Governments Actively Engaged at WTO E-Commerce Negotiations

In an effort to support e-commerce negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), USCIB has been contributing to the Digital Trade Network, led by Nick Ashton-Hart.

Ashton-Hart participated in the Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce’s (JSI) first substantive negotiating round in Geneva May 13-15, which was based upon a subset of the subjects in the 14 contributions of WTO Members. Topics covered included online consumer protection, electronic authentication and electronic signatures, Electronic transactions framework, domestic regulation, transparency, non-discriminatory treatment of digital products, and many others.

According to Ashton-Hart, the level of engagement was quite high, the tone very constructive and collaborative, and quite a few countries that have not yet tabled proposals said they expect to do so. There was a general view that the services-related elements of the outcome agreement are intended to build upon GATS though it remains an open question what form the agreement will take – not surprising or seen as controversial at the present.

The next session will take place June 18-20, in Geneva, with proposals to be considered due June 6. The session will cover, among other subjects, privacy and data protection, cybersecurity and telecommunications. There will be at least two seminars from industry groups on logistics and the flow of data respectively.

Earlier this year, Ashton-Hart contributed a column in USCIB’s quarterly magazine, International Business, regarding the importance and impact of these global talks on online trade. Click here to view.

USCIB Meets With WTO Deputy Secretary General Alan Wolff

Right: Alan Wolff (WTO) speaks to USCIB members alongside Rob Mulligan (USCIB)

USCIB hosted the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Deputy Secretary General Alan Wolff on April 29 at its Washington office.

The meeting, which was attended by many USCIB members, including Chubb, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Visa and Verizon, provided an opportunity for USCIB staff and members to get Wolff’s insights into the current working of the WTO, raise questions about key initiatives such as e-commerce, discuss emerging proposals for reform of the WTO and identify key concerns for U.S. companies on global trade. Wolff began his four-year term as deputy director general in 2017.

“Alan is a leading voice on trade policy in Washington, DC who often participated in the USCIB Trade and Investment Committee meetings and has a long history of working in key trade roles in the government and the private sector,” said USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan. “We look forward to continuing our engagement with him as the WTO reform process gets underway.”

USCIB has been active on WTO reform, voicing concerns many U.S. companies share. Earlier this month, USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil for a day-long seminar organized by CNI, the Brazilian industry confederation. Donnelly was joined by private-sector groups from Argentina, Brazil, the European Union, and Mexico in a joint statement of the critical importance the WTO is to business.

USCIB Washington Update: December, January, February 2018-2019

Highlighting Key Activities, December, January, and February 2018-2019

During the months of December, January, and February 2018-2019, USCIB Staff submitted comments on potential trade agreements with Japan, the EU, and the UK, testified on a potential trade agreement with the UK, issued recommendations in on how business can support WTO reform, met with Nan Fife at the State Department on OECD issues, provided two sets of comments on drafts of the B20 Tokyo Summit Joint Recommendations, met with State department officials following the ITU Plenipotentiary Meeting and IGF, provided input on the development of a 21st Century Customs Framework, commented on proposals concerning determining the foreign tax credit and the Base Erosion Anti-abuse Tax, and much more. Below are summaries of these and other highlights from the activities of USCIB in Washington, D.C. over the last three months. If you have any questions or comments, or want more information on a specific topic, please contact any of the staff members listed at the end of this brief.

Table of Contents:

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

Membership

Upcoming Events

Staff List

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

Business Pushes for Comprehensive Trade Deal with Japan: USCIB submitted comments in late 2018 to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) outlining negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. USCIB supports negotiation of a comprehensive trade agreement with Japan as part of a broader strategy to open international markets for U.S. companies and remove barriers and unfair trade practices in support of U.S. jobs. USCIB outlined its priority issues, which include digital trade, intellectual property, media and entertainment services, investment, customs and trade facilitation, express delivery services, electronic payment services, regulatory coherence, government procurement and financial services. The Administration has released negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan FTA, negotiations for which are due to begin soon.

USCIB Submits Negotiation Objectives for U.S.-EU Trade Deal: USCIB submitted negotiation objectives for a U.S.-EU Trade Agreement to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on December 11, 2018. The submission was filed in response to USTR’s request for comments and emphasized the importance of a comprehensive negotiation, covering not only market access for goods, but also critical services issues. The USTR request for comments follows the administration’s announcement to Congress on October 16, 2018 of its intention to initiate negotiations on a U.S.-EU Trade Agreement. USCIB supports negotiation of a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU as part of a broader strategy to open international markets for U.S. companies and remove barriers and unfair trade practices in support of U.S. jobs. USCIB priority issues for negotiation of a U.S.-EU agreement include investment, customs and trade facilitation, express delivery services, improved regulatory cohesion, digital trade, intellectual property, government procurement and SOEs, and financial services.

U.S.-UK Trade Agreement: USCIB Submits Negotiating Objectives and Hampl Testifies: USCIB submitted negotiating objectives for a high standard and comprehensive U.S.-UK Trade Agreement on January 16, 2019. USCIB’s submission was based on the assumption that the UK will be successful in exiting the EU, allowing for the ability to negotiate trade agreements with trade partners outside of the EU. Priority issues for negotiations of a U.S-UK Trade Agreement include digital trade (including cross border data flows, forced localization, cybersecurity and digital taxation), intellectual property, media and entertainment services, financial services, electronic payment services, customs and trade facilitation, express delivery services, regulatory cohesion, investment, government procurement, and chemicals. Eva Hampl, Senior Director, Investment Trade and Financial Services, provided testimony before the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) at the public hearing on January 29, 2019.

USCIB Urges Removal of Steel and Aluminum Tariffs in USMCA: USCIB joined a coalition of other trade and industry organizations to send a letter to Secretary Wilbur Ross and Ambassador Robert Lighthizer on January 23, 2019, regarding the 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. The coalition, recognizing the importance of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement ratification to the economic interests of all three countries, underscored the importance of lifting these tariffs, as well as the removal of all retaliatory tariffs on trade among the three countries.

WTO Modernization: USCIB Recommendations and Robinson Op-Ed: As World Trade Organization (WTO) member governments move forward this year with efforts to reform the WTO, USCIB issued recommendations in January 2019 on how business can support the WTO and its efforts to improve the organization. USCIB’s recommendations also noted the importance of the WTO as a cornerstone of the global rules-based trading system that has helped spread growth and development for decades. They focused on addressing subsidies and other market-distorting support provided to state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the establishment of new rules for current issues such as digital trade and customs processes on electronic transmissions, and ensuring a properly functioning appellate body, among others. USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson appealed for a strong business role in efforts to modernize the global trade body in an Op-Ed published in The Hill. Robinson wrote that he views of the private sector, which has a direct stake in the rules that result from such government-to-government discussions, should be actively solicited and given careful consideration by WTO member states.

Broad-Based Business Coalition to Press for USMCA Adoption: The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, has joined with an array of U.S. companies and industry associations to urge swift approval by Congress of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), an updated and modernized framework for expanded trade, investment and market integration in North America. The USMCA Coalition, encompassing more than 200 leading companies and major associations representing farmers and ranchers, manufacturers, service providers and technology companies, was formally launched on February 26, 2019.

BIAC Chair O’Reilly Talks/Listens to USCIB: The Chair of “Business at OECD” or Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC), Phil O’Reilly met in person in New York, and by video link to Washington, on January 11, 2019, with USCIB Board members, committee chairs and staff. Phil reported on BIAC’s annual meeting with the OECD senior leadership (Secretary General Gurria, Deputy Sec Gens, and key ambassadors) and laid out BIAC’s agenda and priorities for 2019. Rick Johnston of Citi and a Vice-Chair of the BIAC Board, also offered his perspectives on BIAC priorities and challenges and on where the OECD is heading. Russel Mills, the new BIAC Secretary General, also called in for the session. Russel has long experience in the U.S. chemical industry (Dow and Dupont) and was long-time Chair of BIAC’s Environment committee. We had an excellent, candid discussion with Phil O’Reilly. BIAC is in good hands.

USCIB Team and Members Discuss with Senior State Department Leaders Business Access/Treatment at UN Agencies: USCIB and some key member companies have become increasingly worried about discrimination against business in several U.N agencies, including but not limited to the World Health Organization. We have been active in raising these concerns with the U.S. Missions to the UN in New York City, Geneva, and Rome as well as to the International Organizations (“IO”) Bureau at the Department of State. On January 24, 2019, despite the challenges of the government shutdown, key leaders from the IO Bureau came to USCIB’s Washington office e for a very candid discussion with key member companies and staff about business treatment access in the parts of the UN system. We followed that up with a more detailed meeting with State IO experts at the Department on February 15. USCIB VPs Norine Kennedy, Mike Michener and Shaun Donnelly are taking the lead on this important work. The State Department and our U.S. Mission have been great partners, as have some international counterparts in our global network, but this will be a long-term issue with parts of the UN system and a top priority for USCIB.

