USCIB Competition Group Meets With FTC Commissioner, Discusses US Antitrust Developments

The USCIB Competition Committee convened virtually November 12 for its semiannual meeting to discuss updates on antitrust at the national and international levels. Federal Trade Commissioner Noah Phillips served as featured speaker, providing personal insights on the shift in approach of the Biden Administration with respect to merger and acquisition activity, enforcement, rulemaking authority, treatment of labor markets, review of the horizontal and vertical merger guidelines, the July 2021 executive order on promoting competition and the new White House Competition Council.

Commissioner Phillips was appointed to the FTC in April 2018, having previously served as Chief Counsel to Senator John Cornyn (D-TX), on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in various Washington D.C. and New York law firms. According to USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, Commissioner Phillips interactively engaged with the Committee by answering questions.

The Committee was also updated on the upcoming meetings and activities of the OECD and Business at OECD (BIAC) by Jane Antonio and John Taladay of Baker Botts. BIAC has prepared feedback on four OECD papers under discussion at recent OECD Competition Committee meetings: competition in books and e-books, environmental considerations in competition enforcement, ex-ante regulation and competition in digital markets, and economic analysis and evidence in abuse cases. The OECD meetings will be followed by the annual OECD Global Forum on Competition December 6-8.

USCIB Competition Committee Chair Dina Kallay (Ericsson) and Vice Chair Jennifer Patterson (Arnold & Porter), updated USCIB members on activities at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), where they serve as Vice Chairs on the ICC Competition Commission. They discussed the ICC’s Antitrust Compliance Toolkit and its Small and Mid-Size Enterprises (SME) version, as well as recent efforts to update the 2018 leniency manual. Both put a call out for interested USCIB members to become directly involved in the ICC Competition Commission and working groups.

Finally, Kallay informed members on a new draft framework paper issued by the French Competition Authority addressing compliance programs. She suggested USCIB weigh in, pressing for more credit for compliance programs in antitrust enforcement.

Julie Guichard and Matt Heim of Amazon also briefed members on a draft foreign subsidies regulatory initiative in the EU that would impact member companies operating in Europe. The proposal would require mandatory notification to the European Commission of all subsidies received from non-EU governments, information to be used in screening foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. The proposal was originally aimed at Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), but they warned that the scope has been expanded and will now likely impact western multinationals doing business in Europe. USCIB will explore the issue with members to see if there is an interest in weighing in with the U.S. government on the proposal.

USCIB Advocates Strong Investment Policies at OECD Investment Committee Sessions

USCIB and its international affiliate partners through Business at OECD (BIAC) remain on the front lines, defending solid, pro-investment policies at multilateral fora this fall.  

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson participated in the UN Committee on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) seventh World Investment Forum (WIF) as part of the Global Leader’s Investment Summit on October 19. “Now more than ever, it is important for international organizations like the UN and its member governments to provide the necessary welcoming environment for foreign direct investment in quality industry and infrastructure projects that help with pandemic relief and sustainable economic growth,” said Robinson. Otherwise, the pandemic exacerbated investment gap will persist with the developing world most at risk.”   

Robinson also called for a strong and sustained role for industry, as a key stakeholder, in the discussion on investment at UNCTAD, the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the OECD or elsewhere. His remarks were echoed by other industry representatives and welcomed by some developing countries like Egypt. Opposing views were led by development economist Jeffrey Sachs and countries like Pakistan that would like to see radical reform of the investor state dispute settlement mechanism and reduction or elimination of protections for foreign investors.   

USCIB Senior Advisor Shaun Donnelly was a lead private sector speaker at a parallel “experts meeting on International Investment Agreements in the same virtual UNCTAD World Investment Forum week. Donnelly forcefully defended investor protections, including a strong Investor-State Dispute settlement System (“ISDS”) as necessary protection against host government discriminatory or unfair treatment of foreign investors.  

