USCIB to Present Proposal at APEC on Fighting IP Crime, Illicit Trade

During this week’s virtual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting of the Intellectual Property Rights Expert Group (IPEG) as part of the third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) this year, USCIB will be presenting a proposal on October 7 on fighting intellectual property crime and illicit trade in counterfeit and pirated goods. This presentation will be given by USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee (AITC) Chair David Luna of Luna Global Networks and Vice Chair Fernando Peña of DHL.

The proposal presented by Luna and Peña builds on previous groundwork in APEC on fighting illicit trade in various working groups, such as IPEG, the APEC Business Advisory Council, the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures, and others, as well as scaling current efforts to strengthen international cooperation across economies, sectors and communities to fight illicit trade, including in established Free Trade Zones in the APEC region.

Luna and Pena will also discuss how COVID-19 further mutated criminality and IP infringement across online and e-commerce marketplaces, including through illicit trade, that is putting the health and safety of APEC citizens and communities at risk. Examples of products affected include medicines, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies and fast-moving consumer goods such as food, hand-sanitizers and disinfectants.

“This has resulted in increased trade in illicit goods throughout APEC economies, which has sapped governments of vital tax revenues, inhibiting funding for pandemic response and economic recovery,” added USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin. “We must continue to promote APEC’s leadership through public-private partnerships in APEC and across the Asia Pacific region and globally fight illicit trade.”

USCIB Submits Comments to USTR on China’s Compliance With WTO

USCIB submitted comments on China’s compliance with WTO commitments on September 17. The comments were in response to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) request for input. In its comments, USCIB welcomed the “Phase One” trade agreement between the United States and China, as well as China’s actions to date to implement its commitments under that agreement. According to USCIB, if fully implemented, the agreement will help address a host of policies and practices maintained by China that undermine the ability of U.S. businesses to operate, including unfair and discriminatory governmental practices.

USCIB also noted that U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliatory tariffs imposed as a result of the U.S. Section 301 investigation into China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation policies have been disruptive to U.S. business.

“While the Phase One deal partially addresses some of these tariffs, more must be done to restore the ability of U.S. business to compete effectively in the global marketplace,” said Eva Hampl, who leads USCIB’s policy work on China. “As described in this submission, many issues affecting business remain a concern in China. Accordingly, high-level bilateral dialogue between the United States and China continues to be of the utmost importance.”

USCIB urges both countries to utilize, in addition to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the full range of formal multilateral fora, including Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to work toward improved commercial relations. Plurilateral dialogues that include U.S.-friendly jurisdictions such as the European Union, Canada or Australia should also be considered.

“USCIB and its members understand and appreciate that U.S.-China economic relations are complex and multifaceted, and that American business holds a direct and important stake in this relationship and in its success,” added Hampl. “As the world’s largest economy, China’s practices and policies have a significant impact on its trading partners, and engagement with China can be challenging.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a public hearing this year. USCIB’s submission is public and can also be found on www.regulations.gov under Docket Number USTR-2020-0033.

 

USCIB Congratulates Colombia on Formally Becoming OECD Member

Pictured from left: Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia and Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD (Photo: OECD/Victor Tonelli)

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced that Colombia has formally become an OECD Member as of April 28, 2020. Colombia is the 37th country to do so in the Organization’s near 60-year history.

According to the OECD, Colombia has now completed its domestic procedures for ratification of the OECD Convention and deposited its instrument of accession. This brings to a successful conclusion an accession process that began in 2013.

“Colombia is an important market for many companies, and we commend Colombia on successfully concluding this lengthy process and committing to the high standards of the OECD,” said USCIB Senior Director for Trade, Investment and Financial Services Eva Hampl. As the official voice representing U.S. business in this process, USCIB was actively involved in providing input into Colombia’s accession process via Business at OECD (BIAC), the official business voice at the OECD.

OECD Member countries formally invited Colombia to join the Organization in May 2018, following a five-year accession process during which it underwent in-depth reviews by twenty-three OECD Committees and introduced major reforms to align its legislation, policies and practices to OECD standards. These spanned the breadth of policy fields including labor issues, reform of the justice system, corporate governance of state-owned enterprises, anti-bribery, trade, and the establishment of a national policy on industrial chemicals and waste management.

USCIB Commends Phase 1 China Deal, Urges Further Negotiations

Washington, D.C., January 15, 2020 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents many of America’s leading global companies, welcomes the signing of a Phase One deal with China today in Washington.

China continues to be an important market for U.S. business, and we recognize the progress on food and agricultural export opportunities in this agreement. It also addresses issues related to resolving intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer, which negatively affect the global competitiveness of our companies, but more remains to be done to ensure American companies are afforded a level playing field in China.

USCIB continues to support a comprehensive, high-standard deal that that holds China accountable for complying with their international obligations, vigorously pursuing a level playing field overseas, while avoiding policies that undermine U.S. industry competitiveness. We look forward to studying the details of this initial Phase One deal, and to a next phase of negotiations to address remaining issues, including removing the harmful tariffs that have been imposed on both sides.

In addition to working directly with China, we also continue to urge the Administration to work closely with allies to address many of these concerns on fundamental Chinese policies and practices. We are therefore pleased that the United States is continuing to work with the European Union and Japan toward that goal, exemplified by the cabinet-level meetings this week in Washington.

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 (ICC), the International Organization of Employers, and Business at OECD (known as BIAC), USCIB helps to provide 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.

USCIB Releases 2020 Trade and Investment Policy Priorities

Each year the Trade and Investment Committee of the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) conducts an extensive consultation process among members in identifying priorities for the coming year. The 2020 USCIB Trade and Investment Agenda includes a list of key principles our members support for open trade and investment and an action plan for addressing our trade and investment policy priorities.

The action plan anticipates another busy year on trade and investment including:

  • pressing for final approval and implementation of USMCA,
  • seeking Administration action on phase 2 agreements with China and Japan,
  • supporting movement on trade negotiations with the EU and UK,
  • seeking continued progress on negotiations in the WTO on a digital trade agreement and
  • modernizing the WTO.

“The Agenda provides the framework for USCIB work to advance policies and negotiations that will open international markets for our member companies and strengthen the global rules-based trade and investment framework,” said USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan. 

USCIB 2016 APEC Priority Issues and Recommendations

APEC_PERUThe Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is comprised of 21 member economies, which account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, over 50 percent of the world’s total GDP and half of the world’s trade. It is the top economic forum in the region that actively encourages economic growth, regional cooperation and trade and investment.

The APEC forum has established partnerships with the private sector to leverage the many economic, trade and regulatory opportunities available in the region. Each year, USCIB issues a statement outlining business priorities and recommendations in the region.

USCIB’s 2016 APEC policy priorities reflect our longstanding and overarching objectives of promoting open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility. USCIB members have identified key issues that are detailed in this paper and cover the following areas:

business ethics
chemicals
climate change
corporate social responsibility
cross-border data flows
customs transparency and trade facilitation
digital trade
environmental goods and services
food and agriculture
foreign direct investment
global value chains
good regulatory practices
healthcare and regulatory policy

infrastructure
innovation policy
intellectual property rights enforcement
localization barriers to trade
metals
privacy
self-regulation in marketing and advertising
services
state-owned enterprises
trade facilitation in remanufactured goods and e-waste
trade liberalization
women in the economy

Read the USCIB 2016 APEC Priority Issues and Recommendations

USCIB Gears Up for APEC Summit With Business Priorities

More: Boost for APEC Agenda on Marketing

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum comprised of 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. In the lead-up to APEC’s November meetings in Beijing, which will close out China’s host year, USCIB welcomes the committed partnerships that APEC sustained with the private sector to address the region’s complex economic challenges.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum comprised of 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. In the lead-up to APEC’s November meetings in Beijing, which will close out China’s host year, USCIB welcomes the committed partnerships that APEC sustained with the private sector to address the region’s complex economic challenges.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum comprised of 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. In the lead-up to APEC’s November meetings in Beijing, which will close out China’s host year, USCIB welcomes the committed partnerships that APEC sustained with the private sector to address the region’s complex economic challenges.

Throughout 2014, USCIB advanced a wide range of policy discussions through APEC to promote a pro-business agenda on chemicals regulation, advertising self-regulation, data privacy, customs, women in the economy and local content requirements.

USCIB engaged in several APEC working groups, including the Chemical Dialogue, Customs Business Dialogue and the Electronic Commerce Steering Group, to encourage discussions between governments and the private sector on topics of interest to business.

Next week, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson will attend the APEC CEO Summit in Beijing, China from November 8 to 10 as a business delegate and representative of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition along with Helen Medina, USCIB senior director of product policy and innovation, and USCIB member company CEOs and executives. Robinson and Medina will discuss USCIB’s work and members’ APEC priorities, and will join with other coalition partners to pursue common business objectives.

The APEC forum is a valuable space for business to engage with the region’s political leaders, and USCIB has assumed a leadership role in APEC on behalf of our members. At the CEO Summit this year, USCIB will organize a breakfast event on November 10 through the U.S. APEC Business Coalition to discuss the role of global value chains (GVCs) in strengthening economic integration across Pacific Rim countries. The event will feature private sector representatives and APEC government officials who will offer their perspectives on how policies and regulations impact investment decisions, supply-chain routing, cost efficiency, and key ingredients for climbing the GVC-ladder. Please find the current draft agenda here.

USCIB has also consulted with members engaged in APEC’s work to develop top-level messaging for the CEO Summit and related meetings in Beijing, as well as an APEC priorities document ahead of the 2015 APEC Summit to be hosted by the Philippines.

On October 14, the USCIB APEC Working Group met with Ed Brzytwa, Director for APEC Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and Bob Wang, U.S. Senior Official for APEC, U.S. Department of State, where members voiced their thoughts on priority areas including:

  • the integration of global value chains throughout the APEC region;
  • the importance of digital trade in economic development and issues regarding local content;
  • alignment to international best practices in advertising and the promotion of self-regulatory bodies (see below);
  • intellectual property rights enforcement and capacity building;
  • rule of law and ethical business practices in supply chains (child labor and human trafficking); and
  • the importance of energy security and strategic infrastructure to sustainable development.

Additionally, USCIB plans to meet with Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews to discuss USCIB’s APEC work and priorities.

More information on USCIB’s APEC activities will be available after the summit concludes next week.

Staff contact: Rachel Spence and Helen Medina
More on USCIB’s APEC Working Group

Boost for APEC Agenda on Marketing

Earlier this month, USCIB and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) convened a well-attended roundtable in Washington, DC, on moving forward with the promotion of marketing and advertising standards work in APEC. There are strong signals that the Chinese government (this year’s APEC host) is pushing for leaders at the November APEC summit in Beijing to endorse the APEC action agenda on advertising standards, which was agreed by ministers at the August senior officials meeting.

Among other things, the action agenda calls for APEC economies to develop principles to use in constructing their ad standards regimes, as well as an advertising regulatory checklist of key elements in a regulatory (including self-regulatory) framework. USCIB and GMA members discussed with U.S. government representatives what industry would like to see next. They agreed to send a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman laying out the case for additional APEC work in this area in order to facilitate cross-border trade and investment in the APEC region.

Staff contact: Jonathan Huneke

More on USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee