ICC UK’s Chris Southworth Discusses Brexit Burdens in FT Letter

On February 8, the Financial Times published a timely letter from Chris Southworth, the secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce ‘s UK national committee, on the adverse impact a “hard Brexit” could have on smaller British traders.

According to Southworth, all the excellent work to ensure port operations remain efficient post Brexit should not distract from the fact that the burden, risk and cost of new trading arrangements will be shifted upstream to companies who will have to do all the additional paperwork before their goods reach the port.

“We need the government to be a lot more honest with business. Leaving the single market will mean hard borders and new burdens,” he wrote in the letter.

To read the full letter, visit FT’s website (paid subscription required). Click here to visit ICC UK’s website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

USCIB International Business Magazine: Winter 2018 Issue

The Winter 2018 issue of USCIB’s quarterly International Business magazine is available here. The issue features a timely column by USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson titled, “Upholding Human Rights Requires Strong Partnerships.” The issue also features news stories on USCIB’s leadership in promoting food security and nutrition partnerships, the U.S.-China trade conflict, and USCIB’s artificial intelligence priorities, 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 in the News: Taxes, Trade and Tariffs

USCIB’s voice and views were reflected in many of the top stories of the past several months, which saw a heavy focus on taxes, trade and tariffs. USCIB and its global network were featured prominently in numerous stories covering NAFTA modernization, China tariffs and the OECD’s work on global tax policy.

In October, USCIB CEO and President Peter Robinson contributed a letter to the Financial Times in response to an editorial urging action on the digital divide. In his letter, Robinson noted that “public-private partnerships are indeed needed to broaden access to the internet, and companies are already moving ahead in this regard, in addition to taking action on their own.”

In discussing G20 trade tensions, USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan sat down with BBC World News to do a live television interview. Mulligan said that Trump is right to address the balance of trade between the U.S. and China, but that tariffs aren’t the answer and will ultimately cause higher prices and job losses.

To read more of USCIB activity in the media, please visit this link.

Robinson Contributes Letter to FT on Making Internet Affordable to All

FT featured a letter by USCIB CEO and President Peter Robinson in response to an editorial “The web should be open to all the world’s citizens” on October 11.

In the letter, Robinson emphasizes the important role of public-private partnerships as crucial to broadening access to the internet, noting that companies such as Google, Ericsson, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft are already moving ahead in this regard.

“Focused on driving prices down to meet the UN Broadband Commission target of entry-level broadband services priced at less than 5 percent of monthly income, they are working with governments and other stakeholders in countries as diverse as Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and Myanmar to make the internet more affordable and accessible,” writes Robinson.

The full letter can be found here, subscription to FT required.

Donnelly Talks Trade and Diplomacy (and Soybeans) in Podcast Interview

Shaun Donnelly
The “American Diplomat” series seeks to give listeners greater appreciation of the work done by American diplomats and public servants.
Host Peter Romero leads Donnelly through an informal discussion of the nuts and bolts of trade negotiations.

 

USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly is featured in a recent interview on the podcast “American Diplomat” demystifying trade policy and negotiations for listeners outside the beltway. The “American Diplomat” series is supported by the American Academy of Diplomacy, which counts among its members both Donnelly and USCIB Vice Chair Thomas Niles, longtime U.S. diplomats who each achieved the ranks of ambassador and assistant secretary. It seeks to give listeners around the country greater appreciation of the work done by American diplomats and public servants – in this case trade negotiators – to advance America’s, and Americans’, interests.

In the podcast interview, host Peter Romero (a retired U.S. ambassador and assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere) leads Shaun through an informal discussion of the nuts and bolts of trade negotiations, with soybeans arising often as an example how any specific products factor into broad trade policy.

Donnelly claims to have enjoyed the discussion. “Over the years, I’ve done a fair number of speeches, panels and interviews trying to help build public understanding and support for an aggressive, pro-engagement, pro-growth trade policy, and have not always succeeded,” he noted with a self-deprecating chuckle. “I found this more informal, extended conversation format with Peter and his colleague Laura Bennett allowed more opportunity to get behind the sound bite, the bumper sticker and the talking point. Trade remains a complex, controversial and politicized topic these days. All of us who believe in open trade and investment policies need to keep reaching out to help build public understanding and support for common sense trade policies. I hope this sort of podcasts can make a modest contribution to the public discourse on trade.”

In BBC Interview, Mulligan Shares Thoughts on G20 Meeting

Rob Mulligan, USCIB

G20 Finance Ministers gathered in Argentina over the weekend to raise concerns over growing tensions between the United States and its major trading partners. Following the meetings, BBC’s Aaron Heslehurst spoke with USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan as part of BBC’s Talking Business segment regarding international trade tensions that may undermine the global economy and stunt growth.

Mulligan expressed concern that continued escalation of tariffs may cause all kinds of problems for USCIB member companies. “Tariffs will lead to higher costs, drive higher prices for consumers and, we think, in the end, can start driving job losses,” warned Mulligan. “In fact, we’ve seen estimates for the existing tariffs related to steel and aluminum that can cause job losses in the United States of up to 140,000 jobs.”

Specifically, on U.S.-China tensions, Mulligan noted, “there are issues with China’s unfair trade practices that need to be addressed and we fully support an effort that would bring together all our allies to make that point with China, but we’re not sure that raising tariffs the way the President has threatened, even threating to impose tariffs on all 500 million of China’s exports to the United States, is going to be the way to solve that problem.”

To hear the entire interview, click here.

USCIB in the Media: Highlights of 2018 Coverage to Date

Trade and protectionism dominated the news during the first half of 2018, and USCIB was featured prominently in many stories on the escalating trade battles. Tax policy also received significant coverage, especially around USCIB’s annual tax conference with the OECD.

Click here to download the latest USCIB in the Media review. Some links may be available only for paid subscribers.

Please contact Jonathan Huneke, USCIB’s Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, to discuss this review and future opportunities with the news media.

ICC’s Denton on Preserving the Rules-Based Trading System

ICC Secretary General John Denton published a letter in Financial Times last week titled, “The Rules-based Trading System is Worth Preserving.”

The letter comes in light of the Trump administration’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on its trading partners.

“As the prospect of a ‘trade war’ gradually escalates, we must all bear in mind what is currently at stake in broader systemic terms,” writes Denton. “The rules-based multilateral trading system has fuelled seven decades of unprecedented job creation and poverty alleviation. Communities connected by commerce have a common interest in maintaining peace. The World Trade Organization has proved itself the linchpin of what is — by any objective measure — a more prosperous world order. And with the right reforms it can do more to help families and workers the world over.”

The full letter can be viewed on FT’s website, subscription required.