USCIB Talks OECD with State Department: On February 12, 2019, USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, Rob Mulligan, led a USCIB staff team in a detailed meeting with the OECD “desk” team at the Department of State which coordinates overall U.S. dealings with the OECD and backstops the U.S. Mission to the OECD in Paris. Nan Fife, Director of the Economic Policy and Public Diplomacy office in state’s Economic and Business (“EB”) Bureau led the State team. We had an excellent, frank exchange on a range of issues related to the OECD and ended up in agreement on assessments and priorities, and concerns. One important development we will be actively monitoring is progress in getting a new U.S. Ambassador confirmed and out to Paris on the ground. Pamela Bates, an experienced former State Department economist, has been quickly renominated after her earlier nomination (and many others) expired at the of the previous Congressional session. Getting Ms. Bates confirmed and on-the-job in advance of the OECD’s annual May Ministerial is an important priority for USCIB and for State.

Donnelly Talks Business and BIAC Issues at Training Session for USG Delegates to OECD: USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly was a panelist again this year at the third annual “Delegates Training Session” organized and hosted by our State Department partners who coordinate all OECD work. State annually invites all U.S. Government employees (senior or junior) from all USG agencies who represent the USG at any OECD Committee, Working Group, or other meeting to this all-day training session on “how to be an effective delegate/advocate” and broad USG policies and priorities regarding the OECD. Again this year, our State colleagues devoted a lengthy session to the importance of coordinating with the U.S. private sector, featuring the USCIB and BIAC network. Shaun, the only business panelist, explained BIAC and USCIB, our unique roles, and how we operate. He was joined on the panel by three USG experts active in their respective OECD committees and with USCIB. We appreciate State organizing the session, for the focus on working with the private sector, and especially for including USCIB.

USCIB Discusses Digital Trade with Nick Ashton-Hart: On January 16, 2019, USCIB staff met with Nick Ashton-Hart, the Geneva Representative of the Digital Trade Network (DTN), as well as representative of ICC United Kingdom on the UK delegation to the meetings of the International Telecommunications Union. USCIB is part of the DTN along with a few other ICC national committees and several companies. The DTN is focused on supporting the effort in the WTO to move forward on the E-Commerce initiative, which is a priority issue for USCIB.

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

State Department Officials Explore Challenges in Internet Governance with USCIB Members Following 2018 ITU Plenipotentiary Meeting and 2018 Internet Governance Forum: The ICT Policy Committee Meeting on December 13, 2018, featured discussions with State Department officials about the implications of year-end initiatives that potentially could affect governance of the Internet stemming from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary, October 29-November 16, 2018 in Dubai, UAE, the 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF), November 12-14, 2018, in Paris, France, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. The ITU Plenipotentiary meeting included positive, precedent-setting developments – namely, the election of U.S. candidate Doreen Bogdan-Martin to Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. In addition, through thoughtful pre-meeting diplomacy, the U.S. Government was able to derail problematic resolutions that would have brought Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity under the ITU’s purview. Nevertheless, State Department officials urged USCIB members remain vigilant in 2019 to prevent ITU “mission creep.” Concerning the 2019 IGF, State Department officials and USCIB members both concurred that President Macron’s opening speech – in which he called for greater regulation of the Internet, among other issues – was concerning and raises questions about whether the IGF will remain a forum for discussion or face growing pressure to produce policy outputs. Similarly, the group agreed that if President Macron’s “Paris Call,” which was a non-binding statement of support for cybersecurity principles, was brought into the UN process, the transition from a single-nation to a multilateral initiative could pose problems for the United States and U.S. business.

USCIB Members Provide Inputs Aimed at Shaping Japan’s B20 Report: Working under exceedingly tight deadlines, USCIB members from the ICT Policy Committee, the Trade and Investment Committee, the Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee, and the Tax Committee provided two sets of comments during the month of January 2019 concerning the first and second drafts of the B20 Tokyo Summit Joint Recommendations. Under the theme, “Society 5.0 for SDGs,” USCIB members emphasized the following: (1) promote interoperability of risk-based security and privacy protection standards across jurisdictions so as to ensure free flow of data, information, ideas and knowledge across borders; (2) foster e-commerce by ensuring free business decision regarding the location of computing facilitates and confidentiality of corporate information; (3) firmly commit to not imposing customs duties and processes on electronic transmissions, permanently; (4) prevent the weakening of intellectual property protections and enforcement mechanisms that underpin trade in digital content and products; and (5) support the OECD Inclusive Framework process to develop a consensus, income-tax based solution that can be applied to the broader digitalized economy. USCIB members further urged G20 governments to resist the temptation to regulate emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, recognizing that such efforts cannot keep pace with rapid technological innovation.

USCIB Members Follow Up Comments to UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation by Urging a Holistic Approach to Digital Policy-Making: On January 17, the ICT Policy Committee followed up its November 30, 2018 submission to the U.N. High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (HLPDC) by addressing specific questions posed by the panel secretariat. By urging a “holistic approach” to digital policy, USCIB clarified that the approach envisioned would go beyond use of digital technologies by the information, communications, and technology (ICT) sector, and consider how ICTs can serve as enablers for innovations across all sectors, such as in healthcare, education, finance, and energy, to name a few. “This requires cutting across policy silos and different departments and agencies within governments and intergovernmental bodies, which we refer to as “whole-of-government,” USCIB stated. Members further urged that governments should strengthen their collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to create flexible, forward-looking and integrated policy frameworks. The HLPDC was established by the UN Secretary-General in July 2018 to advance proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital realm and contribute to the broader global dialogue on how interdisciplinary and cooperative approaches can help ensure a safe and inclusive digital future.

OECD Kicks Off Review of 2013 Privacy Framework with Advice and Inputs from USCIB Members: On February 4, 2019, the OECD Working Party on Security and Privacy in the Digital Economy (SPDE) began a review of the 2013 Recommendation of the Council concerning Guidelines Governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data (i.e., “Privacy Guidelines”). The review will be undertaken by a special group of 40 privacy experts, which includes Barbara Wanner, USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy, and representatives from AT&T, Google, Oracle, Mastercard, and The Walt Disney Company. The group will consider how technological progress, changes in data-sharing practices by organizations and individuals, and the increasingly patchwork nature of global privacy frameworks may be addressed by revising and updating the OECD’s six-year-old Privacy Guidelines.

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness/strong>

USCIB Submits Comment Letters to Regulators: The Tax Committee dedicated significant resources to providing comments on a variety of topics over the months of December, January, and February. These comments can be found on the recent accomplishments section of the USCIB Tax Committee page. Comments included letters on: proposals concerning: determining the foreign tax credit; the Base Erosion Anti-abuse Tax; interest allocation under 163(j); the taxation of hybrid entities and transactions; and the UK digital services tax.

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee Responds to 21st Century Customs Framework: On February 4, 2019, the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee submitted comments in response to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Federal Register Notice request for public comments on the “21st Century Customs Framework”, a CBP initiative to better position CBP to operate in the 21st century trade environment. USCIB Comments included Recommendations, Concerns, Points for Consideration, Responses to specific CBP requests for comment on the topics of Emerging Roles in the Global Supply Chain; Intelligent Enforcement; Cutting-Edge Technology; Data Access and Sharing; 21st Century Customs Procedures; and Infrastructure.

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

USCIB Participates in Business Coalition Fly-in on China Tariffs: USCIB Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services, Eva Hampl participated in the Fly-In organized by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland the nationwide campaign against tariffs, combining the efforts of Farmers for Free Trade and Americans for Free Trade, of which USCIB is a member. Groups of representatives from associations and companies covered over 150 meetings with Senate and House offices from both sides of the aisle over February 6-7, 2019, in anticipation of an increase of tariffs on the $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. The group emphasized the concern about the tariff actions, noting that the various tariffs currently in place are causing significant damage to U.S. companies and jobs, with prospects even more dire were thee tariffs to continue or increase in the future. At this time, the intended increase has been formally delayed until further notice.

Membership

  • Membership Meetings The USCIB membership department and policy staff met with representatives from member companies Qualcomm, Ferrero and Cargill to develop our understanding of their policy priorities for the next year and beyond, and to see how USCIB can better serve their policy needs.
  • New Members: USCIB has recently welcomed Business Software Alliance, DLA Piper, Netflix, R.J. Reynolds, The Tax Foundation, and Westinghouse Electric Company as new members.