There was discussion at WIF of establishing a multi-stakeholder “World Investment for Development Alliance” to facilitate greater collaboration between intergovernmental organizations, business entities, academic initiatives and civil society groups and to develop enabling frameworks to address international investment and sustainable development outcomes. USCIB will follow this proposal closely to ensure our active participation.

Donnelly and BIAC Investment Committee Chair Winand Quaedvlieg (Netherlands) led BIAC’s participation in the OECD Investment Committee’s semi-annual fall meetings. In a free-wheeling brainstorming session on investment treaties on October 28, Donnelly made a major intervention that a government’s right to regulate is not a right to discriminate or abuse investors, to be arbitrary or to be non-transparent.  He pointed out that “policy space” promoted by some governments and NGO participants should not translate into a “carte blanche” for governments to treat investors badly.  But unfortunately, according to Donnelly, some governments continue to do just that, underscoring the need for strong investor protections.   

Donnelly also joined Chairman Quaedvlieg on October 27 at a formal “stakeholder consultation” with the OECD Investment Committee leadership.  That session, where BIAC joins with labor union representatives from the Trade Union Advisory Council (TUAC) as well as civil society group OECD Watch, was an opportunity for each of the stakeholders to lay down priorities and basic positions on future work in the OECD Investment Committee.   

Donnelly and USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, remained engaged this fall in informal consultations with U.S. government leaders to press the importance of investor state dispute settlement and positive Biden Administration messaging on the investment climate. The messages built on the above, encouraging conducive taxation frameworks, facilitation of administrative procedures, complementary public investments in modern infrastructure and the right mind- and skill sets, and sound investment protection and general predictability. 

Finally of note, USCIB continues to work with BIAC to share business views with respect to development of the OECD Foreign Direct Investment Qualities toolkit, designed to help policymakers create an enabling environment for attracting Foreign Direct Investment that safeguards key sustainability goals: productivity and innovation; employment, job quality and skills; gender equality; and, low-carbon transition. The toolkit is earmarked as a key deliverable for next fall’s OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. 

According to Clark, “All of these interventions provided a great opportunity for USCIB to remind government officials at the national and international level of the importance of foreign direct investment to economic development, recovery and sustainability, particularly in the face of a pandemic induced downturn.  As such, we must continue to maintain strong investor protections in international investment agreements.”   

USCIB Leads Business Policy Roundtable as Part of Brazil’s Accession to OECD 

The Brazil OECD Business Policy Roundtable brought together U.S. and Brazilian government officials, the OECD and industry representatives in early November to discuss taxation reform and best practices as Brazil seeks to accede to the OECD.  According to USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, this is the latest of the several forums held by the Brazil Roundtable to explore changes to policy and practice – in line with OECD standards and best practices – that benefit businesses and employees while driving inclusive economic growth in Brazil.

Isaias Coelho, special advisor to Brazil’s Ministry of Economy, and Sandro de Vargas Serpa, undersecretary of Taxation and Litigation at the Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB), detailed the regulations and legislative proposals under consideration that would simplify taxes at the state, federal and municipal levels, reforming consumption, income and international taxation practices.

“Brazil is currently undertaking significant regulatory reforms consistent with OECD guidelines including Recommendations of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance,” said Coelho. The ultimate hope, according to Mario Sergio Carraro Telles, executive manager of Economics for the Brazil Industry Association, is to adopt laws that simplify the tax system and reduce costs and uncertainty for companies.

Brazil has been working since 2018 in a dialogue with OECD on transfer pricing, which has evolved into a project aimed at aligning the existing transfer pricing regime with the OECD standard.  This joint project was made possible with the support of UK Prosperity Fund and other OECD countries who share their experience and best practices with Brazil. The United States has bolstered this process through technical assistance and training, asserted John Hughes, director of Advanced Pricing and Mutual Agreement Program of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

According to OECD Senior Advisor Tomas Balco, current policies in Brazil end up double taxing multinationals, deterring foreign investment and preventing Brazil from participating fully in global value chains. Luiz de Medeiros, Brazil country manager for IBM and a USCIB member, provided details from an industry perspective, expressing “great hope” that Brazil laws can be aligned with OECD norms.  Toward that end, Flávio Antônio Gonçalves Martins Araújo, head of the International Relations Office at RFB, reported that Brazil Administration currently is working on a legislative proposal to submit to Congress and start a political discussion in 2022 on a new transfer pricing law.

