USCIB Mourns Passing of John Merow, USCIB Corporate Secretary and Longtime Supporter, and His Wife

John Merow

USCIB members and staff were saddened by the deaths of John Merow, 89, a longtime champion of our work, and his wife Mary Alyce, 85. The couple died on January 12 in a fire at their home in New York City.

Merow, the former chairman of law firm member Sullivan & Cromwell, served as a USCIB board member and corporate secretary for many years. He also served on the board of The USCIB Foundation.

“We are shocked and saddened by the sudden and tragic deaths of John and his beloved Mary Alyce, and we will greatly miss them,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson.

“John was a mentor to me and a guiding spirit to USCIB. In whatever position, he never hesitated to roll up his sleeves and provide solid legal guidance. He was a supporter, champion and friend of the organization and its staff, and was at a meeting in our office the day before he died – showing up, as usual, 15 minutes early.”

Merow led Sullivan & Cromwell through a challenging time of international expansion that included the opening of offices in Australia and Japan. In a statement on his passing, the firm called him “an exemplar of diversity and inclusion, always focused on what truly mattered – an individual’s merits and character. We continue to be inspired by his vision of excellence and inclusiveness.”

Sullivan & Cromwell Senior Chairman Rodgin Cohen, a USCIB trustee, described John as among the “extraordinarily skillful lawyers who thought about the law as a noble calling, and not just as a business or a profession.”

In addition to his volunteer service with USCIB, Merow was a trustee and vice chairman of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare system. He was a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the board of the Municipal Art Society of New York. Merow also served for years as senior warden of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, chairman of the American Australian Association, a director of the Metropolitan Opera Club, the Foreign Policy Association and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anglican Communion Fund.

“We will remain forever inspired by John’s positive spirit, generosity, kindness, loyalty, business judgment and sense of humor,” Robinson continued. “He made a mark on our organization and on our lives. Our deep condolences to his family.”

Services for John and Mary Alyce Merow will be held on January 23 at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church, 1 West 53rd Street in New York City. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Council on Foreign Relations and Learning Ally (formerly known as Recording for the Blind).

2019 OECD Tax Conference

Save the Date!

The 2019 OECD International Tax Conference, June 3-4

Four Seasons Hotel, Washington

This annual conference provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. business community to interact with key representatives from the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration to discuss the latest developments in international taxation.  At last year’s conference, Kevin Hassett, Chairman of The Council of Economic Advisors, delivered keynote remarks. Other senior tax officials from the U.S. and other key countries involved in the OECD’s international tax work participated on panels covering the latest developments in the taxation of multinational enterprises including tax treaties, transfer pricing, the work of the Task Force on the Digital Economy, dispute resolution and more.

For more information, please contact Erin Breitenbucher (202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org).

2018 Final Agenda

2018 Speaker Biographies

2018 Photos

2018 Featured Speakers:

  • Kevin Hassett – Chairman, Council of Economic Advisors, Executive Office of the President
  • Pascal Saint-Amans – Director of the Center for Tax Policy & Administration, OECD
  • Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
  • Martin Kreienbaum – Director General, International Taxation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany
  • Brian Ernewein – General Director (Legislation), Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance, Canada
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury
  • Lafayette (Chip) G. Harter – Deputy Assistant Secretary (International Tax Affairs), U.S. Treasury
  • Doug O’Donnell – Commissioner, Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, IRS
  • Achim Pross – Head of International Cooperation and Tax Administration, OECD
  • Tomas Balco – Head of the Transfer Pricing Unit, CTPA, OECD
  • Sophie Chatel – Head of the Tax Treaty Unit, CTPA, OECD
  • Michael Graetz – Professor of Tax Law, Columbia Law School
  • Will Morris – Chairman, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Bill Sample – Chairman, USCIB Tax Committee; Vice Chair, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Other Senior Treasury and Foreign Tax Policy Officials

More on USCIB’s Taxation Committee

2018 Sponsors:

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For information on how to become a sponsor, please contact Abby Shapiro (617-515-8492 or ashapiro@uscib.org). 

 

Presented by:

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Going Digital: OECD Insights for a Changing World

REGISTRATION OPENING SOON! 

2017 Agenda

Going Digital: OECD Insights for a Changing World

March 25, 2019

Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center

901 K Street, NW, 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20001

Program: 8:30am – 5:30pm

Cocktail Reception: 5:30pm – 7:00pm

The USCIB Foundation, USCIB’s educational arm, is teaming up once again with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Business at OECD (BIAC), to host the 1st inaugural event of The Joseph H. Alhadeff Digital Economy Conference Series on March 25, 2019 at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

The digital transformation of the global economy has revealed exciting potential for a more prosperous, productive, inclusive, and socially beneficial world. We need an enabling policy environment for investment and innovation, however, in order to make the most of the potential for digital transformation to improve people’s lives and generate prosperity. At the same time, we must be prepared to address how the fruits of digital innovation can create challenges to privacy, security, and the future of work.

This conference – the fourth such collaboration between USCIB, BIAC, and the OECD – will explore the findings of the OECD’s Going Digital Project, an ambitious two-year examination of how digital transformation affects policymaking across a large spectrum of policy areas. We will draw upon the expertise of the OECD Secretariat on Science, Technology, and Innovation, senior U.S. government officials, and business experts from USCIB and BIAC member companies. In particular, speakers will consider how best to secure the digital economy from ever-more sophisticated cybersecurity threats. In addition, experts will delve into both the promise and challenges of tapping the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies.

2017 FEATURED SPEAKERS:

David Redl (Keynote)

Chief Counsel for Communications and Technology, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives

Douglas Frantz

Deputy Secretary General of the OECD

Andrew Wyckoff

Director of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI)

Anne Carblanc

Head of the OECD Digital Economy Policy Division (CDEP)

Eric Loeb

Senior Vice President of International External and Regulatory Affairs, AT&T, and Chair, USCIB ICT Policy Committee

Joseph Alhadeff

Vice President Global Public Policy, Chief Privacy Strategist, Oracle Corporation, and Chair, BIAC CDEP Committee and Chair, Digital Economic Commission, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

 

For more information, including how you can become a sponsor, please contact Erin Breitenbucher (202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org).

Registration Information

2017 Agenda

2018 Conference Sponsored by:

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Microsoft

 

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The USCIB Foundation

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New Video Highlights USCIB’s Value Add

USCIB has launched a new video highlighting the organization’s policy expertise, close working relationship with decision makers and links to key international business organizations. The video features many of USCIB’s policy experts including USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, USCIB Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener, USCIB Senior Director for Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl, USCIB Vice President for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy and USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog. (See video below.)

The video was presented at USCIB’s 2018 International Leadership Award Gala, which honored Unilever CEO Paul Polman.

USCIB Voices China Tariffs Concerns in Coalition Letter

USCIB, as member of the Americans for Free Trade Coalition, signed a letter to Capitol Hill welcoming the 116th Congress and urging congressional members to consider the costs of the trade war on their home districts and states and to exercise their oversight role in trade policy matters. The Coalition is comprised of approximately 150 organizations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers, retailers and consumers.

“The 116th Congress is beginning during a period of unprecedented economic growth and job creation, yet continued prosperity is not a foregone conclusion. We share the broadly-held concern about the impact to the U.S. economy of the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China, Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and corresponding retaliation against U.S. exports,” the Coalition stated in the letter.

The letter emphasized that Americans have built global supply chains that reflect the U.S. economy’s strengths and those of its trading partners. These supply chains have made the U.S. economy even more dependent upon relationships with key economic and strategic allies than ever before.

“The strength of the U.S. is economy relies on these very complex supply chains, which cannot simply be shifted overnight,” said Eva Hampl, who leads USCIB’s work on China. “These sweeping tariffs are purposefully causing a disruption, negatively impacting the U.S. economy.”

 

US Tax Reform One Year Later

Carol Doran Klein, USCIB vice president and international tax counsel, was featured in a new report by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP “Four Big Questions on U.S. Tax Reforms,” which assesses the implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Doran Klein weighed in by providing her perspective on the future of BEAT (Base-Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax), an anti-avoidance measure that targets multinational groups with a significant U.S. presence, effectively applying a 10 percent minimum tax for taxable income adjusted for certain types of payments made by U.S. corporations to related non-U.S. corporations.

In her interview for the report, Doran Klein noted that the BEAT does not respect the arm’s length standard for transfer pricing, which is the internationally accepted principle in the OECD Model Tax Convention (the guidance underpinning the bilateral tax treaties of OECD members), or advance pricing agreements (APAs).

“One might argue that BEAT would violate existing principles because it doesn’t matter whether you have an APA or whether the payment is otherwise considered to be arm’s length, BEAT would effectively disallow a share of the deduction,” said Doran Klein. “However, the U.S. government could argue that it’s no longer clear whether the international accepted standard should take into account the arm’s length nature of the payments because Action 4 of the BEPS Action Plan concerning limitations on the deductibility of interest payments doesn’t actually rely on the arm’s length principle.”

 

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.

ICT Conference Registration

Registration Information

Online Registration

If you received an email invitation from USCIB to one of our events, you already have an Events Portal Account. To activate your account, go to register online and click the “Forgot Password” link to receive your password via email. Then login and register.

If your e-mail address is not recognized, you will have to create an account with USCIB, by filling out the Online Events Registration Login Request form.

Click here to register online.

Please contact Erin Breitenbucher at 202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org if you experience problems registering online. 

Registration Form

If you prefer register by fax, email or standard mail, please click here to fill out the registration form.

Confirmation emails are sent to registrants shortly after the registration has been processed.  If you think you have registered but have not received a confirmation email, please contact Ms. Erin Breitenbucher at 202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org to confirm that your registration has been processed

 

Conference Website

Donnelly Stresses Need for US Commercial Diplomacy

The January-February edition of The Foreign Service Journal, which examines economic diplomacy from many angles—and from all over the world, included a piece from USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly, who is a former U.S. Ambassador. Donnelly’s piece “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made commercial diplomacy a foreign policy priority. Here’s how to get it right,” was co-authored with Daniel Crocker, a foreign commercial service vice president on the governing board of the American Foreign Service Association.

Donnelly and Crocker outline six critical elements in an effective U.S. economic/commercial diplomacy program, including that top leaders must be personally involved and that American business has a broad agenda in today’s and tomorrow’s global economy.

“As American companies compete to grow, prosper and win, they will need support from the government across a much wider agenda: services, regulatory coherence, license arrangements, international joint ventures, supply chain relationships, inward investment to the United States and outward investment by U.S companies to foreign markets,” Donnelly and Crocker note in the article. “A truly supportive, comprehensive “Team USG” approach to support our companies will have to be able to address that full range of issues.”

Three fundamental realities underline the importance for our country of an effective economic/commercial diplomacy program. First, more than 80 percent of global purchasing power now lies outside the United States, including several large emerging markets with annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates that are double our own, or more. Second, it’s an ultra-competitive world; in all key sectors, American companies face broader, deeper and more aggressive foreign competitors, some of whom promote their standards, military platforms and state-subsidized or state-owned companies for both commercial and political gain.

US-China Trade: Hampl Speaks With BBC Radio

USCIB’s Eva Hampl

As talks between the United States and China aimed at de-escalating their tariff war ended their first day, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl spoke with BBC World News on what American business wants out of the negotiations.

Hampl said the business community wants to see progress on fundamental market-access concerns they face in China, and would be disappointed with more cosmetic takeaways from the talks. But she warned that the Trump administration’s strategy of applying tariff pressure across the entirety of U.S.-China trade could prove counter-productive.

“We see this as a very heavy-handed approach” said Hampl. “We would prefer a more targeted approach to address the underlying issues of IP and forced tech transfer.”

Click here to listen to the full report on the BBC website.