Upcoming Events:

    • UNCTAD E-Commerce Week, Geneva, Switzerland – April 1-5
    • UN Conference on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group III on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), New York City – April 1-5
    • CNI/ICC Event Reforming the WTO: proposals for improving the governance of the multilateral trading system, Sao Paulo, Brazil – April 2
    • Business & Society – Creating Shared Values: USCIB Responds, Washington, D.C. – April 8
    • Workshop on the New Center for Sports & Human Rights, Washington, D.C. – April 9
    • Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Spring Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – April 10-11
    • WSIS Forum, Geneva, Switzerland – April 8-12
    • Business at OECD and OECD Trade Committee Meetings, Paris, France – April 24-26
    • Meetings of the OECD Working Parties of the Committee on Digital Economy Policy, Paris, France – May 6-7
    • USCIB Geneva Week-Business in Society: Shared Values, Geneva, Switzerland – May 6-10
    • APEC SOM 2, Valparaiso, Chile – May 6-18
    • ECOSOC 2019 Session, Geneva, Switzerland – May 29-31
    • OECD/BIAC/USCIB Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. – June 3-4

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

 

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

Rob Mulligan
Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs
202-682-7375 or rmulligan@uscib.org

Erin Breitenbucher
Senior Policy and Program Associate and Office Manager, Washington
202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org

Jonathan Huneke
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
212-703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Shaun Donnelly
Vice President, Investment and Financial Services
202-682-1221 or sdonnelly@uscib.org

Norine Kennedy
Vice President, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment
212-703-5052 or nkennedy@uscib.org

Megan Giblin
Director, Customs and Trade Facilitation
202-371-9235 or mgiblin@uscib.org

Carol Doran Klein
Vice President and International Tax Counsel
202-682-7376 or cdklein@uscib.org

Ronnie Goldberg
Senior Counsel
212-703-5057 or rgoldberg@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy and Program Associate, New York
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

Daniella Goncalves
Assistant Policy and Program Manager, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
212-703-5083 or dgoncalves@uscib.org

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

Eva Hampl
Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services
202-682-0051 or ehampl@uscib.org

Chris Olsen
Policy and Program Associate, Washington
202-617-3156 or colsen@uscib.org

Gabriella Rigg Herzog
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
212-703-5056 or gherzog@uscib.org

Kendall Thibeadeau
Policy and Program Associate, New York
212-703-5095 or kthibeadeau@uscib.org

Ashley Harrington
Policy and Program Associate, Washington
202-682-5861 or aharrington@uscib.org

Barbara Wanner
Vice President, ICT Policy
202-617-3155 or bwanner@uscib.org

Alison Hoiem
Senior Director, Member Services
202-682-1291 or ahoiem@uscib.org

Kira Yevtukhova
Communications Manager
202-617-3160 or kyevtukhova@uscib.org

Top

In Op-ed, Robinson Stresses Business’s Critical Role in WTO Modernization

With members of the World Trade Organization set to launch new talks on digital trade amid calls for the organization to be reformed, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson has appealed for a strong business role in efforts to modernize the global trade body.

In an op-ed published in The Hill, USCIB’s president wrote: “The views of the private sector, which has a direct stake in the rules that result from such government-to-government discussions, should be actively solicited and given careful consideration by WTO member states.”

Robinson called on governments to strengthen the WTO in four key areas:

  • tackle subsidies and the role of state-owned enterprises
  • develop new rules for cutting-edge trade issues
  • modernize the WTO’s rules and procedures, and
  • improve the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanisms

“If governments work with business, we are confident that the WTO can be reformed and modernized to continue effectively advancing a rules-based global trading system,” Robinson wrote. Read the full op-ed on The Hill’s website.

USCIB Releases 2019 Trade and Investment Priorities

USCIB has published its 2019 Trade and Investment Agenda. The Agenda is a result of an intensive consultation process with USCIB members to identify key member priorities for 2019. Per member input, many key principles developed for 2018 remain relevant for this year, though the changing trade and investment landscape has also raised new priorities for 2019.

The annual action plan anticipates a potentially busy year on trade and investment including: pressing for congressional approval of USMCA in 2019, seeking Administration action to resolve differences with China, movement on trade negotiations with Japan, EU and the UK, supporting negotiations in the WTO on a digital trade agreement, and modernizing the WTO,” said USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan. “We look forward to a busy and productive year opening international markets and strengthening the global rules-based trade and investment framework.”

The 2019 Agenda will be shared with key U.S. government policymakers.

USCIB Issues Recommendations for WTO Modernization

As World Trade Organization (WTO) member governments move forward this year with efforts to reform the WTO, USCIB issued recommendations on how business can support the WTO and its efforts to improve the organization.  USCIB’s recommendations also noted the importance of the WTO as a cornerstone of the global rules-based trading system that has helped spread growth and development for decades.

USCIB recommendations focused on addressing subsidies and other market-distorting support provided to state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the establishment of new rules for current issues such as digital trade and customs processes on electronic transmissions, and ensuring a properly functioning appellate body, among others.

“Our recommendations for modernizing the WTO should not in any way be read as questioning the business support for WTO,” said USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan. “Instead, they are intended to highlight areas for action that would strengthen the ability of the organization to more effectively meet the demands of a changing world as it deals with the rapid evolution of technology that can quickly reshape the way companies do business and operate globally. USCIB believes that effective WTO dispute settlement is a critical part of the global rules-based trading system.”

USCIB’s recommendations also urged Member States, as they continue to discuss modernization and improvements of the WTO and its underlying agreements, to be mindful that among the WTO Member States, private entities conduct the transactions that constitute trade and investment.

“The private sector has a direct stake in the rules that will be the outcome of the government-to-government discussions and, accordingly, private sector comments and recommendations should be actively solicited and given careful consideration by the Member States,” added Mulligan.

USCIB Washington Update: September, October, November 2018

Highlighting Key Activities, September, October, November 2018

During the months of September, October, and November 2018, USCIB Staff met with Alan Wolff, WTO Deputy Director General, Andrew Haviland, Charge d’Affaires, U.S. Mission to the OECD Katherine Tai, House Ways and Means, Nasim Fussell, Senate Finance, Christina Kopitopolous, USTR, submitted significant comments for the National Trade Estimate/1377 Report and on China’s WTO Compliance, launched a new Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, weighed in on the proposed European Digital Services Tax across Europe, and much more. Below are summaries of these and other highlights from the activities of USCIB in Washington, D.C. over the last three months. If you have any questions or comments, or want more information on a specific topic, please contact any of the staff members listed at the end of this brief.

Table of Contents:

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

Anti-Illicit Trade – Promoting Strong International AIT Leadership and Advocating a Comprehensive and Multi-Disciplinary Approach to AIT

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

Competition – Creating Global Legal Practices for an Open and Competitive Business Environment

Membership

Upcoming Events

Staff List

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Meets with Katherine Tai, Ways & Means: At the September 13 meeting of the USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Katherine Tai, Chief Trade Counsel, Democratic Staff, House Committee on Ways and Means, provided an off-the-record overview of where things stand in the House on NAFTA, 232 tariffs, 301 tariffs and China trade issues more broadly, the WTO, and other potential trade agreements. The Committee was also joined by Nasim Fussell, Deputy Chief International Trade Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. Nasim provided the Senate’s perspective on NAFTA negotiations timing, 232 and 301 tariff issues, the second phase of the MTB process, and the WTO. At the meeting, Rob Mulligan also began a discussion on the development of a USCIB Trade and Investment Agenda for 2019, as well as a draft paper on WTO reform.

WTO Deputy DG Alan Wolff Meets with USCIB Members: On October 19, 2018, Ambassador Alan Wolff, Deputy Director General of the WTO, met informally with USCIB member companies to review the full range of issues, developments and challenges around the World Trade Organization. Amb. Wolff, an active member of USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee in his days as a leading Washington trade lawyer, was, as always insightful, relevant, and candid in his remarks. Issues discussed included WTO reform, China’s role in the WTO, the impact of US Government approaches to the WTO, and possibilities for negotiation breakthroughs.

USCIB Submits Comments on China 301 Tariffs and Testifies: On September 6, 2018, USCIB submitted extensive comments on the Trump administration’s proposed $200 billion list of tariffs on imports from China, following up on earlier submissions in response to the quickly escalating trade conflict between the United States and China. USCIB and its members continue to be very concerned about the potential unintended consequences these proposed tariffs of 10 or 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are likely to have, affecting many sectors vital to the U.S. economy and jobs. While China’s forced technology transfer requirements and other abusive practices harm U.S. competitiveness, the administration’s sweeping tariffs endanger the U.S. economy in similar ways. USCIB also signed on to a broader industry statement appealing to the Trump administration not to proceed with the proposed tariffs, saying the effort would likely backfire against U.S. businesses and workers. At the end of August, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony to the 301 Committee chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, expressing member concerns.

Members Meet with Andrew Haviland, Charge d’Affaires, U.S. Mission to the OECD: On October 11, 2018, Andrew Haviland, Charge d’Affaire, U.S. Mission to the OECD, met with a large group of USCIB member representatives from various committees. Following an update on the OECD’s ongoing work and U.S. priorities from Mr. Haviland, members were able to ask questions regarding the positions and work of the U.S. Mission, as well as the role of Business at OECD when engaging with the OECD and other OECD members on business priorities.

