USCIB Encourages Biden Environmental Nominees to Engage on Multilateral Issues

New York, N.Y., December 18, 2020: The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) issued a statement today by its President and CEO, Peter Robinson, commending the nominations of Michael Regan, for Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Brenda Mallory to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

“USCIB members are strongly committed to advancing environmental protection through innovation and investment in the global marketplace. We believe that EPA and CEQ play crucial roles in shaping U.S. international environmental policy, not just in connection with climate change but in other priority areas, such as pursuing nature-based solutions, circular economies and responsible chemicals risk management. 2021 will be a year of important decision-points in the multilateral system, looking ahead to the fifth UN Environment Assembly and eventual thirty-year anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit; vigorous U.S. engagement in those deliberations will be vital for economic prosperity and environmental stewardship at home and abroad.

“USCIB sees opportunities to pursue synergies across international and domestic actions for enhanced environmental benefits, and advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), delivering a recovery that improves environmental quality, creates jobs and stimulates public-private partnerships. Since 1992, USCIB has represented U.S. business in support of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement. In addition, USCIB has been the voice of American business at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), and other multilateral environmental deliberations and forums. USCIB is fully committed to international cooperation and to partnership with our government to advance American private sector-driven economic prosperity and environmental stewardship at home and abroad. In our view, it is critical to continue to focus on and champion substantive engagement of U.S. business across the UN system on key environmental topics.

“USCIB and its members are ready to assist the incoming Administration to develop and implement market-oriented environmental solutions and measures, working with the international community and in consultation with the American private sector. As the U.S. affiliate of Business at OECD (BIAC), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE), and with its own standing at the UNFCCC, UNEP and at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), USCIB is uniquely placed to scale and amplify these opportunities across the UN system, and in the OECD and the WTO.”

About USCIB: USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of leading international business organizations and as the sole U.S. business group with standing in ECOSOC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

Policy Contact: VP for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy (nkennedy@uscib.org)

USCIB Statement on USMCA Entry Into Force

Washington, D.C., July 1, 2020 – The U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents many of America’s leading global companies, welcomes today’s entry into force of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement, preserving and deepening the economic ties in North America and bolstering the global competitiveness of our companies and workers. The implementation of this agreement comes at a critical time of restoring certainty to U.S. industry in the North American market, as the global market is working toward recovery from the impacts of the current crisis.

The three partner countries must continue to work together to ensure effective implementation of this agreement, so that the benefits of the agreement in its updated and modernized provisions including on digital trade and customs can be realized. Over 12 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, and continuing to build on this economic relationship is important for U.S. industry for future economic growth. USCIB looks forward to a seamless transition to the new agreement.

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 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 Urges Ongoing US-China Negotiations

Washington, D.C., August 13, 2019 – In response to President Trump’s announcement earlier today to delay implementation of a ten percent tariff on imports from China, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, urged the U.S. and China to continue negotiations toward a comprehensive agreement.

“Simply delaying harmful tariffs on a select number of particularly impacted products from September 1 to December 15 is not a solution,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “It is crucial for the United States and China to engage in continuous discussions in order to reach a negotiated outcome with the goal of removing these tariffs and eliminating market barriers and discrimination.”

Robinson noted that American business continues to have major problems with China’s commercial policies and urged the Trump administration to work more closely with key U.S. trading partners and with the business community to address serious Chinese trade abuses, including referring U.S. complaints to the World Trade Organization.

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 several leading international business organizations, 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

Colombia Gets Approval to Join the OECD

Colombia will join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development following an agreement among the 35-nation forum’s member states ahead of this week’s OECD ministerial.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría are expected to sign an accession agreement at the annual ministerial-level council meeting, which is scheduled for May 30, according to the OECD.

USCIB – which serves as the U.S. affiliate of Business at OECD, the representative private-sector voice in the OECD – issued the following statement:

“USCIB welcomes the progress Colombia has made over the past several years in the context of the accession process to the OECD. As the official voice representing U.S. business in this process, we acknowledge the steps taken by Colombia to meet the high standards of the OECD in various sectors. We look forward to continued progress and concrete actions being taken on outstanding issues, including on pharmaceuticals and trucking, where the current status does not yet rise to the level of like-mindedness with other OECD countries on open trade and investment. As the OECD considers inviting additional countries to join, USCIB will continue to advocate on behalf of U.S. business to ensure that all OECD countries continue to meet high standards.”

USCIB Urges US and China to Avoid Trade War

Washington, D.C., March 22, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, responded to the Trump administration’s plans to impose tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese exports along with restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States. USCIB expressed continued concern over Beijing’s trade abuses while also urging the administration to tread carefully to avoid a trade war.

“We support the goal of getting China to stop its unfair trade practices and treatment of U.S. intellectual property,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “We are encouraged to see that the administration is considering a range of tools in addressing these concerns, including WTO dispute settlement. However, we remain concerned that potential new U.S. measures and Chinese retaliation will hurt American companies, workers, farmers and consumers.“

President Trump today announced his intention to impose tariffs on some $50 billion of exports from China under Section 301 of the 1974 trade act, in response to intellectual property violations and other trade abuses. Specifically, he instructed the office of the U.S. Trade Representative to publish, within 15 days, a list of proposed Chinese goods that could be subject to tariffs, while the Treasury Department will have 60 days to recommend steps to restrict Chinese investment in the United States.

“It’s been said that nobody wins a trade war,” Robinson added. “That would be especially true of a trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies. Escalation of the current dispute would severely impact our members, who rely on sales in both markets and who maintain complex global supply chains encompassing both countries as well as many others. These overseas sales and supply chains support millions of jobs in the United States.”

Robinson concluded: “We therefore urge the Trump administration to carefully consider the actions it takes pursuant to this Section 301 report, and we encourage both governments to work together to resolve these unfair trade practices before taking steps that will damage both economies.”

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 several leading international business organizations, 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
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212.703.5043

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

 

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 Congratulates U.S. on Signature of Anti-Counterfeiting Pact

New York, N.Y., October 3, 2011 – The group that represents American business on the global stage welcomed the conclusion of an ambitious international anti-counterfeiting pact between the United States and several leading nations.  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) signed Saturday in Tokyo an important sign of more aggressive international cooperation to stem rampant counterfeiting and piracy.

“The business community congratulates U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and his team for concluding this important agreement,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson.  “Strong action is needed to combat the worldwide proliferation of fake products, which threatens U.S. consumers, jobs and our competitiveness.”

According to USTR, the ACTA negotiations aim to establish a state-of-the-art international framework that provides a model for effectively combating global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy in the 21st century.  The agreement also includes innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong enforcement practices.  Together, these provisions will help to protect American jobs in innovative and creative industries against intellectual property theft, USTR said.

In addition to the United States, parties to ACTA are Australia, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland.

USCIB has a long record of advancing intellectual property rights around the world.  It was an early supporter of protecting IPRs in the World Trade Organization via the Uruguay Round.  As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), USCIB provides American business views to foreign governments and international organizations, including the World Intellectual Property Organization.  USCIB also helped launch ICC’s BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) initiative, which coordinates the business community’s response, across industry segments and across national boundaries, in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

“Business is working with our partners around the world to keep action against counterfeiting and piracy at the top of the international agenda,” said Mr. Robinson.  “We look forward to working with the U.S. and other governments to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of ACTA going forward.”

About USCIB

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 leading international business organizations, including ICC, 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.

More on BASCAP (ICC website)

More on USCIB’s Intellectual Property Committee

Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business Launched at European Union Conference

3834_image001Strasbourg, France, October 17, 2008 – The International Chamber of Commerce’s BASCAP group today launched a set of intellectual property (IP) guidelines designed to help businesses manage copyright and branded materials, and deter trade in counterfeit and pirate goods.

During a special session at the European Union Conference on Industrial Property Rights in the Internal Market, in Strasbourg, France, the ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy initiative (BASCAP) launched the Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business to provide information to businesses on practical steps that they can take to protect their own innovation and creativity in IP-based products and services, as well as to protect against the risk of using counterfeit materials or infringing other companies’ IP rights.

With more than 8,000 member companies in over 130 countries, the Paris-based ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world.  It is represented in the United States by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), its American national committee headquartered in New York.

Copyright and branded goods are an important part of every modern economy.  The most innovative and advanced sectors rely heavily on IP to support innovation in their own products and services.  Nearly every enterprise today uses or produces some form of IP in its business – from its own trademarks on products, to copyrighted publications, music, video or software, to branded goods or services of all types.

The BASCAP guidelines will help companies assess the effectiveness of their IP management policies, and to consider new options for improving performance and managing the risks associated with counterfeiting and piracy. They deal with IP management in all its forms within companies, from IP development to component sourcing, manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, relations with intermediaries and handling of third parties’ IP.

“Counterfeiting and piracy of copyright and branded goods are a $600-billion worldwide problem which hurts not only consumers but also businesses and the overall economy,” said Richard Heath, vice president of global anti-counterfeiting for Unilever and co-chair of the BASCAP steering committee.  “Good laws and government enforcement are crucial to combat this problem, but there is a lot that businesses can do to protect their own creative and innovative products, and to avoid the risk that their supply chain or company operations have been compromised by infringing items.”

Senior European Union officials applauded the move.  “I am extremely pleased that ICC and BASCAP will unveil new IP guidelines to help business to manage and protect intellectual property,” EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevey told forum participants.

USCIB President Peter M. Robinson welcomed release of the BASCAP guidelines.  “We strongly support the BASCAP initiative, and we are pleased that many American companies took a leading role in development of the guidelines,” he said.  “Clearly this is a worldwide problem that requires a coordinated global solution.  These guidelines provide a clear roadmap for any company looking to better protect its most important assets.”

ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban said the guidelines are designed to be useful to a wide range of businesses in different sectors, and are suitable to be tailored to deal more specifically with particular industries or sectors.  “We hope the launch of the ICC-BASCAP IP Guidelines will introduce Forum participants and government officials to the guidelines and encourage the adoption of good IP management practices as part of corporate and public policies,” he said.

According to Jeff Hardy, ICC’s BASCAP coordinator, the launch is the first step in a worldwide rollout of the guidelines through ICC’s worldwide network.  “Our first steps have been to provide copies to the ICC national committees and their member companies located in 90 countries worldwide.  We have also provided the IP Guidelines to all BASCAP member companies for further distribution to their global affiliates.  This year should be a busy year as we look forward to a series of workshops and roll-out events working with ICC national committees and their members large and small.”

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes some 300 U.S.  companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion.  As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contacts:

Jonathan Huneke, VP Communications, USCIB

+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Dawn Chardonnal, ICC Communications Department

Tel: +33 1 49.53.29.07 or dawn.chardonnal@iccwbo.org

BASCAP Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business (full text)

BASCAP website

More on USCIB’s Intellectual Property Committee