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 Ramps Up Work on Intellectual Property and Innovation

L-R: John Sandage (WIPO) and Paul Salmon (USPTO) at the October 18 launch of USCIB’s Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee

Washington, D.C., October 25, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most innovative and successful global companies, has redoubled its efforts to promote American competitiveness with the launch of its Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee.

The new committee, chaired by Sharon Reiche, corporate counsel for global patents and policy at Pfizer Inc., builds upon USCIB’s longstanding commitment to improved protection of intellectual property – and the innovation and creativity it underpins – via robust U.S. trade policy and expanded international diplomatic commitments.

The inaugural meeting of the new USCIB committee took place on October 18 in Washington, D.C. Special guests at the meeting included John Sandage, deputy director general for patents and technology at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and Paul Salmon, senior counsel for international affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Broad-based business groups like USCIB sometimes find it difficult to reach consensus on some aspects of innovation and IP policy,” said Michael Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation, who is the lead USCIB staff member supporting the new committee. “We are confident that, with a new structure and a new commitment to working proactively toward the common goal of improving our members’ global competitiveness, we will be able to forge ahead and identify new international initiatives to secure IP rights and promote innovation.”

Michener said the committee will focus its activities via four newly created working groups, covering trademarks, trade secrets, patents and copyrights.

Another guest at the October 18 meeting was Daphne Yong-d’Herve, chief intellectual property officer with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization for which USCIB serves as the exclusive American affiliate. Yong-d’Herve provided an overview of ICC’s newly elevated status as an observer in the United Nations General Assembly. This is expected to augment ICC’s longstanding work with WIPO and other international agencies, as well as national governments, to promote effective protection of intellectual property around the world.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide.

As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

 

Official Re-launch Event of USCIB IP Committee

Official Re-launch Event of USCIB IP Committee as USCIB IP and Innovation (IPI) Committee

Please mark your calendars for the official re-launch event of the USCIB IP Committee as the USCIB IP and Innovation (IPI) Committee, featuring a keynote address from John Sandage, Deputy Director General for Patents and Technology at WIPO.

Email Mia Lauter to RSVP (mlauter@uscib.org).

USCIB’s Statement on China Urges WTO Compliance

As China continues to grow in importance in the global economy, it is crucial for the Chinese and U.S. governments to continue to work together to address common challenges and responsibilities. In view of this, USCIB has recently submitted a statement to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, which incorporated a wide array of input from USCIB members across various sectors.

In the statement, which is submitted annually, USCIB commended the U.S. and Chinese governments for important work in on-going bilateral dialogues, as well as in support of working relationships between U.S. and Chinese agencies which provide invaluable opportunities for exchanging information and addressing agency-specific issues. The statement addressed important issues to U.S. business including taxation, customs and trade facilitation, information technology and intellectual property rights. Furthermore, it advocated for continuing negotiations of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the U.S. and China.

“We also urge both countries to utilize the full range of multilateral forums in addition to the WTO, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to work toward improved commercial relations,” said Eva Hampl, who leads USCIB’s work on China.

“While USCIB acknowledges the efforts China has made since joining the WTO in 2001 to meet its obligations under the terms of its accession agreement, there still remain significant WTO obligation compliance concerns,” added Hampl. These concerns include government procurement, trade restrictions in information technology and continued intellectual property violations in audiovisual, software, agriculture biotechnology and chemicals.

The full statement is available here.

USCIB Op-Ed: Time for Some ‘Tough Love’ at the UN

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (credit: U.S. Mission to the UN)

The Hill has published an op-ed by USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson on UN reform — see below. The op-ed is also available on The Hill’s website.

This op-ed follows on a letter to the New York Times on the same topic last month, as well as an op-ed on UN funding in January. It further advances USCIB’s position that the UN must work more effectively with the private sector and other stakeholders to advance shared goals.

 

The Hill

May 1, 2017

Opinion

Ambassador Haley needs to dole out some ‘tough love’ to United Nations

By Peter Robinson, opinion contributor

Critics of the United Nations are gaining ground in Washington. Proposals to defund and disengage from the U.N. have been put forward on Capitol Hill and by the Trump administration in its proposed budget.

As a longtime observer of, and participant in the U.N. representing the American business community, I’d like to offer some unsolicited advice to Ambassador Nikki R. Haley, the U.S. representative to the U.N., on how we could work to improve the global body.

The U.N. deserves a lot of the criticism being leveled at it. Many observers, myself included, acknowledge that parts of the U.N. system often suffer from poor management, an inability to efficiently set and meet priorities and the tendency to take an unbalanced view toward certain stakeholders.

This is evident in the organization’s attitude toward the private sector. There have indeed been positive experiences, such as in the U.N. 2030 Development Agenda, where the U.N. is reaching out to the private sector to meet commonly agreed goals of poverty reduction, environmental protection and better governance.

But too often, in many parts of the U.N. system, the business community is still regarded with suspicion, and its motives are called into question or criticized as a conflict of interest. With criticism of the U.N. on the rise, now is the time for the United States to push for effective reform. Here are four areas where the U.S. could exercise some “tough love” in the United Nations.

First, insist on good management. Financial resources are scarce, and we need to know that our taxpayer dollars are being used wisely. New U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has pledged to make the organization leaner and more effective.

Work with him to increase the ability of the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services to act as a truly independent “inspector general” throughout the U.N. system, with direct reporting back to U.N. governing bodies authorized to take specific action on recommendations.

Second, demand more transparency and accountability. The U.N. has taken steps to open its doors to non-governmental entities, but much more needs to be done, particularly from the standpoint of the business community. Too often, the U.N. sets global norms and standards with little or no input from outside stakeholders, including the private sector.

This is unfortunate, especially given the extent to which business is looked to for funding, innovation and implementation in such areas as climate change, improved nutrition and better health care. In addition, some U.N. agencies, such as the World Health Organization, actively blacklist business organizations from even observing their activities. This damages the U.N.’s credibility and effectiveness.

Third, ensure the U.N. avoids redundancy and mission creep. While the U.N. plays a central role in global governance, it cannot and should not do everything or have the final say. United Nations negotiators are sometimes too eager to take up issues already being addressed elsewhere, like in global taxation, data and privacy issues, or intellectual property rights.

This not only wastes government time and money, it creates uncertainty and confusion for companies and everyone else. The U.S. should guide the U.N. and its specialized agencies to focus their resources on areas where they can add the most value and where they have a clear mandate.

One way to do this would be to develop stricter guidelines for voluntary contributions from member states, which are usually funds over and above assessed contributions for pet projects that often deviate from an agency’s mission.

Fourth, and perhaps most important, encourage the U.N. to partner with the private sector. Governments can’t do everything. The World Bank estimates that effectively tackling global problems of poverty, health, job creation and energy access will require trillions of dollars over the next 15 years, with much of that coming from the private sector in the form of project finance and foreign investment.

But this won’t happen if business views are sidelined or ignored. The U.S. should spur the U.N. to step up its partnerships with companies in such areas as innovation, infrastructure and investment.

Ambassador Haley should focus especially on U.N. agencies and bodies that have kept the business community in the dark or at arm’s length. Organizations such as the WHO and U.N. Human Rights Commission have drifted away from their core agendas and have enacted counterproductive restrictions on business — a key community which is keen to bring resources, expertise and implementation to advance their respective missions.

We should insist on inclusive and transparent governance in the U.N., with an open door for responsible actors from civil society, including the private sector.

The United Nations has made important progress, and it must continue to seek out new opportunities for collaboration that can improve lives and increase prosperity in the United States and around the world.  But none of this can happen if the United States is not at the table. The U.N. was in large part an American creation. It’s going to be up to us to try to fix it.

Peter M. Robinson is president and CEO of the United States Council for International Business.

 

Intellectual Property

Background

Intellectual property is one of the central public policy pillars for the rapidly changing knowledge-based 21st century economy. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) provide an increasingly critical legal and policy toolkit for spurring innovation, stimulating the investments needed to develop and market new innovations, creating jobs and disseminating technology and knowledge in socially beneficial ways.

Objective

Promote a robust and effective intellectual property framework worldwide. Provide a forum to encourage a US business consensus on key international policy objectives in intellectual property policy.

