Ericsson’s Kallay to Chair USCIB Competition Committee

New York, N.Y, February 15, 2018 – A telecommunications industry executive has been tapped to spearhead a top U.S. business group’s work on global antitrust policy. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) has announced that Dina Kallay, head of antitrust (IPR, Americas & Asia-Pacific) at Ericsson, a leading global supplier of telecommunications equipment and services, will chair its Competition Committee.

USCIB, whose member include hundreds of America’s most competitive global companies, represents private-sector views to governments and policy makers worldwide. It does so via its affiliations with global business groups to focus especially on the work of the International Competition Network (ICN) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“We are delighted that Dina Kallay will lend her expertise and industry leadership to our work on global competition and antitrust policy,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “As the U.S. continues to look to the ICN and OECD to foster international convergence and cooperation on competition law, including the coordination of cartel enforcement, we intend to serve as an even stronger voice for business in these forums.”

Prior to joining Ericsson in 2013, Kallay served as counsel at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Office of International Affairs, where she focused on Asian and multilateral competition matters as well as on worldwide antitrust intellectual property matters. She previously worked at the European Commission’s antitrust agency (DG COMP), and practiced antitrust and intellectual property law at a number of law firms, most recently at Howrey LLP. Kallay is vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law I.P. Committee and a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School.

The USCIB Competition Committee promotes international legal policies that favor an open and competitive environment for U.S. business. The committee monitors global competition developments and contributes industry’s perspective through USCIB’s global network.

About USCIB:

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

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 917 420 0039, jhuneke@uscib.org

Wanner Helps Lead ICANN Intercessional Meeting in California

USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner attended a meeting in Los Angeles, California earlier this month in her capacity as a member of the Business Constituency (BC) Executive Committee of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The February 1-2 meeting, known as the 5th Non-Contracted Party House (NCPH) Intersessional, brought together seven delegates from each of the six Commercial Stakeholder Group and Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group constituencies within ICANN. The two-day gathering, featuring Wanner and BC Chair Claudia Selli, AT&T, among other USCIB members, served as a dedicated forum for discussions about domain name policy and procedural “in-house” issues that regular ICANN meetings often cannot accommodate.

“Overall, the meeting was notable in highlighting the two houses’ shared values and potential for collaboration, but also indicating some challenges,” Wanner said. In particular, the meeting enabled the two houses to explore with ICANN CEO Göran Marby and members of the Board many concerns – both shared and differing – about the implications of the May 25, 2018 implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on ICANN’s WHOIS database policies and the contractual obligations of Registries and Registrars.

“These discussions were especially timely in view of ICANN’s plan to select an interim GDPR-compliant WHOIS model in the coming weeks,” Wanner noted. The NCPH and ICANN’s Contracted Party House can be expected to seek clarity about elements of the interim compliance model at ICANN 61, which will be held on March 10-15 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other topics explored at the NCPH Intersessional included the status of ongoing work aimed at revising procedures for the next launch of new top-level domain names, challenges to improving protective mechanisms for brand names and intellectual property, and expanding transparency at ICANN legal with respect to invoking attorney/client privilege for various processes.

ICC Academy Launches Free e-Course on Responsible Marketing and Advertising

The new ICC Academy e-course builds on decades of expertise in establishing high standards for marketers and ad agencies.

The educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the ICC Academy, has launched a new e-course based on ICC’s internationally-recognized Marketing and Advertising Code. Entitled “Ethical Marketing and Advertising” (EMA), the e-course is available free of charge, and aims to develop the skills needed to conceptualize, design and deliver responsible marketing communications.

From micro-enterprises to large multinational companies, nearly all businesses use marketing in some form to sell their products or services. However, in a world where good governance and consumer trust are increasingly important, there is a greater expectation from consumers for brands to communicate transparently about their operations and product offering. This interactive e-course serves to encourage ethical marketing solutions as better, more effective forms of advertising.