USCIB Advocates for Digital Trade and Foreign Investment at OECD: USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl was in Paris the week of October 22, 2018, participating in investment and trade related meetings at the OECD. On October 22, the OECD hosted its annual Global Forum on Trade, which focused on Trade in the Digital EraThe agenda included sessions on digital transformation and what it means for trade, measuring digital trade, digital trade and market openness, data flows, and discussing priorities for trade policy makers. Hampl participated in the event as a panelist in the session on data flows, which also included Deputy Assistant USTR for Telecommunications Policy Jonathan McHale. The following day Hampl has several speaking roles starting with the Business at OECD consultation with the OECD Investment Committee. Business at OECD had submitted three short papers covering issues such as investment policies related to national security, the importance of a well-designed investment protection mechanism and foreign direct investment qualities. Hampl also attended a joint meeting of the OECD Trade and Investment Committees, which included a presentation on the OECD Digital Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) by the OECD. At the consultation, Hampl made an official intervention on behalf of Business at OECD, expressing USCIB’s support of the joint meeting, and raising some of USCIB’s priority issues, including the multilateral trading system (WTO reform), state-owned enterprises, and digital trade. Additionally, Hampl served as a discussant on behalf of Business at OECD at a Policy Network Meeting on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Qualities, during which she expressed general support for the project and underlined the importance of investment. Hampl also had the opportunity to underline the importance of an open investment environment and concern that recent trends of protectionist policies are harmful to business during her role as discussant in the First Roundtable on Investment and Sustainable Development.

Donnelly on Front Lines at UNCTAD Defending Pro-Investment Policies and ISDS: Shaun Donnelly was one of only three hearty business reps to spend part or all of the week of October 22-26, 2018, in Geneva at the World Investment Forum (WIF), hosted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD. Shaun was the keynote speaker for business in the important High-Level Experts group meeting on International Investment Agreements (IIAs) where he forcefully defended strong investment agreements and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. His remarks can be read here. He also was the single business panelist on a side event organized by the World Bank affiliate International center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on proposed reforms of ICSID’s rules and procedures. Shaun was also able to offer sharp question and criticisms of the EU’s much-ballyhooed Multilateral Investment Court proposal as a proposed but deeply flawed alternative to ISDS. Not clear how may converts Shaun might have made among developing country officials but he was able to give them some alternative perspectives on important and challenging investment policy issues. The UNCTAD Secretariat expressed great appreciation for USCIB attending and offering clear, candid business perspectives.

USCIB Consults with U.S. Investment Policy Leaders: Shaun Donnelly and Eva Hampl have stayed in close contact with key investment policy officials at State and USTR over the fall season. They met September 20 with Deputy Assistant USTR for Investment policy Lauren Mandell to NAFTA and Korea KORUS investment negotiations. Shaun and Eva met twice this fall with State department Office of Investment Affairs (“OIA” in State’s Economic and Business Bureau) leading up to and then following up afterwards on the mid October OECD investment Committee meetings as well as other international investment policy issues including the review of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions underway in the UN Commission on International Trae Law (UNCITRAL). Those senior investment policy officials have been consistently open to our views and questions.

USCIB Discusses Anti-Corruption Issues with State Department: On October 2, 2018, USCIB joined a group of business associations as well as the AFL-CIO and Coalition for Integrity in a meeting with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Brian McFeeters to discuss our efforts in expanding the signatories to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to all G20 countries. The meeting was a follow up to a joint letter sent to president Trump in August, requesting that the Administration take major steps this year to combat international bribery and corruption. The message of the group was to underline the importance of the Convention, noting that it needed to be strengthened in two ways. First, though enforcement of the Convention in some countries has been gradually increasing, the overall level of enforcement is not uniform and is weaker than by the United States. Second, countries that have become major players in the international economy, notably China and India, are not signatories.

Hampl Discusses OECD Accession at PhRMA Meeting: On November 1, 2018, Eva Hampl, Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services, presented on OECD accession issues to a group of pharmaceutical companies and associations. Hampl highlighted USCIB’s advocacy role at the OECD as a member of Business at OECD, provided an update on the recently concluded accession process of Colombia, as well as on upcoming countries, which include Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia. At this time, none of the six countries have officially been invited to begin the accession process, which will require the approval of 25 OECD Committees. USCIB has been actively involved in providing input into Colombia’s accession process via Business at OECD (BIAC), the official business voice at the OECD. Moving forward, USCIB will play an active role in providing U.S. business input to the OECD on any upcoming accession processes.

Donnelly Keynotes AmCham Annual Dinner in Vancouver: USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly was the keynote speaker at AmCham Canada /Pacific’s first-ever annual dinner in Vancouver October 16. Donnelly offered an inside-the-beltway business perspective on the long-running NAFTA modernization negotiations and the resultant new “U.S. /Mexico /Canada” agreement or USMCA. Canadian business leaders in the vibrant new Vancouver AmCham are generally supportive of NAFTA and hopeful about the new USMCA, though clearly worried about the “section 232” U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Former Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day, now a leading Vancouver-based trade lawyer joined Shaun in a post dinner Q and A session to round out the evening. While in Vancouver, Shaun was also guest of honor at a reception hosted by the U.S. Consul General where he delivered an abbreviated, informal version of his NAFTA/USMCA comments.

USMCA Investment Provisions Under the Microscope at Sidley: Shaun Donnelly was the business speaker, joining senior Canadian and Mexican Government investment negotiators on an off-the-record panel co-hosted by USCIB member law firm Sidley Austin and the American Society of International Law (ASIL) on October 18. The panel “USMCA – What Does NAFTA 2.0 Mean for Investor Protection in North America and Beyond?” drew a full house of trade people, diplomats, and lawyers. Sidley Partner Marinn Carlson moderated the session and kept it moving with some very challenging questions. Shaun was candid in pointing out USCIB and more general business concerns with some of the changes in investment provisions from NAFTA to USMCA. The U.S. government declined invitations to participate.

 USCIB Talks Trade and Essential Security at Hudson Roundtable: Shaun Donnelly was an active participant in a very interesting Hudson Institute roundtable discussion November 28, focused on trade and national security, more specifically on the U.S. Government’s use of “Section 232” trade sanctions (thus far imposed on imported steel and aluminum but threats on imported autos are intensifying) based on threats to U.S. “essential security.” Senator (and former USTR where Shaun was a key Assistant) Rob Portman and EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan offered great keynote remarks. Shaun reflected USCIB’s strong positions on opposing any abuse (by the U.S. government or others) of these essential security provisions in the WTO, other agreements or in U.S. trade law. The group also discussed prospects for U.S.-EU trade agreement, perhaps limited to industrial good or perhaps much broader. Views on prospects for such agreements ranged widely around the table. Drawing on his experience as Assistant USTR for Europe under USTRs Portman and Schwab, Shaun was among the more cautious commentators on prospects for quick, easy U.S.-EU deals.

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

USCIB Members Engage U.S. Government Officials in Discussions about Policies Related to Artificial Intelligence, Privacy, Cybersecurity at the OECD, G20/B20, and ITU Plenipotentiary Meeting: The ICT Policy Committee Meeting on September 27 featured discussions with U.S. Government officials from the Departments of State, Commerce, and the White House Office of Science and Technology. The wide-ranging dialogue focused on policy priorities with respect to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in work underway at the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy as well as the horizontal OECD Going Digital Project. Members also discussed their inputs to the B20 Digital Economy and Industry 4.0 Task Force Report and how those would be reflected in the October 4-5 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Concerning the request for comments on Consumer Privacy Protections by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), members emphasized the importance of realizing greater interoperability in global privacy regulations. Finally, members discussed the importance of coordinating with Inter-American countries at the ITU Plenipotentiary, October 29-November 16 in Dubai, UAE on issues pertaining to governance of the ITU, Internet-related issues, and cybersecurity.

USCIB Catalogs 90 Pages of Foreign Trade Barriers for Annual National Trade Estimate/Section 1377 Report to USTR: On October 17, USCIB submitted comments concerning significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment for inclusion in the annual National Trade Estimate (NTE) report. Pursuant to Section 1377 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1998 (19 U.S. C. Section 3106) and as requested by USTR’s Federal Register notice, we also included comments concerning the operation and effectiveness of U.S. telecommunications trade agreements. This 90-page catalog details foreign trade barriers to U.S. exports to the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, European Union, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Gulf Cooperation Council, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Latin America Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East and North Africa, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

USCIB Members Continue to Advocate for GDPR-Compliant Policy Framework and Data Access at ICANN 63: ICANN 63’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) wrapped up on October 25 in Barcelona, Spain. Barbara Wanner, USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy, and members from AT&T, Amazon, BT, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, Verisign, and Verizon joined some 3,000 stakeholders to address key issues in management of the domain name system. In particular, USCIB members actively contributed to work underway to develop a formal policy to ensure that ICANN and the industry of more than 1,000 generic top-level domain (gTLD) registries and registrars meet existing ICANN contractual requirements concerning the collection of registration data as well as comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). ICANN’s proposed Draft Framework for a Possible Unified Access Model for Continued Access to Full WHOIS Data (UAM) also was in the spotlight. Under pressure from ICANN’s Business Constituency and Intellectual Property Constituency – both of which include USCIB members — governments, and other stakeholders, ICANN developed the UAM as a possible approach to enable third-party access to non-public WHOIS data for legitimate law enforcement, consumer protection, brand management, and intellectual property (IP) protection purposes. Wanner serves on the Business Constituency’s Executive Committee.

USCIB Urges the Administration to Pursue Greater Interoperability Among Global Privacy Regimes: On November 8, USCIB responded to a request for comments on Approaches to Consumer Privacy from the Commerce Departments National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). USCIB members supported the administration’s high-level goal to develop mechanisms that realize greater interoperability among international privacy regimes. Specifically, members applauded NTIA for recognizing the need to bridge regulatory differences so there is less fragmentation, data flows seamlessly, and the digital economy continues to evolve. In pursuing development of an interoperable approach, however, it is imperative that we realize an appropriate balance so that privacy frameworks promote consumer/user trust in data-driven technologies while at the same time enabling companies and organizations to use and transfer data in innovative ways that benefit society, USCIB members urged.

USCIB Members Push Back on Top-Down Cybersecurity-Related Regulation, Advocate a Risk-Based Approach in IGF Workshop: French President Emmanuel Macron opened the three-day IGF on November 12 at UNESCO, depicting a digital economy fraught with danger from cyber-attacks, the proliferation of hate speech, and anti-democratic forces. He urged development of a “better model” featuring regulation of the Internet and its actors. USCIB members pushed back on this top-down approach in a special security-focused workshop on November 14, “Approaches to a Wicked Problem: Stakeholders Promote Enhanced Cooperation and Collaborative, Risk-Based Frameworks of Regional and National Cybersecurity Initiatives,” co-organized by USCIB and Oxford Martin School. The overall aim of the workshop was to provide insights into how to build national and regional cybersecurity capacity that is risk-based to enable nimble responses to security challenges. USCIB members Claudia Selli (AT&T) served as moderator and Amanda Craig (Microsoft) contributed expert commentary, emphasizing that a risk-based, whole of government approach is most effective and necessary for development of a national cybersecurity strategy.

OECD’s CDEP Moves Going Digital Project Toward Completion, Advances AI Work: The November 14-16 meetings of the OECD’s Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) focused on advancing the OECD’s Going Digital project, showcasing the OECD’s analytical report on Artificial Intelligence as well as the work of a special AI Experts Group (AIGO), and featuring an intense and animated review of the Online Platforms Report and a Roundtable discussion on online platforms. Working under the aegis of Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB members have been shaping development of the Going Digital Project for the past two years, offering insightful guidance on the project’s all-important Integrated Policy Framework. USCIB members from Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft also are playing influential roles in the AI Experts Group to ensure that the group’s eventual policy recommendations align with USCIB members’ interests. The final outcomes of the Going Digital Project will be unveiled at a high-level summit on March 11-12, 2019 in Paris.

USCIB Members Uphold Multistakeholder Model for Internet Governance in Comments to UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation: At a time when the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance increasingly is under fire in some multilateral organizations, USCIB members underscored that the multistakeholder model continues to be the best method to enable whole-of-society/whole-of-government consideration of digital economy issues. This will continue to ensure that discussions are grounded in values of free speech and respect for human rights and the principles of transparency, accountability, and consensus will guide stakeholders, according to USCIB. On November 30, USCIB included these comments in its submission to the U.N. High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (HLPDC) aimed at informing the HLPDC’s deliberations. The HLPDC was established by the UN Secretary-General in July 2018 to advance proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital realm and contribute to the broader global dialogue on how interdisciplinary and cooperative approaches can help ensure a safe and inclusive digital future.

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness

USCIB Continues Efforts to Oppose the Adoption of the Draft Directive on Digital Services Tax:  USCIB further engaged with the OECD and various European countries on the tax challenges of the digitalizing economy and the European Digital Services Tax. The OECD organized a “digital day” in Paris to further discuss business models and the direction of the OECD’s work on a long-term solution. Many USCIB members participated in this discussion. USCIB members have also met with this fall with a number of high-level European government officials to discuss the EU digital directives. These included meetings with Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. We have also engaged with business representatives at our peer organizations in other countries. We are encouraging those organizations to continue to work with their governments to ensure continuing opposition to the DST. We have also had ongoing discussions with the U.S. Treasury and the Senate Joint Economic Committee, including participating in a panel organized by the JEC to brief Hill staff on the issues and concerns of U.S. business.

USCIB will be continuing to pursue opportunities to express our concerns and ensure that any changes to the standards applicable to taxation of the digitalized economy reflect the concerns of U.S. business. While many countries have objected to the draft directives and the EU requires unanimity to proceed, it is important that USCIB continue to make its case about the potential damage from these directives. The OECD is working on a long-term solution. Many countries expressed a willingness to work within the OECD to achieve a long-term solution. USCIB also supports a consensus approach and believes that the OECD is the best place for working on such a consensus. The EU will be holding an Ecofin meeting on December 4th to consider this issue again (agreement was not reached at the Ecofin meeting held on November 6th). If agreement is not reached on December 4th, that will likely give the OECD some space to work on a long-term solution, since agreement on the EU directive is less likely in 2019 for a variety of political reasons.

USCIB Submits Comment Letters to Regulators: The Tax Committee dedicated significant resources to providing comments on a variety of topics. (See the recent accomplishments section of the USCIB Tax Committee page.) These comments included letters on: proposed regulations concerning the repatriation tax under section 965; proposed regulations concerning Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income under section 951A; the Platform for Collaboration on Tax’s toolkit on Offshore Indirect Transfers; and the OECD’s consultation on Financial Transactions.

USCIB Participates as an Observer in the UN’s Committee of Tax Experts: The UN Committee of Tax Experts held its seventeenth session in Geneva from October 16th through the 19th. The agenda covered updates to the UN Manual on Transfer Pricing; updates to the UN Model Income Tax Treaty (including, the taxation of software royalties, and the taxation of CIVs); development of a handbook on dispute avoidance and resolution; environmental tax issues; updates to the Extractives Handbook; the tax consequences of the digitalizing economy; updates to the manual on treaty negotiation; capacity building; and the taxation of development projects. The background papers presented and discussed at the meeting are here. USCIB is providing input on areas of interest to the USCIB Tax Committee including: the taxation of the digitalizing economy, the taxation of software royalties and taxation of carbon.

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

USCIB Customs E-Commerce Sub-Committee Meets for First Time: On Thursday, October 18, 2018, members of the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee met under the auspices of a new, USCIB Customs E-Commerce Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee will focus on customs related e-commerce issues and serve as a way to screen and discuss e-commerce issues informally before bringing problems and recommendations to the broader Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee. If you are interested in participating in this group, please let Megan Giblin know at mgiblin@uscib.org.

Customs Committee Meets with Christina Kopitopolous, USTR, Ken Kennedy, DHS ICE: On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee received an update on Forced Labor issues from Ken Kennedy, Senior Policy Advisor for Forced Labor Programs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Following this discussion, the Committee heard from Christina Kopitoplolous, USTR Director for Customs and Trade Affairs. Christina provided her assessment of customs issues at the WCO, WTO, and domestically.

Anti-Illicit Trade – Promoting Strong International AIT Leadership and Advocating a Comprehensive and Multi-Disciplinary Approach to AIT


USCIB Launches Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, David Luna as Chair: On Tuesday, September 11, USCIB held the inaugural meeting of its new Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, chaired by David Luna of Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies, LLC. In addition to laying out the committee’s goals and the beginnings of a Plan of Action, the committee heard the latest on Anti-Illicit Trade work at the OECD from the OECD’s Stephanie Jacobzone, Jack Radisch, and Piotr Stryszowski. The Committee met again on Thursday, November 29. At the November meeting, members heard from Christa Brzozowski, DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary, Trade and Transport, for an update on Anti-Illicit Trade work at the OECD. Following this briefing, members heard from Steven Shapiro, FBI Unit Chief, Criminal Investigative Division, Intellectual Property Rights Unit, National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Steven provided an overview of his team’s work at the IPR Center and expressed his interest in additional engagement with the USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee.

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

USCIB Submits Comments on China’s WTO Commitments and Testifies: As part of the annual request by the U.S. Trade Representative for comments on China’s compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments and notice of public hearing, USCIB submitted commentson September 21 reflecting USCIB members’ feedback and concerns. USCIB’s submission highlights concerns that arise in selected horizontal areas that transcend industry sectors, including IT security measures, China’s antimonopoly law, intellectual property rights, market access, national treatment and non-discrimination, the regulatory environment, standards, state-owned enterprises, customs and trade facilitation, taxation, labor laws, certification, licensing, and testing barriers. USCIB’s submission also addresses issues related to specific industry sectors that face problems in China, including agricultural biotechnology, audiovisual, chemicals, electronic payment access, express delivery services, recoverable materials, software, and telecommunications. Following USCIB’s submission, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony on October 3 to the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC).

USCIB Meets with DOJ and FTC to Discuss China AML Issues: In a follow up to USCIB’s submission on China’s compliance with WTO Commitments, USCIB on November 19 met with officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to discuss current issues business faces in China in relation to the application of China’s anti-monopoly law (AML). As noted in USCIB’s public comments, Chinese antitrust enforcement authorities continue to use of the AML as a tool to advance industrial policy goals rather than to protect competition. U.S. companies have repeatedly experienced Chinese regulators using AML enforcement absent sufficient economic proof of market power or anti-competitive harm or any transparency regarding analyses that may have been conducted. In addition, anecdotal evidence indicates that the AML enforcement agencies often disregard basic norms of fairness, due process, and transparency.

Competition – Creating Global Legal Practices for an Open and Competitive Business Environment

 USCIB Holds Joint ICC/USCIB Meeting on Global Competition Policy in NY: On September 5, against the backdrop of fast-changing business and policy practices with respect to antitrust and consumer protection, the USCIB Competition Committee held a joint meeting with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Competition Commission in New York. Participants in the joint ICC/USCIB meeting represented many jurisdictions, including Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The keynote speaker was Bruce Hoffman, director of the Bureau of Competition at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Hoffman discussed the latest developments of antitrust policy with USCIB members, including for competition policy litigation and enforcement in the U.S., as well as FTC hearings on the state of competition law and policy that began in Washington, D.C. in September. USCIB Competition Committee Chair Dina Kallay (Ericsson) and USCIB Competition Committee Vice Chair Jennifer Patterson(Arnold & Porter) led participants through an agenda that included updates on issues including mergers, due process, cartels, the International Competition Network (ICN), and the Multilateral Framework on Procedures, on which USCIB and ICC recently submitted a joint statement.

Membership

  • Membership Meetings: The USCIB membership department and policy staff traveled to the Bay Area to meet with representatives from member companies Visa, Uber, Salesforce, Oracle, Intel and Ripple Labs to develop our understanding of their policy priorities for the next year and beyond, and to see how USCIB can better serve their policy needs. In addition, the USCIB membership department and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson met with representatives from member companies Citigroup, Hanesbrands, General Mills, Koch Industries, AT&T and DIAGEO.
  • New Members: USCIB has recently welcomed Astellas, Cruise Automation and Steptoe & Johnson LLP as new members.

Upcoming Events:

    • UNFCCC COP24, Katowice, Poland – December 3-14
    • USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – December 4
    • 2018 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner, New York – December 11
    • USCIB ICT Policy Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – December 13
    • USCIB Environment Committee and International Product Policy (IPP) Working Group Joint Meeting, New York – December 19
    • ACEP Som-1, Santiago, Chile – February 23 – March 8
    • 4th UN Environment Assembly (UNEA4), Nairobi, Kenya – March 11-15
    • Going Digital: OECD Insights for a Changing World, Washington, D.C. – March 29
    • APEC SOM 2, Vaplaraiso, Chile – May 6-18
    • ECOSOC 2019 Session, Geneva, Switzerland – May 29 – 31
    • OECD/BIAC/USCIB Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. – June 3-4

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

 

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

Rob Mulligan
Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs
202-682-7375 or rmulligan@uscib.org

Erin Breitenbucher
Senior Policy and Program Associate and Office Manager, Washington
202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org

Norine Kennedy
Vice President, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment
212-703-5052 or nkennedy@uscib.org

Shaun Donnelly
Vice President, Investment and Financial Services
202-682-1221 or sdonnelly@uscib.org

Megan Giblin
Director, Customs and Trade Facilitation
202-371-9235 or mgiblin@uscib.org

Carol Doran Klein
Vice President and International Tax Counsel
202-682-7376 or cdklein@uscib.org

Ronnie Goldberg
Senior Counsel
212-703-5057 or rgoldberg@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy and Program Associate, New York
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

Eva Hampl
Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services
202-682-0051 or ehampl@uscib.org

Mike Michener
Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation
202-617-3159 or mmichener

Alison Hoiem
Senior Director, Member Services
202-682-1291 or ahoiem@uscib.org

Chris Olsen
Policy and Program Associate, Washington
202-617-3156 or colsen@uscib.org

Gabriella Rigg Herzog
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
212-703-5056 or gherzog@uscib.org

Barbara Wanner
Vice President, ICT Policy
202-617-3155 or bwanner@uscib.org

Jonathan Huneke
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
212-703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Kira Yevtukhova
Communications Manager
202-617-3160 or kyevtukhova@uscib.org

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USCIB Washington Update: June, July, August 2018

Highlighting Key Activities, June, July, and August 2018

During the months of June, July, and August 2018, USCIB Staff met with Angela Ellard, House Ways & Means Chief Trade Counsel, Esther Nieto Hernandez and Peter Fatelnig from the EU Mission to the U.S., Sam Dupont and Kevin McHale from USTR, Gael Perraud of the French Finance Ministry and Fabrizia Lapecorella of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labor Organization (ILO), and John Denton, the new Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce. We also discuss global trade on BBC World News, testified on 301 Tariffs, led NAFTA advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, hosted the 13th Annual OECD International Tax Conference, and much more. Below are summaries of these and other highlights from the activities of USCIB in Washington, D.C. over the last three months. If you have any questions or comments, or want more information on a specific topic, please contact any of the staff members listed at the end of this brief.

Table of Contents:

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs – Shaping the Development of CR Principles and Increasing Awareness of Business’s Positive Social Contributions

Membership

Upcoming Events

Staff List

 

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Meets with Angela Ellard, Ways & Means: The USCIB Trade and Investment Committee, which is Chaired by Rick Johnston, Managing Director Global Government Affairs for Citigroup, met at the Citi office in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2018. Angela Ellard, Chief Trade Counsel, House Ways & Means Committee, gave her immediate impressions of the Trump Administration’s announcement of further tariffs against China, which had come out the night before the meeting. She also provided her views on the state of the Section 301 and 232 tariffs, NAFTA renegotiation priorities and timelines in Congress, the STOP Act, GSP extension, and the movement of the MTB bill from the House to the Senate. Next, Esther Nieto Hernandez, Deputy Head of Trade and Agriculture, EU Mission to the U.S., briefed members on the view from Europe on recent American trade actions, emphasizing that they do not consider relations to have become a trade war yet, but that there is serious concern for the road ahead.

Mulligan Talks Trade with BBC World News: Following the July G20 Finance Ministers meetings, BBC’s Aaron Heslehurst spoke with USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan as part of BBC’s Talking Business segment regarding international trade tensions that may undermine the global economy and stunt growth. Mulligan expressed concern that continued escalation of tariffs may cause all kinds of problems for USCIB member companies. “Tariffs will lead to higher costs, drive higher prices for consumers and, we think, in the end, can start driving job losses,” warned Mulligan. Specifically, on U.S.-China tensions, Mulligan noted there are issues with China’s unfair trade practices that need to be addressed and USCIB fully supports an effort that would bring together all our allies to make that point with China, but raising tariffs is not going to be the way to solve these problems.

USCIB Urges Congress to Curb Section 232 Tariffs: USCIB joined more than 270 national associations and state and local chambers of commerce to send a letter on June 26, 2018, in support of the Corker Bill (S. 3013), which would require President Donald Trump to submit to Congress any proposal to raise tariffs in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The letter expresses concern about the President’s unrestricted use of section 232 to impose tariffs, noting that it may not be in the national interest to do so. It further states that the tariffs are undermining U.S. efforts to build an international coalition of like-minded countries to join the United States in combating the sue of unfair trade and investment policies.

ICC Secretary General Meets with USCIB Members and Staff: John Denton, the new secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce paid visits to the USCIB New York and Washington, D.C. offices in late June and early July. He met with USCIB staff including President and CEO Peter Robinson and Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan, along with a number of USCIB members. Discussion ranged from ICC pushing back against populist narratives on cross-border trade and investment to ICC institutional and management priorities. Denton, an Australian lawyer and diplomat who most recently headed the law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, was elected in March to provide executive leadership to the world business organization. Denton penned a letter to the Financial Times providing a vigorous defense of the multilateral trading system and the WTO.

 Hampl Leads Group for NAFTA Lobby Day to Voice Concerns: On June 27, 2018, USCIB again participated in a Lobby Day on the House Side under the umbrella of the NAFTA Coalition. Eva Hampl led a group of companies and associations in meetings with Republican and Democratic offices throughout the day. While the purpose of the meetings was to primarily discuss NAFTA, other relevant trade issues, such as tariffs also came up in almost every meeting. With the lobby day taking place just before the Mexican election, issues arising from that dynamic were raised as well. Most offices were keenly aware of the importance of NAFTA, but many had other issues that appeared to be more pressing for them at the time. All were concerned about withdrawal, though many, particularly on the Republican side, seemed willing to see the Administration’s actions on trade play out.

USCIB Establishes Anti-Illicit Trade Committee: USCIB announced in July the establishment of a new Anti-Illicit Trade (AIT) Committee to address the threat that Illicit trade poses across sectors, borders, markets and industries. David M. Luna, president and CEO of Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC, will chair and provide leadership for the committee, which will be made up of representatives from USCIB’s broad-based membership. The AIT Committee will take a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to elevating the fight against illicit trade, particularly related to the work of the OECD’s Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, corresponding activity by Business at OECD (the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD), and the work of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative. The first meeting of the new committee will take place on September 11.

Talking investment Policy with the State Department: USCIB staffers Eva Hampl and Shaun Donnelly met recently with senior officials at the State Department to compare notes on upcoming international meetings on investment policy, including at the OECD in Paris, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s World Investment Forum in Geneva, and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Party 3 in Vienna on reform on Investor-State Dispute Settlement. We also compared notes on developments on national security reviews of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the U.S. under the U.S. government’s interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (“CFIUS”) under the newly adopted U.S. “FIRRMA” legislations. Investment policy issues, broadly defined, are important to our members so we try to have these sorts of informal sessions with State and other key USG agencies on a regular basis.

USCIB Participates in DOS-USAID Anti-Corruption Roundtable: On June 19, 2018, Eva Hampl, Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services participated in another roundtable on anti-corruption. These roundtables are part of a new series organized jointly by the State Department and USAID in an effort to consult regularly with civil society organizations. They serve as an opportunity to coordinate efforts, exchange practices, and discuss ideas for future work on anti-corruption in both policy and programming. This most recent discussion took place in the leadup to G20 meetings and provided a platform for exchange of views on issues like state-owned enterprises (SOEs), asset recovery, foreign bribery, financial transparency, and whistleblower protection. USCIB’s work with the OECD Working Group on Bribery, as well as the G20 / B20, is particularly valuable in these discussions. The next roundtable will likely take place in September.

USCIB Represents Business at State Department Anti-Corruption Training: Shaun Donnelly was the business community panelist at an August 10, 2018, State Department anti-corruption training session during a week-long “Tools and Strategies to Combat Corruption” course for State Department officers headed overseas this summer. The session, at State’s Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, was an informal give-and-take on how U.S. embassies and consulates abroad can work with the private sector to combat bribery and corruption. It was a very useful discussion of how U.S. business and local Embassy staff can cooperate on win-win efforts to combat corruption and bribery by local firms and government officials as well as third country competitors. Corruption anywhere is a cancer on governance and politics; it can also cost American businesses and workers a fair shot at winning major trade and investment deals. Business and government need to be full partners in combatting this cancer.

Donnelly Counsels State Department Economic Bureau Senior Officials on Effective Overseas Assistance for U.S. Companies: USCIB VP Shaun Donnelly participated in a small group of business (companies as well as associations) representatives invited for a brainstorming session August 9 with State Department Economic and Business (EB) officials. The State team was looking for business input on if/how non-binding commercial cooperation agreements might be of assistance to American companies competing for sales and partnership agreements overseas, especially in emerging markets and in Africa where other U.S. Government commercial programs are limited. It was a good preliminary discussion which could, repeat could, get off the ground and prove useful in some sectors. But it could be a long way to go before anything gets off the ground. The meeting was a return to his roots for Donnelly who spent much of his 36-year State department career in the EB bureau and ended up as EB’s # 2 official (Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State or “PDAS”) 2000-05.

Donnelly’s “American Diplomat” Podcast – Trying to Demystify Trade Negotiations: USCIB VP Shaun Donnelly did an interview on the podcast “American Diplomat”, trying to help non-trade experts around the country get a sense of how U.S. trade negotiators work and how strong trade agreements can promote the interests of U.S. workers, companies, states and local government and broad U.S. national interests. Before joining USCIB, Donnelly had a 36-year U.S. Government Foreign Service career, concentrating on trade and international economic policy. Also a former U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Donnelly’s career capstone came as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for European and the Middle East ’05-’08, serving as American’s top trade negotiator for those key regions.

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

EU Digital Developments Dominate ICT Policy Committee Discussions with U.S. Government and European Commission Officials: S.-EU privacy issues took center stage at the June 20 meeting of the USCIB ICT Policy Committee. Speakers from the European Commission’s U.S. mission in Washington and the U.S. Department of Commerce briefed members on various digital privacy topics key to transatlantic relations. Peter Fatelnig, Minister-Counsellor for Digital Economy Policies, discussed the ramifications of the May 25 implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In particular, he noted the concerted efforts of the EU, the U.S. government, and the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to determine the legality of various approaches that would enable third party access to domain name registration data for legitimate purposes. Nasreen Djouini, U.S. Department of Commerce, updated USCIB members on preparations for the 2nd annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework in mid-October. The Shield Framework is aimed at protecting transatlantic transfers of personal data. Djouini urged USCIB members to respond to an EU survey of U.S. Shield-certified companies since this will provide key input to the annual review.

USCIB Members Help to Set the Stage for Developing a GDPR-Compliant Policy Framework: ICANN 62’s Policy Forum wrapped up on June 28 in Panama City, Panama. USCIB members from Amazon, AT&T, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, VeriSign, and Verizon joined Barbara Wanner, Vice President, ICT Policy, and a broad cross-section of stakeholders from throughout the world to focus on policy priorities for the domain name system (DNS). This year’s Policy Forum was especially timely, coming on the heels of ICANN’s May 17 issuance of a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data (Temp Spec). The Temp Spec, which enables “tiered access” to DNS registrant data, was designed to ensure that ICANN and the industry of more than 1,000 generic top-level domain (gTLD) registries and registrars comply with existing ICANN contractual requirements concerning the collection of registration data (WHOIS) as well as meet the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect on May 25. USCIB members made important contributions to discussions aimed at gaining clarity on the legality of the Temp Spec and advancing work on a new GDPR-compliant policy that would enable 3rd party access to WHOIS data for legitimate purposes.

USCIB Advocates Multistakeholder Approach to International Internet Policy Issues: On July 17, 2018, USCIB responded to a request for public comment from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce, concerning International Internet Policy Priorities for 2018. Noting that the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance increasingly is under fire in certain multilateral forums, USCIB underscored that the keys to realizing economic and social benefits in today’s digital economy are policies that are informed by all Stakeholder guidance and evidence-based analysis is especially critical to ensuring that emerging technologies, such as AI, can be shaped to maximize its potential and mitigate possible risks, USCIB further emphasized.

USCIB Urges Collaborative Approach Between U.S. and Japanese Business and Government on Digital Economy Issues: Barbara Wanner participated in the U.S.-Japan Internet Dialogue, July 23, in Washington, D.C., which featured both business and government representatives. Wanner spoke on a panel of business representatives. She emphasized the need to work together in multilateral organizations and multistakeholder organizations especially in light of several countries continuing to press for government regulation of the internet by bringing Internet governance and digital economy issues under the UN or its specialized agencies. “This is not the best approach given the dynamic nature of technology development,” warned Wanner. “Heavy-handed regulations could dampen this dynamism. Additionally, this may open the door to efforts by some countries to use the Internet for surveillance of their citizens and possibly even censorship, she said.”

 USCIB to Collaborate with Oxford University on Cybersecurity-Focused Workshop for 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF): USCIB will join forces with the Oxford Martin School on a workshop at the 13th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will be held November 12-14, 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The joint workshop will tap USCIB member experts as well as noted authorities from governments and international organizations, like the Organization of American States, to examine the benefits of risk-based, voluntary cybersecurity frameworks that enable effective coordination of regional security initiatives.

USCIB Members Convey Serious Efforts Comply with EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework: On August 15, 2018, USCIB presented to the European Commission the results of its survey of members certified under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. The Shield Framework is aimed at protecting transatlantic transfers of personal data. Overall, members’ responses reflected their concerted efforts to comply with the Framework via enhanced internal compliance programs, new written policies and procedures, related employee training and awareness programs, and the appointment of privacy officers or leader to ensure compliance with Privacy Shield requirements. Respondents also praised the Framework for providing important protections for the transfer of EU personal data to the United States that may not be covered by other frameworks.

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness

USCIB Submits Comment letter to the EC on the Draft Directives on Digital Services Tax and Significant Digital Presence: Following up on a series of meetings that USCIB had with European countries, USCIB submitted a comment letter to the European Commission with copies to countries that we had met with. The letter set forth in writing USCIB’s criticisms of the two directives. We have also meet with the U.S. Treasury and the Senate Joint Economic Committee to discuss our concerns. USCIB will be continuing to pursue opportunities to express our concerns and ensure that any changes to the standards applicable to taxation of the digitalized economy reflect the concerns of U.S. business. Other meetings are in the planning stages. While many countries have objected to the draft directives and the EU requires unanimity to proceed, it is important that USCIB continue to make its case about the potential damage from these directives. The OECD is working on a long-term solution. Many countries expressed a willingness to work within the OECD to achieve a long-term solution. USCIB also supports a consensus approach and believes that the OECD is the best place for working on such a consensus.

USCIB Organizes Another Successful OECD International Tax Conference in Washington: Together with the OECD, USCIB organized the 13th annual International Tax Conference June 4 and 5. Highlights of the conference included: International Tax Aspects of the U.S. Tax Reform Dispute Resolution – including the stability of the reforms and what is next on the international front; ICAP and MAP – including the need to make the process more efficient if it is going to be rolled out generally; and the Digital Economy – Interim Report – including the fundamental debate about the role of users and data in value creation.

French Finance Ministry Briefs USCIB Tax Committee: Gael Perraud of the French Finance Ministry addressed the Tax Committee on the French government’s view on taxation of the digital economy. The committee also discussed the progress on implementing the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Also in conjunction with the Tax Conference, the Digital Working Group arranged a meeting with Fabrizia Lapecorella of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance.

USCIB Submits Comments on the Protecting Taxpayers Act: USCIB submitted a comment letter strongly supporting the provisions in S. 3278 would establish a statutory right to review by the Office of Appeals and to provide guardrails to protect the right of appeal. In addition, to supporting the bill, USCIB suggested a number of improvements.

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee Discusses WTO Moratorium with USTR: On August 21, 2018, the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee met with Sam Dupont, USTR Director for ICT Services & Digital Trade and Kevin McHale, Deputy Assistant USTR for Telecommunications Policy to discuss the status of the WTO E-Commerce moratorium at both the WTO and the WCO, along with broader E-Commerce issues. The committee also shared takeaways from the CBP Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, Drawback regulations, and the joint USCIB/U.S. Chamber E-Commerce Industry Day 2.0.

 USCIB Convenes Interagency Group on Customs E-Commerce: On June 14-15 and July 31-August 1, USCIB joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host a series of meetings tied to E-commerce and the work being undertaken by the World Customs Organization (WCO). These “Industry Days” featured private sector and public sector representatives from multiple U.S. government agencies aimed at continuing the established dialogue on the WCO’s E-Commerce Framework of Standards (FoS). Many of these meetings were conducted in a small group fashion, which were stakeholder specific (i.e., carriers, customs brokers, e-payment, marketplaces and vendors). The events included robust representation from the U.S. government, bringing together more than 10 agencies, including Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Departments of Commerce and State, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Security Council.

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

USCIB Continues to Fight China 301 Tariffs, Hampl Testifies: On July 23, 2018, USCIB submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the proposed 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports. This list of goods followed the first consultation on proposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, which resulted in the imposition of tariffs on $34 billion on July 6, 2018. The final list of tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports went into effect on August 23, 2018. A third list of proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports was announced in July, and USCIB has continued to actively advocate on the effect these tariffs will have on the competitiveness of U.S. companies. USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony to the 301 Committee chaired by USTR on August 20, 2018, expressing concern about the potential unintended consequences these proposed tariffs of 10 percent are likely to have, affecting many sectors vital to the U.S. economy and jobs. The Administration is also considering increasing tariffs to 25 percent. USCIB will be submitting final written comments on this list of products by September 6, 2018.

Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs – Shaping the Development of CR Principles and Increasing Awareness of Business’s Positive Social Contributions

USCIB Hosts Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labor Organization: on Friday, July 20, 2018, over 20 member companies met with Guy Rider, Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO), to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern including: ILO’s centenary in 2019, the “Future of Work,” the role of governments, the role of business at the ILO, and the work of the standard-setting committee on violence and harassment at the International Labor Conference. For the centenary, USCIB will seek to organize a business-focused event in 2019, and also participate in an ILO event to celebrate the Philadelphia declaration. USCIB and its members also stressed the fundamental role governments must play in writing laws that meet international standards and effectively enforcing them. They stressed the importance of ILO’s continued focus on helping governments carry out those core functions. Lastly, USCIB also spoke very clearly about the issue of violence and harassment at work and emphasized U.S. employer commitment to this topic. Gabriella Rigg Herzog, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs, underscored the importance of the topic and that Director General Ryder and the ILO Office can provide needed support for the tripartite constituents to help reach an agreed text providing clear and practical definitions for both public and private sector employers. In that way, they can understand their responsibilities and governments can be encouraged to take the next step to ratify the ILO instrument.

Membership

  • Membership Meetings: The USCIB membership department and policy staff and President and CEO Peter Robinson met with representatives from member companies Boeing, General Electric, Salesforce and Eaton to develop our understanding of their policy priorities for the next year and beyond, and to see how USCIB can better serve their policy needs.
  • New Members: USCIB has recently welcomed Expedia, Ripple Labs and Salesforce as new members.

Upcoming Events:

  • ICC/USCIB Competition Meeting, New York – September 5
  • USCIB Food and Agriculture Working Group Meeting, Washington, D.C. – September 11
  • USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – September 11
  • ICC Digital Economy Commission Meeting, Paris, France – September 13-14
  • Engaging Business Forum on Business and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia – September 13-14
  • USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – September 13
  • USCIB ICT Policy Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – September 27
  • ICC Trade and Investment Commission Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland – October 1
  • WTO Public Forum, Geneva, Switzerland – October 2-4
  • ICC Banking Commission Technical Meeting, Tbilisi, Georgia – October 15-17
  • ICANN 53, Barcelona, Spain – October 20-16
  • BIAC Trade and Investment Committee Meetings, Paris, France – October 22-25
  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary, Dubai, UAE – October 29-November 16
  • ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation Meeting, Paris, France – November 6-7
  • Internet Governance Forum, Paris, France – November 12-14
  • Meetings of the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy and its Working Parties, Paris, France – November 12-16
  • 2018 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner, New York – December 11

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

 

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

Rob Mulligan
Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs
202-682-7375 or rmulligan@uscib.org

Erin Breitenbucher
Senior Policy and Program Associate and Office Manager, Washington
202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org

Norine Kennedy
Vice President, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment
212-703-5052 or nkennedy@uscib.org

Shaun Donnelly
Vice President, Investment and Financial Services
202-682-1221 or sdonnelly@uscib.org

Elizabeth Kim
Policy and Program Assistant, New York
212-703-5095 or ekim@uscib.org

Megan Giblin
Director, Customs and Trade Facilitation
202-371-9235 or mgiblin@uscib.org

Carol Doran Klein
Vice President and International Tax Counsel
202-682-7376 or cdklein@uscib.org

Ronnie Goldberg
Senior Counsel
212-703-5057 or rgoldberg@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy and Program Assistant, New York
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

Eva Hampl
Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services
202-682-0051 or ehampl@uscib.org

Mike Michener
Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation
202-617-3159 or mmichener

Alison Hoiem
Senior Director, Member Services
202-682-1291 or ahoiem@uscib.org

Chris Olsen
Policy and Program Assistant, Washington
202-617-3156 or colsen@uscib.org

Gabriella Rigg Herzog
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
212-703-5056 or gherzog@uscib.org

Barbara Wanner
Vice President, ICT Policy
202-617-3155 or bwanner@uscib.org

Jonathan Huneke
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
212-703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Kira Yevtukhova
Communications Manager
202-617-3160 or kyevtukhova@uscib.org

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Business Must Help Governments Chart New Course in Trade Policy, Writes ICC Secretary General

ICC Secretary General John Denton published a letter in Financial Times on September 5 titled, “Let’s be constructive on trade and not just vent.” The letter responds to recent critique of a “muted response from U.S. chief executives to the ongoing escalation in global trade tensions,” particularly in response to President Donald Trump‘s threat to pull the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“It is certainly true that there is an imperative for business to stand behind the multilateral trading system — now more so than ever,” writes Denton. “But I would suggest that the private sector has much more to offer than simply voicing its (well-founded) concerns. “Rather than adding fuel to the fire of an already polarized debate, business leaders must instead focus on helping governments chart a new course for trade policy-making that deals meaningfully with the pressures now building in the global economy. If tariffs are not the answer, then what are the alternatives? And how can the WTO, to use Mr Trump’s vernacular, best ‘shape up’ to avoid the U.S. shipping out?”

The full article can be viewed here. Member subscription required.

 

USCIB, USTR Discuss World Trade Organization Updates

L-R: Rob Mulligan (USCIB), Chris Wilson (USTR)
Meeting was an opportunity to receive WTO updates and to raise questions regarding U.S. government negotiations or initiatives in Geneva.
USTR highlighted areas that the U.S. delegation is working on, such as over-fishing and e-commerce.

 

Members of USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee sat down with Chris Wilson, deputy chief of mission at USTR’s Geneva office, on August 30 in Washington DC. The meeting was a timely opportunity for USCIB to receive the latest developments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to raise questions regarding specific U.S. government negotiations or initiatives underway in Geneva.

Wilson highlighted some of the areas that the U.S. delegation is “actively and constructively” working on with the WTO, such as multilateral negotiations to develop new disciplines with respect to subsidies that contribute to over-fishing and an emerging plurilateral initiative on e-commerce.  Wilson also outlined some of the areas the U.S. sees as needing reform in the WTO, including concerns with the Appellate Body.

“As trade disruptions over the past year have escalated, more USCIB members have raised concerns about the potential impact on the WTO and how business can help move forward reforms at the WTO,” said USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan. “Our discussion with Chris helped clarify U.S. government views and informed us, as well as our members, of possible steps to take.”