Current Priorities

  • International Organizations: Monitor and contribute to the work of international organizations engaged in IP issues to ensure a balanced approach to intellectual property issues that promote innovation.
  • Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy: Support and advance the agenda of organizations that ensure intellectual property is respected and protected through anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy efforts.
  • Trade: Advocate for IP language in trade agreements that establishes a robust and effective intellectual property framework to promote innovation; encourage implementation of such provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and Trade in Services Agreement.
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Chair

Vacant

Vice Chair

Sharon Reiche
Corporate Counsel, Global Patents & Policy, Legal Division
Pfizer, Inc.

Staff

Michael Michener
Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation
202-617-3159 or mmichener@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy & Program Assistant
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

  • Global Advocacy: Work to ensure that developing and developed countries support and maintain a robust and effective intellectual property environment and public policies that promote and encourage innovation. Protect from disclosure commercially sensitive and proprietary information and documents required by governments under law or regulation.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Issues: Monitor and evaluate issues of importance to USCIB members to determine whether further advocacy is required.

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

News Stories

USCIB Ramps Up Work on Intellectual Property and Innovation (10/25/2017) - USCIB has redoubled its efforts to promote American competitiveness with the launch of its Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee.
USCIB’s Statement on China Urges WTO Compliance (9/25/2017) - USCIB has recently submitted a statement to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, which incorporated a wide array of input from USCIB members across various sectors.

Read More

Press Releases

USCIB Ramps Up Work on Intellectual Property and Innovation (10/25/2017) - USCIB has redoubled its efforts to promote American competitiveness with the launch of its Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee.
USCIB Welcomes Michael Michener as Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation (2/21/2017) - The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) announced that Michael Michener, a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive, has joined USCIB’s staff as vice president of product policy and innovation.

Read More

USCIB Welcomes Michael Michener as Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation

New York, N.Y., February 21, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) announced that Michael Michener, a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive, has joined USCIB’s staff as vice president of product policy and innovation.

Working out of USCIB’s Washington, D.C. office, Michener will lead the organization’s policy work on chemicals, health, food, agriculture and intellectual property. He will also coordinate USCIB’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to USCIB, especially his background in working with international organizations, that will contribute greatly to our efforts on behalf of members,” said Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government relations. “We are excited to have him join our team at a time when the policy and regulatory challenges facing American companies are complex and growing.”

Michener most recently served in Brussels as director of multilateral relations for CropLife International, representing the association before a range of international organizations – including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the UN Environment Program and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – on issues related to crop protection products and agriculture biotechnology.

Previously Michener served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in two different roles. First, as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, he managed 1,100 employees and an annual operating budget of $300 million.  Then, as minister counselor at the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, he served as the special representative of the U.S. secretary of agriculture to UN bodies dealing with food and agricultural issues.

Michener has also worked with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Agency for International Development, and he served with the United States Army for seven years in Europe. Michener earned a master’s degree in public administration from Bowie State University and a bachelor’s degree East European studies from the University of Maryland.

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence.  Its members include 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.

USCIB’s Medina Leads Discussion at ChemCon 2016

USCIB Vice President Helen Media
USCIB Vice President Helen Medina

Facing increasing demands around the world to divulge details of their supply chains and production processes, how much information can (and should) companies share regarding the chemicals used in their products?

USCIB Vice President Helen Medina led a discussion of this topic at this week’s ChemCon Americas 2016 conference in Toronto. Chairing a panel on “Global Supply Chain Transparency & Stakeholders,” Medina noted the numerous efforts by governments and international bodies to promote greater disclosure by companies.

“There is increased societal pressure for the ‘right to know’ concept,” Medina stated. “What’s more, companies are facing market and stakeholder pressure to ‘green’ their supply chains as a way to improve their corporate citizenship profile.”

Others speaking on Medina’s panel included Mark Herwig (GE), Sophia Danenberg (Boeing), Wendy Brant (Walmart) and Scott Echols (ZDHC Foundation).

Medina said that policy makers in many countries and regions are expanding their concept of risk in chemicals, to encompass not just the materials in a given product but also how they are used. In addition, they are increasingly requiring information to understand chemical risks throughout a products entire life cycle.

Highlighting numerous inter-governmental efforts to promote transparency on chemicals use, Medina cited the UN Sustainable Development Goals, where Goal 12 sets out to “achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.”

This focus has migrated into various other discussions in the UN system and elsewhere, Media said. She urged companies of all sizes to pay greater attention to these discussions, which she said would influence national laws and rule-making on chemicals for years to come.