“We are proud to launch the EMA on the ICC Academy’s digital learning platform,” said Daniel Kok, general manager of the ICC Academy. “We believe that formal training is essential to create high industry standards and practice. Our aim for this e-course is to establish a foundation in marketing for businesses across all markets.”

The EMA builds on decades of expertise and is designed for marketers, advertising agencies, self-regulatory organizations and universities and expands on a program initially developed with the renowned international business school, INSEAD.

“The ICC Code provides globally applicable road signs for marketing practice, which help build confidence in business. This e-course brings the Code guidance to life with the aid of practical industry examples,” said Brent Sanders, assistant general counsel at Microsoft and chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising, who also chairs USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee. “We recognize the invaluable contributions of self-regulatory and partner organisations across the globe in developing this interactive course that we believe will reinforce the Code’s effectiveness.”

Comprising six lessons, the two-hour interactive e-course:

  • covers ICC Code basics
  • provides an overview of the importance of responsible advertising
  • explains responsible marketing principles relating to customers, society and competitors, and
  • delivers insights on digital marketing and advertising.

Each section of the course incorporates video examples, structured learning, self-assessments, a virtual coach and valuable case studies to fully understand the principles at the heart of global advertising codes, which are applicable across every industry.

“The ICC Code provides direction for legal and honest marketing communications – qualities that are critical for marketers to build consumer trust and brand loyalty,” said Raelene Martin, policy manager at ICC . “This e-course demonstrates, in practical terms, how the Code’s principles and provisions can be applied in everyday practice when developing marketing campaigns. We are confident that this e-course will be a key resource to help marketers employ today’s and tomorrow’s most innovative techniques to market their products and services.”

Professionals hoping to demonstrate their commitment to the practice of ICC Code on responsible Marketing and Advertising are invited to take the EMA certification exam for a nominal fee.

Click here to learn more about the ICC Academy’s brand-new EMA e-course.

USCIB attends Business “Talanoa Dialogue” to Advance Climate Policy Implementation

Tomasz Chruszczow, Climate Champion, Poland makes remarks

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) convened a business workshop under the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue process last week. The day-long meeting at ICC Headquarters in Paris brought business leaders together with influential government representatives leading the UNFCCC negotiations to discuss where business can contribute and strengthen implementation of national and international climate policy.

The Talanoa Dialogue, previously referred to as the Facilitative Dialogue, aims to overview collaborative action by governments, business and others to move the global climate agenda. A year-long process of discussions, consultations, events and expert inputs that will culminate at the 24th Conference of Parties in Poland, the Talanoa Dialogue is the first time business and other stakeholder inputs are to be mainstreamed into the UNFCCC deliberations.  ICC serves as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point for business and industry, and has represented global business in the UN climate deliberations since 1993.

Tomasz Chruszczow,  climate champion, Poland, opened the meeting with a plea for business involvement, stating, “Business creates jobs, makes investment decisions. We need business to solve the challenges ahead in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.”  Phil Kucharski, ICC’s chief operating officer announced that ICC would make an organization-wide commitment to both the Paris Agreement and to inform the Talanoa Dialogue.

The Talanoa Dialogue is a process led by Fiji to invite and gather information, examples and discussion on 3 questions relating to the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and the need for additional greenhouse gas reductions, resilience, funding and technology cooperation:

-Where are We?

-Where are We Going?

-How Do we Get There?

“While the Talanoa questions appear very basic, business will re-frame them to be relevant to private sector investment and implementation, and then bring forward value-added information and recommendations in response,” stated Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB’s work on climate change, energy and the environment. Other USCIB members attending this workshop included Nick Campbell, Arkema and Justin Perrettson, Novozymes.

The discussion tackled concerns with assertions made by anti-business interests about “conflict of interest” as a justification to ban certain business sectors from observing the UNFCCC deliberations. Elina Bardram, head of Unit for International Climate Negotiations, European Commission stated that since the challenges involved in catalyzing climate action are daunting “for technical negotiators alone to tackle, so we need real world expertise – from business & other non-parties – included in the process.”

