Ellen Blackler of Disney Named to Chair USCIB’s ICT Policy Committee

Ellen Blackler, The Walt Disney Company

New York, N.Y., August 20, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents American business in numerous global policy forums, has appointed Ellen Blackler, vice president of global public policy with The Walt Disney Company, as chair of its Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Committee. As chair, Blackler will spearhead the organization’s development and delivery of business views on information technology and internet policy matters worldwide, working with companies and organizations from across USCIB’s diverse membership.

“Ellen Blackler brings in-depth knowledge of critical issues in international ICT policy and cross-border business,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “She has played a key role in forging consensus across industries to advance business views in the UN, the OECD and other important multilateral forums. Under Ellen’s stewardship of our ICT Committee, and with the ongoing support of USCIB Vice President Barbara Wanner, we look forward to fostering an even more active and constructive role for the private sector in global ICT policy discussions.”

Blackler manages public policy issues for Disney on a range of issues related to internet policy, human rights, privacy, and children and the media. Prior to joining Disney, Blackler worked for AT&T, where she oversaw policy development on privacy, broadband deployment and universal service, access to ICT for people with disabilities, health care and tax-related issues. Blackler previously served on the staff of the Federal Communications Commission, where she led the team drafting the FCC’s annual reports on the availability of broadband service, among other responsibilities, and in the New York State government.

USCIB’s ICT Committee advocates for policies characterized by free and fair competition, minimal government intervention and free information flows that ensure the continued growth of information and communication technologies in a range of strategic forums, including the UN, OECD, APEC and ICANN. In particular, it leverages USCIB’s overseas network of business groups, including the International Chamber of Commerce and Business at OECD, to secure strong industry representation and input to major multilateral discussions of ICT issues.

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.

Jonathan Huneke, VP Communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

USCIB’s “International Business” Summer 2017 Issue

USCIB’s “International Business” Summer 2017 issue is now live!

The Summer 2017 issue features USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson‘s column on “Why International Organizations Matter to Your Business” as well as articles on developments in the B20, NAFTA and the UN high level political forum and the sustainable development agenda, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“International Business,” USCIB’s quarterly journal, provides essential insight into major trade and investment topics, a high-level overview of USCIB policy advocacy and services, USCIB member news and updates from our global business network.

Subscribe to USCIB’s International Business Magazine

Subscriptions to “International Business” are available free upon request to representatives of USCIB member organizations. Contact us to subscribe.

Non-members may subscribe to “International Business” and other USCIB print publications at an annual rate of $50 (U.S.) for domestic delivery, or $75 for overseas delivery. Contact us to subscribe. USCIB’s annual report, studies from the United States Council Foundation and related publications are included with your paid subscription.

Our free electronic newsletter, “International Business Weekly,” provides regular updates on USCIB’s major activities and priorities. Click here to view a sample issue. Click here to subscribe.

We welcome outside submissions and inquiries regarding our publications – send them to news@uscib.org.

We welcome advertising in International Business magazine — special discounted rates for USCIB member organizations! Contact Kira Yevtukhova (kyevtukhova@uscib.org) for more information.

USCIB Welcomes Michael Michener as Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation

New York, N.Y., February 21, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) announced that Michael Michener, a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive, has joined USCIB’s staff as vice president of product policy and innovation.

Working out of USCIB’s Washington, D.C. office, Michener will lead the organization’s policy work on chemicals, health, food, agriculture and intellectual property. He will also coordinate USCIB’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to USCIB, especially his background in working with international organizations, that will contribute greatly to our efforts on behalf of members,” said Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government relations. “We are excited to have him join our team at a time when the policy and regulatory challenges facing American companies are complex and growing.”

Michener most recently served in Brussels as director of multilateral relations for CropLife International, representing the association before a range of international organizations – including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the UN Environment Program and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – on issues related to crop protection products and agriculture biotechnology.

Previously Michener served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in two different roles. First, as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, he managed 1,100 employees and an annual operating budget of $300 million.  Then, as minister counselor at the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, he served as the special representative of the U.S. secretary of agriculture to UN bodies dealing with food and agricultural issues.

Michener has also worked with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Agency for International Development, and he served with the United States Army for seven years in Europe. Michener earned a master’s degree in public administration from Bowie State University and a bachelor’s degree East European studies from the University of Maryland.

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence.  Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.

With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB in the News: Joint Letter Seeks Fair Play in India

USCIB has recently been cited in two articles, the Economic Times India and the International Business Times India,  both of which featured a multi-industry letter that was sent to Congress regarding the United States’ role in ensuring fair play in India for American companies. USCIB joined a group of over twenty eminent American business organizations and industry groups, many of which are also USCIB members. The letter stated that “businesses in the U.S. continue to face an evolving array of tariff and non-tariff barriers, both longstanding and new, which impede businesses and manufactures in the United States from competing fairly in India and creating jobs here at home.”

The letter urges the U.S. government, including Congress, to use all available channels to ensure fair play and to support Indian efforts that align with U.S. goals. The letter emphasized the need to actively use existing as well as new platforms and tools to raise and resolve longstanding issues, including the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, and the WTO dispute settlement.

The letter is available here.

Registration Open for USCIB’s Arbitration Committee Annual Session

uscib-icc-logoThe USCIB Arbitration Committee will hold its annual session on Wednesday, January 18th in NYC. The luncheon will feature updates from the ICC International Court of Arbitration as well as from the United States Council for International Business. Alexis Mourre and Andrea Carlevaris, president and secretary general of the International Court of Arbitration, respectively, and USCIB President & CEO Peter Robinson will give presentations on recent developments at each institution.

Additional topics to include updates on ICC Court matters and discussion on the launch of the ICC revised Rules of Arbitration.  Amendments to the ICC Rules of Arbitration have been made with the aim of further increasing the efficiency and transparency of ICC arbitrations. The revised rules will apply beginning March 1, 2017. They provide for expedited procedure rules for cases of lower value. The main changes will be discussed, with a strong focus on features of the expedited procedure including substantive and procedural aspects. A PDF copy of the updated rules can be downloaded here .

The ICC Commission on Arbitration & ADR’s will also launch of its new Report: Financial Institutions and International Arbitration.

ICC Commission’s latest Report on Financial Institutions and International Arbitration reflects financial institutions’ perceptions and experience of international arbitration. Arbitration, with its flexibility and worldwide enforcement, has the potential to become the preferred dispute resolution method for the world’s corporate and investment banks. This one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary Report addresses the potential benefits of international commercial arbitration in banking and financial matters and some common misperceptions about the process. It concludes with a series of detailed recommendations for tailoring the arbitration procedure to suit the needs of the banking and finance sectors.

The report offers an analytical survey of arbitration in twelve banking and financial sectors and products spanning all CIB financing, capital markets, asset management and advisory mandate fields. It is the

linchpin of a new approach to dispute risk management in international banking and finance. The Report does not seek to establish rules or guidelines, but provides practical information which will be of assistance to arbitrators, counsel and parties. The program for the launch event will feature presentations given by members of the ICC Commission, Secretariat and the Task Force that produced the report.

 To register, please contact Jessica Berti at jberti@uscib.org 

General Electric and McDonald’s Honored With ACE Awards for 2016

McDonald’s Director of Global Government & Public Affairs Sam Tatevosyan and State Department Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Ziad Haidar
McDonald’s Director for Global Government & Public Affairs Sam Tatevosyan alongside Ziad Haidar, State Department special representative for commercial and business affairs

The U.S. Department of State recently held its 18th annual Awards for Corporate Excellence (ACE).  Two leading USCIB member companies, General Electric and McDonald’s, headed the list of six recipients honored for exceptional proactive corporate responsibility programs in specific foreign countries.  Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken handed out the awards in an impressive ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room.  Under Secretary for Economic Growth Cathy Novelli and Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Ziad Haidar also participated in the ceremonies.  USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly, a former U.S ambassador and State Department official, represented USCIB at the event.

General Electric and McDonald’s were the two winners in the “Inclusive Hiring Practices” category.  GE was honored for co-founding the country’s first all-women business services center, which now employs over 1,000 Saudi and non-Saudi women, servicing a fifth of the company’s worldwide service needs. Mazen Dalati, chief operating officer of GE Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, accepted the award.  GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt also spoke via a video message.

McDonald’s Deutschland was also honored in the “Inclusive Hiring Practices” category.  McDonald’s Deutschland has led by example to support refugees’ integration into Germany’s society and workforce. Since 2015, McDonald’s Deutschland has employed over 900 refugees across the country. The company also provided over 20,000 online German Language learning course licenses to help refugees prepare for the workforce in Germany. Sam Tatevosyan, McDonald’s director of global government and public affairs, accepted the award on behalf of McDonald’s Deutschland and the entire company.

Other winners included Andela (Nigeria) in the “Small and Medium Enterprise” category, Bureo (Chile) and Interface (Philippines) in the “Sustainable Oceans Management “ category, and Freeport McMoran for “Transparent Operations” category for its Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru. U.S.-based companies operating overseas are nominated for these annual awards by the local U.S. ambassadors.  Competition is intense with many deserving nominees ever year.  GE is repeat winner, having been recognized in 2007 for its work in Indonesia.  Previous winners over the past 18 years included USCIB companies such as Coca-Cola (Philippines and Egypt), Intel (Vietnam), Proctor and Gamble (Nigeria and Pakistan), Cisco Systems (Israel and Jordan), Goldman Sachs (Chile), and Chevron (Nigeria).

The audience at last week’s ceremony included U.S. government officials, foreign ambassadors, the business community and the media.  The ceremony was webcast around the world by the Department of State. More details on the Department of State’s ACE awards program, the ceremony, and this year’s winners can be found here.

USCIB Welcomes New Staff Members

USCIB welcomes Mia Lauter, who joined USCIB’s Policy Department in New York to work on Environment, Climate Change, Product Policy and Innovation issue areas. She joins another recent hire, Elizabeth Kim, who joined earlier this year to focus on Corporate Responsibility, Labor, APEC, Competition and China.

Additionally, Kira Yevtukhova has succeeded Chris Zoia as Communications Manager after working in USCIB’s Policy Department for over five years. She will be based in USCIB’s Washington office. Chris has taken a new position with the Freedom Fund.

Please join us in welcoming and congratulating Mia, Elizabeth and Kira.

Business Supports Expansion of APEC Privacy Rules

Global Communications. 3D rendering.

Eight major business groups — including USCIB, Japan’s Keidanren and ICC Mexico — released a joint statement calling on all Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies to expand participation in the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. An important priority for USCIB, the CBPR is a high-standard and enforceable privacy code of conduct that facilitates cross-border trade and ensures strong privacy protection of personal information. The statement commended the work done by policy makers in promoting the CBPR system, and urged the 21 APEC economies to commit to the system during 2017.

CBPRs are based on the internationally respected APEC Privacy Framework and endorsed by APEC Leaders since 2011. They are an interoperable, enforceable, and high-standard privacy code of conduct that facilitates cross-border trade of goods and services and ensures that strong privacy protection will follow personal information across the Asia-Pacific region. By creating a certification system that bridges the privacy regimes of each participating economy in a cost-effective and scalable way, the CBPRs allow participating companies to focus their time and resources on innovating, serving customers, and pursuing their business objectives.

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson attended the annual APEC CEO summit and various side events alongside USCIB Vice President Helen Medina. Robinson featured the joint statement in his meetings with US government officials, as well as other APEC government representatives on the sidelines of the recent APEC Leaders meeting in Lima, Peru. “We applaud the support that APEC Leaders and Ministers have demonstrated towards expanding participation in the CBPRs. We believe this reaffirms both APEC’s recognition of the importance of data flows to trade and investment in the region and its commitment to building bridges between national privacy regulatory regimes. We see great potential for the CBPRs to serve as a platform for a truly global system of interoperable and robust privacy protection,” noted Robinson. USCIB members certified under the CBPR include Apple Inc., Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., IBM, and Merck and Co., Inc.

The CBPRs signal to governments in the Asia-Pacific and in other parts of the world that mutual cooperation between like-minded economies can serve as a rational, effective international approach to high-standard privacy and data protection, without requiring data to be stored, managed, or otherwise processed locally or prohibiting data transfers to other markets.

The next meeting of APEC’s Data Privacy Subgroup, which developed the CBPR framework and continues to oversee its implementation, will be held in 2017 in Vietnam. USCIB will work with APEC member economies to support these commitments and raise awareness with officials and stakeholders on the benefits of CBPRs, increasing participation and helping APEC economies set the standard for how to do privacy right globally.

TPP Ministers Make Progress, But Fail to Seal the Deal

Maui_sunset_resizedNegotiators from the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) parties, meeting in Maui last week, failed to hammer out the final text of a TPP agreement, although they did say they made substantial progress on a number of important issues.

According to reports, negotiators could not bridge final differences over several longstanding disagreements, including Canadian dairy market access, Japanese barriers to rice and other agricultural imports, automotive supply chain issues, and U.S. demands for strong intellectual property protections, including for a new generation of pharmaceuticals. Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari said that trade ministers would seek to meet again before the end of August, and that only one more meeting would be necessary to finalize a TPP deal.

The U.S. Coalition for TPP, which groups a large number of leading companies and industry associations, including USCIB, issued a statement that read in part: “The TPP represents an important step toward greater cooperation and economic engagement among the 12 partners of the TPP in the Asia-Pacific region, and the United States must continue to pursue the closure of negotiations. We applaud U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and his team for their work on the TPP and we are hopeful that the progress made during this round has built the necessary momentum for the swift closure of negotiations.”

Throughout the TPP negotiations, USCIB and the coalition have emphasized that it is more important to get the most ambitious, highest-quality TPP agreement than to meet any artificial deadlines.


Annual Award Dinner

USCIB Annual Dinner Banner 2015


Event Recap – A Great Night for World Trade

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate global trade and investment at our 2014 award gala in honor of World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo. If you missed the event – or if you were there and want to relive some of the highlights – here are links to some of the key moments and personalities in a great night for trade!

Read the Fall 2014 issue of “International Business,” USCIB’s ad journal for the award dinner.



Last year was a watershed moment for global trade, as World Trade Organization members concluded a long-awaited global agreement on trade facilitation at their Bali Ministerial. USCIB honored the primary architect of the agreement, WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo, at our 2014 International Leadership Award Dinner, held for the first time ever in our nation’s capital.

Director General Azevêdo is the first public-sector official to be honored with USCIB’s International Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to world trade and investment and for improving the competitive climate for U.S. business. This year’s award gala coincides with a meeting in Washington, D.C. of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Board, chaired by USCIB Chairman Terry McGraw, whose members will be among our special guests at the dinner gala.

The atmosphere was warm and celebratory at the Four Seasons on November 19 as over 240 guests congratulated Azevedo over cocktails and dinner. United States Trade Representative Michael Froman gave special remarks in which he commended USCIB for its support of President Obama’s ambitious trade agenda.

Five other officials joined Ambassador Froman, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and USCIB Chairman Terry McGraw in thanking Azevedo for breathing new life into the multilateral trade agenda, including director general of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Guy Ryder, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich, BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD) Secretary General Bernhard Welschke and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL).

For information on our 2015 award gala, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact Abby Shapiro (ashapiro@uscib.org).


With many thanks to our sponsors for their generous support.

Leadership Partners:

Chevron Corporation

McGraw Hill Financial [now S&P Global]

PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited

Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc.

Dinner Partners:

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

Philip Morris International

Program Partners:

21st Century Fox


Boomerang Carnets

Citigroup Inc.

The Coca-Cola Company


ExxonMobil Corporation

McDonald’s Corporation

Oracle Corporation

Verizon Communications

Supporting Organization: