USCIB Participates in First-Ever Virtual ILO Labor Conference

The 109th International Labor Organization’s (ILO) International Labor Conference (ILC) concluded in December 2021, and USCIB once again actively participated in negotiations as the U.S. Employer Representative. Of special note, USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg was elected and served as Vice President (Employers) of the conference. USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Herzog, and Senior Counsel and ILO Governing Body Member Tom Mackall also participated on behalf of business.

According to Herzog, the ILC is the leading global forum for discussion of key social and labor questions. Each year, Employer, Worker and Government delegates gather at the ILC to negotiate and to adopt international labor standards. Held virtually for the first time in the ILO’s 100+ year history, the 2021 ILC was conducted over two online sessions – one in May/June, and one in November/December. Due to the pandemic, the ILC was not held in 2021.

Among the outcomes across the two 2021 sessions, the ILO’s tripartite constituents adopted a Global Call for Action for a Human-Centered Recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, an emergency resolution on the situation in Myanmar, a resolution concerning the second recurrent discussion on social protection (social security), and two sets of conclusions and reports on Skills and lifelong learning  and Inequalities and the world of work. This is in addition to regular proceedings, such as the Committee on Application of Standards and adopting the ILO’s program and budget.

“USCIB was gratified that the ILO was able to pivot and continue the important tradition of hosting the ILC, albeit virtually,” said Herzog, “and we look forward to the end of the pandemic and the safe return to in-person tripartite social dialogue at the ILC for the ILO and its 187 Member States.”

USCIB Joins IOE in Mourning the Passing of IOE Honorary President François Perigot

François Perigot

USCIB is joining the International Organization of Employers (IOE) in mourning the passing of François Perigot, who served as IOE President from 2001-2006, after which he was given the role of Honorary President.

Perigot was widely known throughout the employer community as an individual with strong and deep human values, and a forceful believer and advocate for employer organizations. He made significant contributions, during his tenure at IOE, to promoting and protecting employer interests worldwide. He particularly stood out for his unwavering commitment to champion the international business community.

“He was a man of great stature, and IOE and its members were fortunate to have him as their President,” commented Ronnie Goldberg, USCIB senior counsel and former IOE vice president.

As a member of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation, he participated in the elaboration of the report “A fair globalisation: Creating opportunities for All,” presented to the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2004.

Perigot was also widely respected businessman and served as president of CNPF (the French employer organization, now known as MEDEF) from 1986 – 1994, and President of MEDEF International from 1997 – 2005.

USCIB Welcomes Several New Policy Support Staff

USCIB has welcomed several new policy support staff at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. In November, USCIB welcomed Katya Nicholas as USCIB’s new Executive Assistant, Office of the President replacing Crys Won who has left the position in March 2021. Agnes Vinblad joined later in November as USCIB Policy and Program Associate, Sustainability. Finally, USCIB welcomed Angela Goulovitch, starting most recently on January 3, 2022 as Policy and Program Associate, Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs.

Katya Nicholas

For the past several years, Katya Nicholas has served in a number of C-Suite EA positions in New York and San Francisco, including for a marketing technology company and a technical company supporting the automotive retail industry. Her experience includes calendar, travel, and project management; team coordination; event management and meeting logistics; communications and HR. Nicholas has expressed great interest in USCIB’s mission, and is an internationalist herself. She was born in St. Petersburg, and lived in Prague and Vienna before moving to California.

She has an MA in Communications/Translation and Interpreting (English/French/Russian) and also speaks Czech, Spanish and German. She has certificates in High-Tech Product Management/Marketing and Project Management from UC Berkeley. She is also a photographer and certified Clifton Strengths Assessment coach. Nicholas is based in USCIB’s New York office.

Agnes Vinblad

Agnes Vinblad is based in USCIB’s New York office, working closely with USCIB Senior Vice President, Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy, supporting USCIB’s advocacy and representation at the UN and other inter-governmental forums relating to environment and the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including the SDGs. Vinblad brings professional experience with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, where she spent the past two years working with questions related to youth, the SDGs and social innovation.

She has held other short-term appointments with multiple NGOs and international organizations. Additionally, Vinblad holds private sector experience from working in strategy consulting and other administrative roles. In 2018, Vinblad was appointed as a Delegate for the Y7 (Youth 7) – one of the official G7 Engagement Groups. This opportunity brought her to both Brussels, Belgium and Ottawa, Canada. She has lived and worked in Norway, China, Hong Kong, as well as her native Sweden, prior to settling in New York.