Other speakers included Deo Saran, Fiji’s ambassador to Belgium and permanent representative to the European Union and Brigitte Collet, France’s ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations, Renewable Energy & Climate Risk Prevention.

USCIB recently submitted recommendations to the UNFCCC on the importance of substantive business involvement in the UNFCCC going forward. USCIB will work closely with ICC in future Talanoa Dialogue meetings, and will consult its members as it prepares USCIB contributions to the Talanoa Dialogue scoping exercise en route to the next UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Katowice, Poland in December.

Politico Highlights Business at OECD Work on Colombia Accession

In light of Secretary Tillerson’s upcoming trip to South America, Politico published an article highlighting unresolved concerns surrounding Colombia’s accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including on intellectual property and transparency.

USCIB has long been advocating on these issues, particularly through Business at OECD and most recently through a document, which Politico references.

“This important advocacy document, which contains pre-accession recommendations for issues Colombia should address before acceding to the OECD, to be included in the OECD Trade Committee’s Formal Opinion, was developed by BIAC, with significant USCIB input on US industry priority issues,” noted Eva Hampl, USCIB director of investment, trade and financial services.

USCIB Joins Coalition to Advocate for Transparency in Public Health Research

USCIB has joined diverse group of industry and business interests this week, announcing the launch of a new coalition to advocate for reform of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Monographs Program. The Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR) Coalition will advocate to modernize the Monographs Program through greater transparency and balanced assessments that produce credible conclusions.

“Modernizing IARC’s Monographs Program process will help to strengthen the integrity of its conclusions and is especially urgent following several recent revelations of data suppression and manipulated outcomes in its cancer hazard evaluations,” said Mike Michener, who leads USCIB’s work on health policy.

In addition to USCIB, the Coalition includes the American Chemistry Council (ACC), American Petroleum Institute, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, CropLife, National Association of Manufacturers, National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association and the Society of Chemical Manufactures and Affiliates.

USCIB member the American Chemistry Council has published a press release on this issue.

 

USCIB Washington Update, December 2017-January 2018

During the months of December 2017 and January 2018, USCIB Staff arranged for members to meet on CFIUS with Heath Tarbert, Treasury, and internet governance with Robert Strayer, State, issued the USCIB 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda, participated in a Senate Lobby Day on NAFTA, traveled to Montreal for the 6th round of NAFTA negotiations, led a meeting with USTR on OECD Accession issues for Colombia, submitted comments to a UK consultation on digital taxation, and much more. Below are summaries of these and other highlights from the activities of USCIB in Washington, D.C. over the last two 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
Innovation and Intellectual Property – Strengthening International Protections for U.S. IP
Health – Business Engagement for Balanced International Health and Nutrition Regulations
Membership
Upcoming Events
Staff List

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

Assistant Treasury Secretary Tarbert Briefs USCIB Trade Committee on CFIUS: On December 12, 2017, the USCIB Trade and Investment Committee met at the Citigroup Offices in Washington, D.C. The committee was joined by Heath P. Tarbert, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Markets and Development, who provided an off-the-record briefing for members on the work of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the proposed legislation in the Senate to reform the CFIUS process. Tarbert was joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Investment Security, Aimen N. Mir, who leads the interagency CFIUS process. Carol Doran Klein, USCIB Vice President and International Tax Counsel, then briefed the committee on the international provisions of the tax reform bills then in the House and Senate, and following this update, the committee was joined via conference call by Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Beatty gave his assessment of the state of the NAFTA negotiations and the perspective of the Canadian businesses community and government. Finally, Tatjana Sachse, Counsel from Sidley Austin’s Geneva office, called in to the meeting and provided a report directly from Buenos Aries on the latest at the WTO Ministerial.

USCIB Spells Out Priorities for U.S. Trade and Investment Policy: In January USCIB issued its 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda outlining our policy priorities for the year. The Agenda highlights USCIB’s commitment to a global rules-based trade and investment system that opens international markets. Other key principles include support for strong enforcement of existing U.S. trade pacts, pursuing new trade and investment agreements, and ensuring strong investment protections. The Agenda stresses the importance of U.S. engagement and leadership in creating and enforcing rules for international trade and investment. It also emphasizes the need for policies to improve U.S. competitiveness such as preparing U.S. workers to compete and succeed in the 21st century economy. The Agenda has been shared with the White House, USTR and the lead Congressional trade staff.

Hampl Advocates on NAFTA in Montreal: The 6th round of NAFTA negotiations took place in Montreal starting on January 21, with a concluding Ministerial on Monday, January 29, 2018. Eva Hampl, USCIB Director, Investment, Trade and Financial services, traveled to Canada for the round, and together with member companies and associations, met with negotiators from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, as well as congressional staff, Republican and Democratic members of congress, and members of the Canadian and Mexican business community. In his Closing Statement, Amb. Lighthizer acknowledged that some progress has been made, but that it is slow. Importantly, he noted that the United States is committed to moving forward with negotiations. The next round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in Mexico City from February 26 to March 6.  In line with Amb. Lighthizer’s remarks, the feeling on the ground during the week was one of progress and proceeding in a workmanlike and constructive manner. The four “poison pill” proposals, as they have been called (automotive rules of origin, investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), government procurement, and sunset provision) remain contentious, though Canada and Mexico have presented new and creative ideas in an attempt to work within the U.S. proposals. Of particular concern is the U.S. proposal on the ISDS provision and dispute settlement more generally in the agreement. USCIB will continue to engage on these important issues and advocate for priority issues of our members.

USCIB Lobbies the Senate on NAFTA: On January 17, 2018, USCIB participated in a Senate Lobby Day on the Hill, speaking with a range of Republican and Democratic offices. Eva Hampl participated on behalf of USCIB. Following two successful lobby days in the fall, in the House and Senate respectively, these January meetings were organized in the leadup to the 6th round of NAFTA negotiations that took place in Montreal the week of January 21. Throughout the day, about 150 members of the NAFTA Coalition met with as many Senate offices as possible, raising our issues of concern. The Coalition emphasized the outstanding issues regarding the problematic proposals of a sunset clause, investor-state dispute settlement, automotive rules of origin, and government procurement. We also made the point that there are many chapters that are making progress, including customs and digital trade, which are vital for business and should get closed out as soon as possible.

USCIB Leads USTR Meeting on OECD Accession for Colombia and Plans for Future Accessions: Mid-January, Eva Hampl led a group of companies and associations in a meeting with USTR to discuss OECD Accession issues for Colombia. On the USTR side the meeting included Cara Morrow, ‎Deputy Assistant USTR for WTO and Multilateral Affairs, Leslie O’Connor, Deputy Assistant USTR for Central America and the Dominican Republic, Joe Whitlock, USTR Senior Director for Innovation and Intellectual Property, and Zoe Sophos USTR Deputy Director for WTO and Multilateral Affairs. The meeting served as a follow up to the November meetings of the OECD Trade Committee, where Colombia accession was discussed. Significant issues remain and Colombia is required to continue to make further changes before being able to accede to the OECD. USCIB will continue to strongly advocate on the outstanding issues for our companies. It is important that Colombia is only permitted to accede when all high OECD standards have been met, particularly with other countries in discussions of starting the accession process. The applicant countries are Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia. To ensure that business views are appropriately represented in the process, Business at OECD (BIAC) has issued a statement outlining a process for input, noting in part that a commitment to open markets should guide any decision to the opening of accession negotiations, and the accession process should encourage countries to improve their business environment and engage in the necessary reforms.

USCIB and State Department Consulting on Next Generation of OECD Accession Candidates: Rob Mulligan, USCIB Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, led a USCIB staff team in an early January session with the State Department’s team managing U.S. relations with the OECD to compare notes on assessments and priorities among the six new countries seeking to get invited into the formal queue for accession into OECD membership. With three Latin countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Peru) and three EU members (Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania) putting their candidacies forward, some complications arise, including each applicant’s willingness and ability to meet the OECD standards and conditions for membership, the extent of true “like-mindedness” of each candidate, and the balance between European and non-European members in the OECD. Once a country gets into the queue, it then must pass muster in rigorous reviews by dozens of OECD committees and working groups; a process that usually takes several years. Much of the attention at this point is focused on Brazil, a major global player but, unfortunately, one currently far from OECD standards on laws, regulations and policies in key areas. The good news is that USCIB is in an active dialogue with the U.S. Government and we seem to be on the same wavelength.

USCIB Advocates for Open Investment Climate in CFIUS Reform Discussions: In November of last year, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), together with the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), the legislation intended to modernize and strengthen the process of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Since then, USCIB and our members have been carefully reviewing the legislation, as it raises several concerns as to scope. In addition to continued dialogue with other associations concerned about FIRRMA, USCIB is in the process of finalizing Policy Pillars on the legislation, outlining the general view that CFIUS plays a very important role, but that any legislation must remain focused on national security review only, and that any expansion in scope is carefully calibrated so as not to hamper U.S. innovation and development. Several hearings have already been held on the subject, so the process is moving forward. USCIB plans on remaining very engaged on CFIUS reform, to ensure that the U.S. retains the open investment environment that has enabled our companies to grow and thrive over the years.

USCIB Reviews OECD Investment Issues with State Department: USCIB staffers Shaun Donnelly, Vice President, Investment and Financial Services, and Eva Hampl met in mid-December with Michael Tracton, Director of the Office of Investment Affairs (OIA) in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs to review OECD investment policy issues and to seek U.S. Government support for greater business community input and participation in OECD investment policy work. Mike Tracton heads the U.S. Government delegation to the OECD Investment Committee meetings and is a member of the Committee leadership “Bureau.” USCIB and the broader Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) international business group at the OECD have long been seeking to open up more of the OECD Investment Committee’s closed-door session to BIAC and other official stakeholders. Mike Tracton and the U.S. Government are supporting that effort. Shaun Donnelly will represent USCIB at the upcoming March Investment Committee meetings where we will continue to advocate for strong investment agreements, including investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”) provisions to ensure investor rights can be enforced.

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

USCIB Members Engage with U.S. Government Officials on OECD Digital Economy Program Priorities, 2019-2020: On December 11, 2017, USCIB hosted a meeting to enable members to engage with relevant staff from the State Department, Commerce Department, Federal Communications Commission, and Federal Trade Commission on the OECD’s digital economy program priorities for 2019-2020. The informal, off-the-record session featured an exchange of views on substantive elements of the projects proposed by the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy for the upcoming work period as well as research methodology.

State Department Invites Discussion about 2018 Challenges/Opportunities in Internet Governance: On December 13, 2017, Robert Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, State Department, was the featured speaker at the 4th quarter meeting of the ICT Policy Committee. He explored the 2018 internet governance landscape, a discussion that featured extensive discussion about the importance of ensuring that the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) remains a viable multistakeholder platform for non-binding discussions about a broad array of Internet-related issues. Discussions also reflected a convergence of views concerning priorities for the 2018 ITU Plenipotentiary, which will be held October 29-November 16, 2018 in Dubai, UAE. In addition, USCIB members provided important updates on the following topics: (1) Ellen Blackler (Disney) and Rich Clarke (AT&T) debriefed on the outcomes and implications of the November 2017 meetings of the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) and its Working Parties; and (2) Keith Drazek and David McAuley (VeriSign), Denise Michel (Facebook), and Chris Wilson (Amazon) examined key issues addressed at ICANN 60 such as the contractual compliance challenges posed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Board’s suspension of an important community-driven security review, the wrap up of Enhancing ICANN Accountability Workstream 2, and Amazon’s application for the .amazon top-level domain name. Chair Eric Loeb concluded the meeting with a review of the committee’s 2018 Goals and Objectives.