“It is clear from the speakers that the mood is right for reform in Brazil, and efforts are being made despite the economic challenges posed by the pandemic,” said Clark. “We hope these roundtables can inform and inspire in that regard, offering solutions for change that ease the economic burden for all.”

USCIB led the meeting, along with cohorts from the Brazil-U.S. Business Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Brazil’s National Industry Confederation (CNI). As the official U.S. representative to Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB has been actively monitoring Brazil’s accession request to the OECD in order to advance business interest.

Additional roundtable discussions will be held throughout 2022, covering investment and trade, environment and sustainable development, as well as innovation and intellectual property.  Digital and regulatory issues were discussed earlier this year.

Herzog Joins Sweden Foreign Minister Linde in Discussing Women’s Economic Empowerment

Gabriella Rigg Herzog

USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog joined a panel discussion organized jointly by the government of Sweden and the International Labor Organization (ILO) titled, “Women’s Empowerment and Worker Rights in a Post-Pandemic World” on November 12.

Moderated by The American Prospect Editor-at-Large Harold Meyerson, the event included other speakers such as Swedish Ambassador to the U.S. Karin Olofsdotter, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, AFL-CIO International Department Director Catherine Feingold and U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Undersecretary for the Bureau for International Labor Affairs Thea Lee.

In her remarks, Herzog joined with other panelists in raising concerns over the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on women, and the risk of backsliding on the gains made to date for women’s economic empowerment in the workplace. The conversation also turned to the issue of global supply chains and their possible role in advancing good practices regarding women’s rights and worker rights. In responding, Herzog noted many positive company efforts, and underscored the irreplaceable need at national levels for good governance, rule of law and effective enforcement of laws that meet international standards.

On the latter point, Herzog shared examples of discriminatory legislation in far too many jurisdictions holding women back. “Removing legal restrictions that hinder women from participating in the formal labor market and having formal self-employment opportunities such as proper access to finance for female entrepreneurs is key to addressing inequalities,” Herzog emphasized, noting the importance of joint efforts by governments, employers and workers to tackle shared challenges and priorities.

In terms of concrete policy recommendations, Herzog noted those put forward on October 7, 2021 in the “B20 – Special Initiative on Women Empowerment” policy paper, such as eliminating legal and cultural barriers to paid work and actively upskilling female workers.

Additionally, Herzog highlighted the key role employer organizations play as democratic institutions supporting small and medium sized businesses – especially at national levels –with training, tools and peer-exchanges on how to promote and advocate for gender equality and diversity at the workplace.

Herzog Moderates Session at Second UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog joined Sophia Areias of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, in moderating a session on November 11 during the second  UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. According to Herzog, the session focused on the increasing number of mandatory human rights due diligence laws from around the world, and what they mean for businesses in the region, as well as offered practical insights for local businesses on how to prepare for the changing legal landscape.

Herzog spoke in her capacity as chair of the International Organization of Employers (IOE) Policy Working Group on Human Rights and Responsible Business Conduct. During the session, she emphasized that in this past year alone, Switzerland, Germany and Norway adopted mandatory due diligence legislation and that the EU Commission is poised to publish its proposal for an EU directive on mandatory due diligence this December.

“While many of the companies listening in from the region may not be directly covered by the new legislation because you are not based in the EU,” Herzog said, “nevertheless, it may affect you because the companies that are within scope of the legislation source from this region and will require stronger efforts from their suppliers with regards to responsible business practices.”

The session featured two panels – one with company presentations from Norsk Hydro and JTI discussing their firms’ responsible sourcing policies and practices, and a second including presentations from two employer federations from North Macedonia and Georgia, that spoke about their work and how they inform and support their member companies on emerging regulatory developments and best practices.