Angela Goulovitch

Angela Goulovitch is based in USCIB’s New York office, working closely with USCIB Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog on USCIB advocacy work and Member engagement on cross-cutting issues of corporate responsibility and responsible business conduct, labor, corporate governance, human rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goulovitch joins USCIB with over 10 years of professional experience in the public and private sectors, with a strong track record of excellence in communications, project management and partnership building, among other areas. Most recently, Goulovitch served as External Advisor on UN affairs for the International Organization of Employers (IOE), where she tracked policy developments, conducted external engagements, and fostered cooperation between employer organizations and UN Resident Coordinators.

Before that, Goulovitch served as a Knowledge Specialist with the International Labor Organization (ILO), where she researched and wrote publications on government and company policy best practices that promote women’s economic empowerment. Goulovitch also has private sector experience in the financial services sector where she worked in client service, as well as public sector experience from her time interning for the U.S. Department of State and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President. Originally from Ukraine, Goulovitch completed her Master of Arts degree in International Relations from New York University in 2018, and is also a true New Yorker – raised and still living in Brooklyn, NY.

 

Wanner Makes Intervention at UN Meeting on Security and Use of ICTs

On occasion of the second meeting of the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on the Security of and Use of ICTs on December 16, USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner delivered an intervention on behalf of stakeholders during a virtual stakeholder consultative discussion with the Chair of the Group, Ambassador Burhan Gafoor.

Wanner’s intervention highlighted many of the points that USCIB had already made in a letter that USCIB submitted to the Ambassador on December 9 prior to Wanner’s intervention, which was co-signed by 147 stakeholders from non-governmental organizations, states and regional organizations as well as individuals. The letter expressed an overarching commitment to a successful OEWG process and a belief that it is likely to have a far-reaching impact on many stakeholders, including impacts on communities and individuals. The letter also emphasized the importance of an open, transparent and inclusive dialogue that would provide the basis for stakeholders to play a role in implementing the decisions and which would take into consideration their ability to participate and contribute to the outcome.

“We urge you to stay true to your commitment to continue to leverage the expertise of non-governmental stakeholders in a ‘systematic, sustained, and substantive manner’ in order to effectively build upon the work of the first OEWG,” said Wanner.

Wanner also stressed the need for transparency, both in terms of the development of texts, and the accreditation process for non-governmental stakeholder participation. She also emphasized the need to continue using a hybrid format for meetings to facilitate the participation of delegates and stakeholders who cannot travel to New York.

“This approach will remain critical as we continue to battle the global pandemic. It also will enable full transparency of the proceedings as mentioned previously,” she added.

USCIB Issues ATA Carnet Advisory on Brazil; Brazil to Terminate Carnet as of January 1

New York, N.Y., December 22, 2021 — As the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association (NGA and IA) for ATA Carnet in the United States, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) is issuing the following guidance for holders (users) of U.S. ATA Carnets to Brazil (BR) or “BR ATA Carnets” for entry into the United States.

As of January 1, 2022, Brazilian customs will terminate their ATA Carnet operations.

Brazil will no longer issue or accept ATA Carnets. The National Confederation of Industry (CNI) initially ended its role as the sole NGA role in Brazil in June 2021 and was subsequently extended to December 31, 2021. During this time, Brazil Customs went through a solicitation process for a new NGA and IA, but the process conducted on September 17 and November 5, 2021, was not successful. At this time, Brazil has not been able to appoint a new entity to guarantee and issue Carnets.

As a result, U.S issued ATA Carnets currently in circulation should not be used for entry into Brazil on or after January 1, 2022. Likewise, ATA Carnets issued by Brazil for entry into the United States will be rejected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Details of this announcement can be found at the Brazilian Customs’ website.

“Specific questions or assistance on U.S. ATA Carnets with regards to this announcement should be directed to our authorized service providers, Boomerang Carnets and Roanoke Insurance Group,” advised USCIB Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Declan Daly.

ATA Carnets are honored in over eighty customs countries and territories and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period. The global ATA Carnet system is overseen by the Paris-based World Chamber Federation of the International Chamber of Commerce. USCIB administers the Carnet system in the United States.

More on USCIB’s Trade Services.

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. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Members Honored With Corporate Startup Stars Awards; Pfizer Earns 2021 Grand Winner

On occasion of the annual Corporate Startup Stars Awards, startups were asked to nominate corporates most active in open innovation. Launched by Mind the Bridge under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative in 2016, the Awards have been scaled globally by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

One company that has consistently pursued Open Innovation with Purpose and involving all nations, all genders, all generations is the 2021 Grand Winner, USCIB member Pfizer.

Pfizer’s partnership with startup BioNTech epitomizes this by crossing national, generational and gender borders to come together and help the world with its COVID-19 vaccine.

Along with Pfizer, other USCIB member companies named in the 2021 Top 25 Corporate Startup Stars are: AB InBev, BP, Mastercard and SAP. 

The 25 companies awarded in the “Open Innovation Challengers” category include USCIB members Bayer AG, Boeing and Hewlett Packard.

Regional Awards go to Mastercard (North America).

Special awards for seven categories single out approaches and best practices that merit recognition:

  • Startup Procurement Award
    AB Inbev
  • Corporate Startup Accelerator Award
    Mastercard and SAP
  • Startup Investment Award
    AEI HorizonX (Boeing)

During the Awards Ceremony, Mind the Bridge presented key evidence emerging from its Report “Evolve or Be Extinct. Future Models of Open Innovation from the 2021 Global Corporate Startup Stars” that analyses how Fortune 500/Forbes 2000 companies interact with startups and scaleups at global level.

Download the Mind the Bridge report Report “Evolve or Be Extinct, Future Models of Open Innovation from the 2021 Global Corporate Startup Stars.

See here for the full story on ICC’s website.

Vietnam to Join Global “Merchandise Passport” System in Spring 2022

New York, N.Y., December 20, 2021 — Vietnam is set to become the seventy-ninth member country to accept ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-and tax-free importation of various types of goods, beginning May 1, 2022, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

ATA Carnets are critical tools of trade facilitation known as the “merchandise passport” or “passport for goods” that simplify customs procedures for the temporary movement of goods and permit goods to enter a party to the System duty and are tax free for up to one-year. They provide users with many benefits, including being easy to use and eliminate surprises at the border; one document allows many country visits during a year of validity; streamline processes at border crossings; and they save time and money (duties & taxes).

ATA Carnets cover import of professional equipment, commercial samples and items for display at exhibitions and fairs. When countries join the ATA system they determine their scope of coverage. As of May 1, Vietnam will allow ATA Carnet covering only exhibitions and fairs (E&F).

The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – World Chamber Federation (WCF). USCIB is the sole U.S. National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association for ATA Carnets.

“Vietnam has an export market of nearly ten billion dollars,” said USCIB Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Declan Daly, who oversees USCIB’s ATA Carnet operations. “ATA Carnets are tools of export promotion as well. They will allow American and other foreign companies to explore the market and conduct business deals with the country, while enabling Vietnamese businesses easier access and exploration to the U.S. and other global markets.”

The ATA System is in place in over eighty-five countries and territories and provides duty-free and tax-free imports on goods that will be re-exported within twelve months.

Please visit the Vietnam ATA Carnet page for more info.

 

Mastercard Wins Coveted State Department “ACE” Corporate Excellence Award for 2021

In a virtual ceremony on December 8, Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced the U.S. company winners of the Department’s 2021 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). For the sixteenth time in the twenty-two years that the ACE award has been presented, a USCIB member company is among the winners.

This year, Mastercard received the ACE award in the multinational company category for “Economic Inclusion,” recognizing its path-breaking work in India to expand financial services to under-banked communities. Mastercard and the U.S. company winners in other categories were honored for their contribution to economic and social progress around the world and the advancement of American values. Secretary Blinken, the U.S. Charge d’Affaires in India, and senior State Department economic officials participated in the virtual ceremony.

Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach accepted the award on behalf for the entire Mastercard team and delivered brief remarks. The State Department website includes details on the award and video link to the ceremony. Mastercard’s public statement also includes interesting details.

In the twenty-two years the State Department has been presenting the ACE Award, sixteen times at least one USCIB member company has been honored. Last year The Coco-Cola Company was a winner for its impressive efforts for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Azerbaijan. In 2019, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble were among the winners.

“We are delighted that again this year, the State Department’s coveted ACE award winners include a great USCIB member company,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robionson. “This is not a coincidence. USCIB members are widely recognized here at home and around the world not only as successful business and leaders in their respective sectors but also as representing the best of American business and our ability to spread American values of inclusion, respect, enlightened personnel policies, investing in employees and communities and responsible stewardship of the environment.  We congratulate and commend Mastercard on its imprssive effots in India and beyond and welcome them to a very impressive club of USCIB member winners of the ACE Award.”