USCIB Advocates Bridging the Gender Digital Divide through Multistakeholder Processes: On December 15, 2017, USCIB submitted comments as part of the open consultation convened by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet) on the topic of “Bridging the Digital Gender Divide.” USCIB underscored that no one organization can tackle this problem alone; partnerships are critical, between the public and private sectors, business and non-profits, intergovernmental organizations, and between local and national governments. USCIB further highlighted the effectiveness of using multistakeholder processes to bridge the gender digital divide.

USCIB Members Offer Insights into Opportunities and Challenges of Digital Transformation and the IGF’s Role: USCIB members from Amazon, AT&T, BT Americas, Cisco, Comcast NBCUniversal, Facebook, Fenwick & West, Google, Intel, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, VeriSign, Verizon, and Wiley Rein, among others, participated in the 12th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), December 18-22, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland. These member representatives and USCIB’s Barbara Wanner, Vice President, ICT Policy, made important contributions on digital trade, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT), and bridging the gender and youth digital divide. In addition, the OECD’s Going Digital project was featured in a special session, which enabled USCIB members to reiterate points of support and concern offered by BIAC at the November 2017 meeting of the Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP). name=”ICT_European-Commission-Tax-Digitalized-Economy”>

USCIB Bids Farewell to Key EU Digital Economy Officer and Welcomes his Successor: USCIB hosted a special get-together January 17, 2018 to bid farewell and express appreciation to Andrea Glorioso, Digital Economy Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the USA, for his openness to working with U.S. business during his nearly four-year term in the Washington office. Members, in turn, welcomed Glorioso’s successor, Peter Fatelnig. The informal gathering featured discussion about current issues in U.S.-EU relations and areas of cooperation – and challenge – going forward.

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

USCIB Submits Comments in Response to European Commission Consultation on the Tax Challenges of the Digitalized Economy: In response to a request for input The taxation of the digital economy will be the main issue addressed internationally this year. The UK has issued two position papers (one on the digital economy and the other on royalties withholding) USCIB submitted a response to the consultation on the digital economy and will submit a response to consultation on royalties, which is due shortly. There is enormous pressure within the EU and elsewhere to come up with new rules for taxing the digital economy. Many countries feel the need to increase the share of the income that is taxable in the market economy, regardless of whether there is a traditional presence in the market economy. USCIB will participate in this debate and attempt to ensure that U.S. business views are fully represented.

USCIB Submits Comments on Section 965: The USCIB Tax Committee submitted a letter to the Treasury concerning the implementation of new section 965. The letter focused on the distinction between cash and non-cash assets and the possibility of double counting and ways to avoid double counting. USCIB will be holding a Tax Committee meeting on February 22, 2018. The taxation of the digital economy and the new tax law will be a focus of that meeting.

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

USCIB Customs Leadership Meets with New CBP Trade Relations Director: On January 31, 2017, Megan Giblin, USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation, and Jerry Cook, Hanesbrands and USCIB Customs Committee Chair, had a meet and great with U.S. CBP Office of Trade Executive Director, Bradley Hayes. The meeting covered USCIB Customs Committee issues and interests, as well as follow-up on key priority issues discussed in the USCIB’s 2017 meeting with then Acting Commissioner McAleenan such as e-commerce, customs valuation, and forced labor. We look forward to continuing our close partnership with CBP.

Giblin Talks APEC Customs Work with USTR, USAID: On January 12 and 17, 2018, Megan Giblin met with USTR APEC and USAID APEC representatives to discuss USCIB engagement on Customs and Trade Facilitation issues. These included the Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2), specific issues of interest and possible event topics for APEC 2018 events hosted by Papua New Guinea, as well as industry engagement efforts focused on Customs and Trade Facilitation topics.

Colombian Embassy Officials Hear from USCIB Customs Committee Members: On November 30, 2017, USCIB Customs Committee Members met with Colombian Embassy representatives to discuss Colombia’s domestic TFA ratification status, customs valuation concerns, as well as other non-tariff barriers faced at, or in relation to, the Customs border. Future meetings with Colombian Customs and Customs attachés will build on these discussions in efforts to resolve USCIB member concerns.

Innovation and Intellectual Property – Strengthening International Protections for U.S. IP

USCIB Participates in ICC Intellectual Property Commission Meeting: Mike Michener, USCIB Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation, participated in the most recent ICC IP Commission meeting in Geneva that was held at the offices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Senior officials from WIPO and the WTO made presentations on developments and activities in areas of interest to business, such as copyright, enforcement, trademarks, designs and GIs, patents, genetic resources and traditional knowledge, WIPO projects on intangibles in global value chains, databases, medicines and climate change, and IP-related developments in the WTO. The Commission will closely monitor developments in the draft Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments and evaluate what action ICC should take at the next commission meeting in March, after studying The Hague Secretariat report on the possible consequences of various options, expected shortly before the meeting.

Health – Business Engagement for Balanced International Health and Nutrition Regulations

USCIB Highlights Critical Role of Private Sector in Medical Innovation: In December, 2017, USCIB participated in the OECD Health Committee, which discussed among other issues OECD work exploring Sustainable Access to Innovative Therapies. BIAC Health Committee Chair Nicole Denjoy emphasized the role of business as a key stakeholder in this debate, and Vice Chair Thomas Cueni highlighted the critical importance of adopting a holistic system-wide approach. Business at OECD (BIAC) contributed to this OECD project during stakeholder consultations in December 2016, and May and June 2017, and has also contributed to the report through substantive empirical evidence. Ali Karami Ruiz, BIAC Director for Policy, Communications, and International Affairs,showcased business contributions towards health literacy efforts in the context of OECD efforts in this field. USCIB’s Michael Michener, PhRMA’s Kevin Haninger, and IFPMA’s Andrew Jenner were also part of the Business at OECD (BIAC) delegation.

Membership

New Members: USCIB has recently welcomed FMC Corporation as a new member.

Upcoming Events:

  • BIAC/OECD Meeting of Chemicals Committee, Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotech, Paris, France – February 5-7
  • USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – February 13
  • USCIB Digital Trade Working Group Meeting, Washington, D.C. – February 13
  • USCIB Tax Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – February 22
  • APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea February 26-March 2
  • USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – March 6
  • ICANN 61, San Juan, Puerta Rico – March 10-15
  • WSIS Forum, Geneva, Switzerland – March 19-23
  • USCIB ICT Policy Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – March 26
  • UNCTAD E-Commerce Week, Geneva, Switzerland – April 16-20
  • ICC Digital Economy Commission (ICC-DEC) Meeting, Paris, France – April 19-20
  • USCIB Geneva Week, Geneva, Switzerland – April 23-26
  • 2018 OECD International Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. – June 4-5

 

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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India Now Accepting “Merchandise Passports” for Professional Equipment

New York, N.Y., January 31, 2017 – India has expanded its use of ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-free importation of various types of goods. As of January 18, the country is now accepting the widely used “merchandise passports” for professional equipment, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that allow for the temporary importation of various types of goods, duty-free and tax-free, generally for up to one year. India previously accepted Carnets only for goods destined to fairs and exhibitions, for a maximum period of six months. It is now also honoring them for temporary importation of professional equipment for up to two months, with the opportunity to renew for an additional two months.

“This is an important development that will help boost U.S. exports to India, and make it much easier for business travelers to get essential professional equipment in and out of the country,” said Andrew Shiles, USCIB’s senior vice president for ATA Carnet and trade services. “All sorts of people and companies – from news organizations to symphony orchestras to technicians making repairs – use ATA Carnets to move professional equipment around the world swiftly and cost-effectively.”

Additional information on developments in India is available on USCIB’s website at https://www.uscib.org/india-ud-1614/.

The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which USCIB serves as the American national committee. Find out more about the services offered by USCIB to facilitate cross-border trade and investment at www.uscib.org.

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

About USCIB:

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

As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide. USCIB also works to facilitate international trade and investment. It is the U.S. national guaranteeing association for ATA Carnets, which enable the temporary export of many types of goods, free of import duties or taxes, for up to one year.

Business Cautiously Optimistic on NAFTA Talks

The 6th round of NAFTA negotiations wrapped up yesterday with much progress being made on a technical level in several chapters, including in digital trade and telecom. USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl was on the ground during the talks in Montreal, coordinating with member companies and associations, and meeting with negotiators from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

“The anti-corruption chapter is now closed out and several others are close, but are stuck on a few remaining issues,” said Hampl. The four “poison pill” proposals, which refer to automobile rules of origin, investor-state dispute settlement, government procurement, and sunset provision remain contentious, though Canada and Mexico have presented new and creative ideas in an attempt to work within the U.S. proposals, according to Hampl.

In his Closing Statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also acknowledged that some progress has been made, but that it is slow. He also highlighted some of the controversial issues, including the automobile rules of origin. Importantly, however, he noted that the United States is committed to moving forward with negotiations.

A delegation of the House Ways & Means Committee, including members from both sides of the aisle, arrived in Montreal on Friday and participated in a range of meetings and events. “Republicans and Democrats appear to be aligned in their opposition to NAFTA withdrawal,” noted Hampl. “To what extent such alignment will also translate into votes in the end remains to be seen, but the show of support was certainly important.”

USCIB will continue advocating for negotiations to progress in the right direction for U.S. business when they are expected to take place in Mexico City from February 26 to March 6.

USCIB Spells Out Priorities for U.S. Trade Policy

Presses for enforcement, open markets and more competitive workforce

Washington, D.C., January 24, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which advises the U.S. government on trade and commercial policy and represents American companies in global business and intergovernmental forums, today laid out its priorities for U.S. trade policy. In its 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda, the group said it is committed to a global rules-based trade and investment system, will support enforcement of existing U.S. trade pacts, and will push for new market-opening agreements for U.S. exports and investment.

“Opening global markets for American goods, services and investment is critical for our future prosperity,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Doing so requires strong enforcement of existing agreements, as well as their renegotiation where our commercial interests dictate. But it also demands a robust, ‘all-of-the-above’ approach, encompassing vigorous leadership by the United States in international negotiations to develop effective rules and open up new areas for liberalization of cross-border trade and investment.”

Robinson said that, as the U.S. works to open overseas markets, it needs policies and programs to support U.S. workers and improve workforce competitiveness. “While trade is dwarfed by technological and other factors in driving changes in jobs and skills, we need to make sure that are doing everything we can to stay ahead of the inevitable dislocations and build a workforce for the 21st century,” he said.

USCIB’s 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda identifies numerous priorities for American trade policy. Among its top priorities, USCIB pledged to:

  • work for effective enforcement of existing agreements, as well as to advance negotiations and agreements that improve market access for U.S. companies within a dynamic, rules-based system
  • stress the importance of U.S. engagement and leadership in creating and enforcing rules for international trade and investment, including protection of U.S. investments abroad
  • urge the Trump administration not to introduce new proposals in NAFTA that will weaken existing provisions, or negate the benefits that U.S. companies derive from the U.S. being part of NAFTA
  • urge the administration to initiate negotiations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure that American goods and services companies have open and fair access to their markets
  • work with the administration to develop a coherent strategy for pressing China to further open its markets to U.S. companies, and eliminate the proliferating Chinese policies aimed at hindering access, in a framework that maintains stability in the relationship
  • leverage USCIB’s unique global business network to build international consensus on trade and investment policy.

Download the full USCIB 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda here.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

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