. Commenting on the negotiations of the government experts, members […]
ICC statement on Tobin tax (12/14/2001) - Department of Policy and Business Practices Commentary by the ICC Presidency The “Tobin tax” – a business viewpoint Introduction Since originally raised in 1974 by Professor James Tobin, Nobel Memorial Pricze winner in economics, the question of taxing international transactions in different currencies has over the years been proposed in various versions and for a […]

Read More

News Stories

What Does Fintech Mean for Startups and Incumbents? (8/30/2016) - This fall, join editors of The Economist and more than 275 financial services leaders, innovative thinkers and disruptive entrepreneurs at Finance Disrupted, to ask: to succeed in the fintech revolution, must you collaborate or die?
World Bank Briefing for Manhattan Finance Community (12/3/2004) - At the request of Carole Brookins, U.S. executive director of the World Bank Group, USCIB organized a timely meeting for the New York financial community in November with senior World Bank executives. The high-level briefing was attended by some 50 senior executives from a variety of U.S. and foreign financial institutions.  Hosted by J.P. Morgan […]

Read More

Press Releases

Donnelly Joins USCIB as Vice President of Investment and Financial Services (9/7/2011) - New York, N.Y., September 7, 2011 – Shaun Donnelly, a career diplomat who has held several senior executive branch posts, has joined the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), a pro-trade group representing America’s top global companies, as vice president for investment and financial services.
New editor takes over ICC corporate governance website (6/11/2003) - Paris, June 11, 2003 – ICC’s Corporate Governance website moved into top gear today with up-to-the-minute coverage of developments of vital interest to companies across the world. Stories include moves by the European Commission to set new rules billed as “a model for the rest of the world” as well as a report from New […]

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Donnelly Joins USCIB as Vice President of Investment and Financial Services

Shaun Donnelly
Shaun Donnelly

New York, N.Y., September 7, 2011Shaun Donnelly, a career diplomat who has held several senior executive branch posts, has joined the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), a pro-trade group representing America’s top global companies, as vice president for investment and financial services.

“Shaun Donnelly comes to USCIB at a critical time for investment policy around the world,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson.  “America’s future prosperity depends on opening up new markets for investment, trade and technological know-how.  Shaun’s wealth of experience at the State Department, USTR and in the Washington business community, and his top-notch reputation in commercial diplomacy, will ensure that USCIB continues to play a leadership role in crafting sensible policies that ensure fair competition and a level playing field, both at home and around the world.”

Founded in 1945, USCIB works to advance U.S. industry positions globally through a unique network of overseas business groups and official standing in a number of intergovernmental bodies, including the OECD and the International Labor Organization.  It has been at the forefront of efforts to foster investment-friendly policies in the United States and other countries, and its policy advocacy activities touch on many aspects of multinational business practice and regulation.

Mr. Donnelly will work out of USCIB’s Washington, D.C. office, reporting to Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan.  He brings to USCIB over 30 years’ experience with the U.S. Department of State in a wide range of roles including: principal deputy assistant secretary for economic and business affairs; U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka; deputy assistant secretary for international trade; deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tunisia; and a detail as assistant U.S. trade representative for Europe and the Middle East.  After retiring from the State Department in 2008, Mr. Donnelly held positions with the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  He holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a B.A. from Lawrence University.

Mr. Donnelly succeeds Stephen Canner, a former Treasury Department official who will remain affiliated with USCIB as a senior advisor.  “We are very grateful for Steve Canner’s energetic service with USCIB these past 16 years, and we are glad we will continue to benefit from his expertise,” said Mr. Robinson.

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org

Contact:

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB

(212) 703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

More on USCIB’s Financial Services Committee

World Bank Briefing for Manhattan Finance Community

Daniel Zelikow, managing director of J.P. Morgan Chase’s government institutions group, welcomes the World Bank panel (R-L): Carol Brookins, Peter Woicke, Yukiko Omura, Katherine Sierra and Kenneth Lay
Daniel Zelikow, managing director of J.P. Morgan Chase’s government institutions group, welcomes the World Bank panel (R-L): Carol Brookins, Peter Woicke, Yukiko Omura, Katherine Sierra and Kenneth Lay

At the request of Carole Brookins, U.S. executive director of the World Bank Group, USCIB organized a timely meeting for the New York financial community in November with senior World Bank executives.

The high-level briefing was attended by some 50 senior executives from a variety of U.S. and foreign financial institutions.  Hosted by J.P. Morgan Chase, the meeting was designed to familiarize members and other executives with the financial products the World Bank will use to engage the private sector as it moves forward to address the $540 billion annual infrastructure financing needs in its client countries.

In addition to Ms. Brookins, panelists included Peter Woicke (executive director, International Finance Corporation and managing director, World Bank Group), Kenneth Lay (deputy treasurer, World Bank treasury department), Katherine Sierra (vice president for infrastructure, IFC) and Yukiko Omura (executive vice president, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency).

Among the topics discussed were the impact that the amounts of capital at stake will have on the public sector and the private markets.  The World Bank is developing a new range of financial products to engage various Bank agencies and the private sector to address the financing needs in developing countries.

The briefing was part of the World Bank’s effort to gain private-sector input to identify ways to catalyze private sector investment, including the incorporation of such tools as sub-sovereign lending, capital markets, structured finance, guarantees, syndications, local currency financing and credit derivatives.

Staff contact: Shaun Donnelly 

More on USCIB’s Financial Services Committee

 More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

 World Bank website

Business Asks for Realistic Approach on OECD Corporate Governance Principles

During February’s meeting of a key steering group of the 30-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, negotiations on the newly revised OECD Principles on Corporate Governance reached a crucial stage.  The principles are to be finalized for adoption at May’s OECD ministerial meeting in Paris.

Commenting on the negotiations of the government experts, members of the OECD’s Business and Industry Advisory Committee(BIAC) asked their governments to sustain the notion that “one size does not fit all” in corporate governance standards.

Every national regulatory system has to find its own balance between regulation by governments and self-regulation, BIAC members said.  A level of diversity is necessary for the maintenance of an internationally competitive environment, and companies welcome the new emphasis given to the effective enforcement of existing corporate governance rules.  Business believes, however, that having clear, concise and understandable OECD principles is necessary for their effective enforcement.

The 38 business federations from all the OECD countries belonging to BIAC – and the companies they represent – will continue to take the discussions on corporate governance seriously and participate actively in the elaboration and revision of corporate governance laws and codes in their countries.

Staff contact: Ariel Meyerstein 

BIAC website

More on USCIB’s Corporate Responsibility Committee

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

New editor takes over ICC corporate governance website

Paris, June 11, 2003 – ICC’s Corporate Governance website moved into top gear today with up-to-the-minute coverage of developments of vital interest to companies across the world.

Stories include moves by the European Commission to set new rules billed as “a model for the rest of the world” as well as a report from New Delhi about controversial new government proposals to strengthen the role of independent directors.

Also on the site is an account of the implications for Australian companies of new disclosure rules introduced by the Australian stock exchange and a report under a London dateline about heightened public interest in boardroom pay – and the repercussions for companies.

With more than 8,000 member companies in over 140 countries, ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world. It is represented in the U.S. by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), its American national committee based in New York.

From Manila comes a story on efforts by the Asian Development Bank and the OECD to bring about swift improvements in corporate governance across Asia. An OECD White Paper just issued maintains that the most serious corporate governance challenge facing the Asian region is the “exploitation of non-controlling shareholders”.

The ICC Corporate Governance website was introduced a year ago with a mission to assist companies, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises, in achieving the highest standards of corporate governance. At the same time, it seeks to keep abreast of relevant government and private sector initiatives.

Taking over as the site’s editor is Australian writer and broadcaster Colin Chapman, a former Director of Television for the Financial Times. In the last 18 months, Mr Chapman has been course director on financial and political reporting for the Commonwealth Press Union, the British Council, and USIS. He has also acted as a visiting lecturer at the University of Beijing, where among other subjects he lectured on corporate governance.

Julian Kassum, site manager, said: “The site takes a strong ‘how to’ approach and will be especially useful to companies that are overhauling their corporate governance provisions.”

One of the big issues that will shortly be analysed in a full-length feature is whistle-blowing, and safeguards for employees who draw attention to irregularities.

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce. Its membership includes some 300 leading U.S. companies, professional services firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contacts:
Bryce Corbett, ICC Communications
(011-33-6) 20-47-32-52 or bryce.corbett@iccwbo.org

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB Communications
(212) 703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

The ICC Corporate Governance Website

More on USCIB’s Financial Services Committee 

Industry Boosts Efforts on Governance Issues

Responding to highly-publicized cases of poor corporate governance and the need to restore confidence in the global financial system, multilateral institutions and the business community are beefing up efforts to provide international guidance and possibly new rules in the area.

Leading the charge is the OECD, which this month begins a review of its Principles of Corporate Governance.  Adopted in 1999, The non-binding principles were intended to serve as a reference point for countries’ efforts to evaluate their own legal, institutional, and regulatory frameworks.  They have become a global guidepost for the largest institutional investors around the world and for organizations like the World Bank.

At their annual meeting in May 2002, OECD ministers authorized the review of the 1999 principles.  With three years of experience upon which to build, the OECD will seek to evaluate gaps in the present systems of corporate oversight and identify areas that could be strengthened.  Corporate governance is also expected to be high on the agenda of the next Group of Eight summit of leading industrial nations in Evian in June.

USCIB member Edwin Williamson (Sullivan and Cromwell) will chair an ad hoc group in the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD to advance business views on issues, recommendations and procedures for implementing governance principles.

To help meet this challenge, USCIB is forming a corporate governance working group to formulate and coordinate USCIB positions on the issues.  A major early challenge in the effort will be implementation – assuring investors that governments have adopted the highest standards of governance, and that those standards are being implemented.  What should be done where standards fall short and implementation is found wanting?

It is also anticipated that some governments and NGOs will seek to broaden the OECD review to embrace other issues such as human rights, labor rights and environment, issues that are more appropriately dealt with elsewhere.  Both BIAC and ICC have argued against weighing down what has thus far been a very valuable multilateral exercise with non-governance issues

Staff contact: Ariel Meyerstein 

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

More on USCIB’s Financial Services Committee

 OECD Principles on Corporate Governance (PDF file)

ICC statement on Tobin tax

ICCWBO logo

Department of Policy and Business Practices

Commentary by the ICC Presidency

The “Tobin tax” – a business viewpoint

Introduction

Since originally raised in 1974 by Professor James Tobin, Nobel Memorial Pricze winner in economics, the question of taxing international transactions in different currencies has over the years been proposed in various versions and for a number of different reasons.  While ICC considers that greater stability of financial markets is desirable, it also believes that a “Tobin tax” would be harmful to international trade, economic growth and welfare, and businesses throughout the world. The smallest nations would be most hurt. The tax would not prove feasible in practice since it would require uniform implementation throughout the world, and would need to encompass not only spot transactions but also substitutes and supplements such as currency swaps, forwards and futures in order to limit evasion.

Tobin’s original idea

Tobin’s original idea was to introduce an internationally uniform tax on all spot conversions of one currency into another, proportional to the size of the transaction. The impact of such a tax would obviously punish short-term trading more seriously than longer-term trading. A major concern was to make currency exchange rates reflect to a larger degree long-run fundamentals relative to short-range expectations and risks, and thus reduce volatility. A second objective was to preserve and promote the autonomy of national macroeconomic and monetary policies. To raise revenues for international purposes was never a main motivation of Professor Tobin, but is a major purpose of many of the present supporters of such a tax.

Transactions are necessary to cover currency risks

An estimated 1,500 billion US dollars are traded each day on the world’s foreign exchange markets. Most transactions are for less than one week – most within a day – and the interbank share is approximately 70-80 per cent of the total. To a large extent, the high volume of the transactions reflects genuine needs to cover currency risks and spread the risks among different participants in the exchange market, in much the same ways that insurance risks are distributed on the international reinsurance market. Certainly, a single trade transaction may easily result in ten currency transactions because the currency risk is passed around among currency dealers like a hot potato. In most countries there are strict regulations regarding how much uncovered currency exposure banks may accept.

Harmful effects

A consequence of a Tobin tax would be to reduce short-term trading.  But there would be no guarantee that exchange rate volatility would diminish because liquidity would also diminish.  Indeed, minor currencies might become more volatile and vulnerable to manipulative speculative attacks. Reduced liquidity would also make stabilizing long-term arbitrage more risky. Thus, customers’ transaction costs would increase more than the tax levied. As with stock and security markets, some degree of short term trading – or speculation – is desirable on most currency markets to increase liquidity.

Transactions between minor currencies would be particularly hurt because there are no cross rates between many of them. Hence, it is necessary to use a major currency – for instance the US dollar (which is part of 80 to 90 per cent of all currency transactions) – as an intermediary currency. This implies two transactions or more (if an additional intermediary currency is required). Consequently, the tax might be doubled or tripled for conversions between many minor currencies. Because of the costs involved, pension funds and other portfolio managers would increase their home bias. Less capital would be available for international capital markets in general, and for investments in minor currencies in particular.

At a reasonable rate, say 0.05 per cent, the increased domestic autonomy the tax would provide in setting interest rates would be negligible.  And to the extent it did work, there might be a loss of discipline on economic policy stemming from abroad.

A Tobin tax would not prevent speculative attacks on a currency where the expected gain might be high — not unusually 10 per cent or more over a week. Furthermore, a tax could neither rectify nor repair unsustainable economic policy, which more often than not is the main reason why a currency comes under attack.

An impracticable tax

A Tobin tax would prove impracticable since it would require worldwide coverage, or at least coverage encompassing the G 10 countries, supplemented by a penalty on transactions to tax havens. Unilateral implementation would move currency trading offshore. Not only spot transactions, but also derivatives like currency swaps, forwards and futures would need to be taxed, since they are substitutes for and supplements to spot transactions.

ICC notes that Professor Tobin today is no longer a proponent of the tax that bears his name — inter alia, because the currency regime is now very different from the time when he originally proposed the tax and because he supports free trade as an instrument for raising welfare throughout the world.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ICC is firmly of the view that it would not be feasible to implement a Tobin tax.  And even if it were feasible, such a tax would neither significantly prevent speculative attacks on currencies nor increase national economic autonomy. The tax would throw sand in the wheels of international trade and investment and would harm the prospects for raising global economic growth and the welfare of all peoples.

About ICC

ICC is the world business organization, the only representative body that speaks with authority on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world.  ICC promotes an open international trade and investment system and the market economy.  Business leaders and experts drawn from the ICC membership establish the business stance on broad issues of trade and investment policy as well as on vital technical and sectoral subjects.  ICC was founded in 1919 and today it groups thousands of member companies and associations from over 130 countries.