USCIB Supports OECD’s Launch of Report on ‘E-Commerce Challenges in Illicit Trade in Fakes’

USCIB Anti Illicit Trade Committee (AITC) Chair David Luna, who also chairs the Business at OECD (BIAC) Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group (AITEG), made remarks at the December 13 launch of the OECD report “E-commerce challenges in illicit trade in fakes.” The launch of the report took place at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National IPR Coordination Center in Virginia. This important report is also the first outcome of a Special Project on illicit trade between the AITEG and the dynamic public-private partnership (PPP) established under the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT).

“On behalf of Business at OECD, we are especially proud to have actively participated in the work leading up to this final report through sharing information and market data insights, best practices, and other industry perspectives to shed greater light on the booming trade of counterfeits across global supply chains and online marketplaces,” said Luna.

“We believe it is crucial to take into account the input from private sector since it ultimately contributes to gain a more detailed perspective of the adverse impacts emerging from illicit trade in e-commerce,” he added.

“USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of Business at OECD (BIAC), the industry voice of the OECD. USCIB members Pfizer, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Nike, Walt Disney, ABinBev, PMI and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Canter (GIPC) have been active in the BIAC AITEG and the good work of the TF-CIT tied to COVID, e-Commerce, and more,” said Megan M. Giblin, USICB director of customs and trade facilitation, and trade policy manager for USCIB AIT work.

Luna added that many other BIAC federations and partners worked on these important thematic streams in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Luna, the report is timely given the breadth and scale of nefarious actors and criminal networks exploitation of the openness of the internet and anonymity of transactions on e-commerce to evade detection and circumvent law enforcement to distribute and trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, and other illicit goods and contraband, across the digital world. The pandemic has further accelerated illicit trade but especially across online platforms including fraudulent COVID-19 related products.

“As we learned through our series of TF-CIT webinars over the past year, COVID-19 also created unprecedented opportunities for criminals to increase their already significant illicit activities, such as counterfeit pharmaceutical products and personal protective equipment (PPE), frauds, and coronavirus-phishing scams. Illicit trade has further hampered economic development by preventing the equitable distribution of resources that provide for sustainable futures,” said Luna. “Moving forward, the AITEG remains committed to continuing our partnership with the TF-CIT on Phase 2 of the E-Commerce project including more in-depth analyses of the institutional and governance gaps exploited by criminals, and encouragement of more national assessments and country studies.”

Giblin noted that USCIB and its members look forward to continued work with the BIAC AITEG in support of the OECD TF-CIT work streams.

USCIB Statement on the Summit for Democracy

Washington D.C., December 13, 2021—The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomes the recent Summit for Democracy and reaffirms our long-standing support for the critical importance of democracy and rule of law as foundational pillars of well-functioning and inclusive societies.

We agree, as the Biden Administration rightly stated, “that both history and overwhelming data show that societies that respect and defend democratic institutions, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and gender equality are more stable, prosperous, secure and better equipped to confront global challenges.”

“Businesses are key actors in democratic societies, contributing to civic and economic empowerment of people and public institutions, while advancing growth and equality,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “Importantly, business and employer membership organizations are themselves democratic institutions and a core part of the fabric of democratic societies.”

USCIB advocates for good governance, rule of law, anti-corruption and anti-bribery frameworks and other measures of responsible governance, as being among the required elements of the enabling environments for trade and investment that bring growth and opportunity. Indeed, UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions,” makes clear the key role that governance and the rule of law play in promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies and in ensuring sustainable development.

As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of CommerceBusiness at OECD (BIAC) and the International Organization of Employers, USCIB joins with global business and employer peers in advocating these policies in international policy fora, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the United Nations. As an example, we note in particular USCIB’s engagement through BIAC to support the recent successful launch of the OECD Public Integrity Indicators Portal and the 2021 Recommendation for Further Combatting Bribery of Foreign Officials.

Finally, USCIB and its members reiterate their firm belief that alongside national rule of law and good governance, based on democratic principles, multilateral cooperation is the single most powerful vehicle to achieve an inclusive and sustainable path to dealing with the enormity of the challenges facing society today. Business is a necessary voice in that effort, and USCIB will continue our work to engage meaningfully and constructively as a leading actor at home and within the multilateral organizational system to advance democratic principles and rule of law.

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. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.