Donnelly Selected for America250, a Multi-Year Commemoration of America’s 250th Anniversary

USCIB Senior Advisor Shaun Donnelly has been selected for a role in the prestigious ‘America250,’ a multi-year commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the United States of America that peaks on July 4, 2026. America250 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deepen understanding of America’s complicated past and ignite shared optimism for our future through engaging programs and experiences.

According to a press release from October 15, America250 is led by the Congressionally-established U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, which has established eleven Advisory Councils across a variety of industries and specialties to increase inclusiveness, expand America250’s capacity and connection to partners and stakeholders, and facilitate program development, implementation and social impact.

“We are excited to introduce our 11 Advisory Councils as we seek to connect with millions of Americans on our journey to 2026,” said Dr. Carleen Carey, director of Public Outreach and Inclusion at America250. “Each council is composed of industry luminaries and leading experts in their respective fields who are empowered by America250’s mission and values. We look forward to the thoughtful contributions they will bring to this commemoration to ensure we are capturing the many voices of Americans.”

Donnelly, a now-retired USCIB vice president for International Investment Policy after a long career as a U.S. Government diplomat, Ambassador and trade negotiator, was named as one of thirteen members of the International Advisory Council. Other Advisory Councils include Arts and Culture, Innovation, Science and Entrepreneurship, Youth Engagement, History Education, and Health and other.

Visit america250.org/about to see the full list of industry leaders behind this commemoration.

USCIB Staff Meet With New Zealand Ambassador; Discuss Trade and Investment Agenda

Left to right: Hannah Lee-Darboe, Ambassador Rosemary Banks, Peter Robinson

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson welcomed New Zealand Ambassador Rosemary Banks and her New York-based colleague the New Zealand Consul General and Trade Commissioner Hannah Lee-Darboe to USCIB’s New York office on November 15.

Robinson was joined by USCIB Senior Vice President Brian Lowry and Senior Director Alice Slayton Clark, both of whom tuned into the meeting remotely from USCIB’s Midwest and Washington, DC, offices, respectively.

“We greatly welcomed the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Banks and her colleague, who were interested in discussing perspectives on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and future U.S. trade policy directions,” said Robinson. “We stressed our interest in and commitment to revitalizing the trade and investment agenda, specifically at the Asia-Pacific regional level, and more broadly at the multilateral level with a stronger World Trade Organization. My colleagues and I also provided insights into the divergent U.S. public views on trade depending on geographic location, political views and direct personal relevance of international trade.”

USCIB staff also expressed general appreciation for New Zealand’s role as host of APEC in 2021 and its global leadership in the trade space.

As COP26 Concludes, USCIB Calls for a New Inclusive and More Ambitious Approach

While COP26 came dangerously close to a “Copenhagen” breakdown over a lack of trust in the process due to last minute changes in the final text, the meeting concluded on November 13 at nearly midnight as approximately 200 countries agreed to the “Glasgow Climate Pact,” reports USCIB Senior Vice President Norine Kennedy.

According to Kennedy, throughout the final week of the intense two-week session, views had remained divided on substantive issues, most of which linked in some way to unmet finance needs, and also concerned gaps in pledged greenhouse gas reductions compared to scientific assessments of actions necessary to limit dangerous warming.

Following recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports of current national action pledges, the pressure was on to keep “1.5°C alive” and to finalize the outstanding elements – notably “Article 6” on carbon markets – of the Rulebook (the practical guidance for implementing The Paris Agreement).

“This meeting took place under numerous challenging circumstances,” added Kennedy. It was the first, major UN in-person meeting during the pandemic, held under stringent public health measures which included daily testing for all participants. COP26 was also taking place during a period of economic headwinds and uncertainty coupled with, higher energy prices. Outspoken climate campaigners inside the meeting areas and protesters outside, along with a higher-than-expected participation of more than thirty-thousand participants kept the pressure on. On the other hand, a record number of business participants on hand, including during the World Leaders Climate Summit, which comprised the first three days of the COP, signaled clear business support for ambitious climate action.

USCIB staff and members organized two U.S. business events in the final week:

  • A virtual USCIB side-event on “Infrastructure, Innovation and Investment for a Sustainable and Resilient Recovery,” featuring speakers from Duke University, General Motors and Generate Capital and
  • A Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF) side-event on where business can make a running start to advance economy-wide action on climate change, in preparation for COP27. Speakers from Business at OECD (BIAC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the Mohamed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection and WorldSteel shared perspectives on converging employment, trade and energy transition policies, working with the private sector.

“In spite of unparalleled support by U.S. companies for an ambitious outcome, working with the Administration, we were disappointed by scant mention of business in the Glasgow conclusions,” stated Kennedy. “The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) served as the focal point for business at COP26, debuting new ICC papers on carbon pricing and on sustainable trade finance.”

Looking ahead to the next major UN climate meeting in Egypt in 2022, several thorny issues remain, including lingering dissatisfaction with lack of adequate finance and questions about whether high-emitting countries (such as U.S., China, India) will be able to offer enhanced pledges of emissions reductions. USCIB members will be preparing recommendations to inform the UN “Global Stocktake,” which will form a basis for future action, and continue to advocate for economy-wide approaches inside and outside the UNFCCC that advance energy access and security and substantively engage U.S. business knowhow and innovation.

USCIB’s COP26 Concluding Statement can be found here.

COP26: US Business States Support for Inclusive Action on Outcomes

The United States Council for International Business commends the strong efforts of the U.S. delegation, the UK Presidency and other governments and stakeholders that were at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow to reach conclusion in key areas for business, overcoming challenging differences of opinion and delivering stepped-up international cooperation on climate change. Real progress has been made across the board, including strengthening Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), prioritizing adaptation, and completing outstanding work on carbon markets. In addition, the U.S. announced significant new global alliances to reduce methane emissions and to combat deforestation.

However, these hard-fought COP26 outcomes demonstrate the need for a new, more ambitious and inclusive phase of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process after Glasgow.  Keeping 1.5 in reach, mobilizing investment, innovation and finance and driving a just transition for workers and employers can only succeed through partnership and dialogue with key stakeholders, notably the private sector as an engine of growth and investment.

Turning out in record numbers in Glasgow, U.S. business demonstrated its readiness to be part of the solution, through pledges, initiatives and engagement with the Administration, the UNFCCC Marrakesh Action Platform and a host of others.  While the concluding documents of COP26 made disappointingly scant mention of the private sector, USCIB is convinced the meaningful inclusion of business is indispensable to keep 1.5 alive and to ramp up private sector deployment of innovation, resource mobilization and just transition.

USCIB looks forward to further technical work on Article 6.  We urge UNFCCC parties to commit to continued discussions, while engaging the private sector in order to build confidence in how the Article 6 rules will function effectively in the real economy.

USCIB is proud of the actions and thought leadership of its international affiliate organizations, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE), bringing the voice of global business and employers to this vital meeting. An inclusive multilateral approach will have to invite and crowd in engagement from all businesses large and small to assist on practical policy design, accelerated action and the economywide effort needed to attain global net zero as soon as possible.

USCIB members are committed to stay the course and make the case for the enabling frameworks inside and outside UNFCCC that converge a sustainable resilient recovery with Paris Agreement commitments.  U.S. business represented by USCIB will continue to play its part to inform increasingly ambitious NDCs and to highlight the need to engage business expertise in the Global Stocktake.  As declared in the closing statement for business groups at COP26, USCIB agrees that business has “a key role and responsibility to push for effective collective action at COP and at home. We can, we must, and we will accelerate our collective efforts.”

About USCIB: USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms with operations in every region of the world. USCIB has represented U.S. business at the UNFCCC since 1993. Furthermore, as the U.S. affiliate of leading international business organizations and as the sole U.S. business group with standing in ECOSOC, 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 Leads Effort in Letter to USTR Tai on Reforming WTO Dispute Settlement System

USCIB led an effort along with nearly a dozen other leading business and trade associations to send a letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai regading the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial and in reforming its dispute settlement system.

The letter welcomed USTR Tai’s recent remarks affirming the U.S. commitment to the WTO and to successful outcomes at the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12).

The letter stated: We agree that the WTO can fulfill the promise of the Marrakesh Agreement by supporting market-based principles, promoting inclusive growth and addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The letter also emphasized that the U.S. and global economy, and the livelihoods of workers around the world, depend on an effective WTO. A level multilateral playing field helps American manufacturers, services suppliers, innovators and farmers – large and small – by enabling workers and communities to compete more fairly in markets around the globe. Since 1948, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the WTO, world trade increased forty-fold in real terms to more than twenty-five trillion dollars today. More than thirty percent of U.S. GDP today is derived from trade, and over forty million American jobs – one in five – depend on trade and trade lowers costs for American families.

Regarding reform, the letter emphasized: “building off MC12, the WTO needs reform to meet the demands of today by modernizing its agreements and ensuring members follow existing rules and commitments. We support advancing a comprehensive WTO reform agenda that tackles dispute settlement, special and differential treatment, distortive non-market industrial subsidies, and state-owned enterprises. Reforms should also cover emerging services and technologies, enhance inclusivity, and help harness trade to address climate change. A modern WTO should expand plurilateral pathways to trade liberalization, update institutional rules and procedures, improve monitoring, promote greater transparency through notifications, and involve more stakeholders.”

The full letter can be viewed directly below.

Organizations leading the effort included USCIB, Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NFTC, American Chemistry Council, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, the Business Software Alliance and the Coalition for Services Industries.

Dear Ambassador Tai:

We welcome your recent remarks affirming the U.S. commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to successful outcomes at the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). We agree that the WTO can fulfill the promise of the Marrakesh Agreement by supporting market-based principles, promoting inclusive growth and addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The U.S. and global economy, and the livelihoods of workers around the world, depend on an effective WTO. A level multilateral playing field helps American manufacturers, services suppliers, innovators and farmers – large and small – by enabling workers and communities to compete more fairly in markets around the globe. Since 1948, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the WTO, world trade increased 40-fold in real terms to more than $25 trillion today. More than 30 percent of U.S. GDP today is derived from trade, and over 40 million American jobs – 1 in 5 – depend on trade and trade lowers costs for American families.

A successful MC12 will require urgent U.S. leadership to secure concrete deliverables that advance U.S. interests and competitiveness in areas such as fisheries, domestic regulations, agriculture, e-commerce, trade facilitation and pandemic response. Such results will demonstrate that the WTO can produce meaningful outcomes and can set a foundation for future reforms and commitments. Outcomes that weaken WTO rules, however, such as by undermining longstanding disciplines on subsidies, electronic transmissions or intellectual property, would instead weaken core WTO principles and commitments as well as support for the institution.

Building off MC12, the WTO needs reform to meet the demands of today by modernizing its agreements and ensuring members follow existing rules and commitments. We support advancing a comprehensive WTO reform agenda that tackles dispute settlement, special and differential treatment, distortive non-market industrial subsidies, and state-owned enterprises. Reforms should also cover emerging services and technologies, enhance inclusivity, and help harness trade to address climate change. A modern WTO should expand plurilateral pathways to trade liberalization, update institutional rules and procedures, improve monitoring, promote greater transparency through notifications, and involve more stakeholders.

WTO dispute settlement holds parties to their commitments. Reforming the WTO dispute settlement system will require the United States to offer concrete and detailed proposals that address longstanding process and appellate body overreach concerns to enable the system to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively. The United States has successfully used WTO dispute settlement to challenge WTO violations without resorting to unilateral measures that draw retaliation and tit-for-tat escalation. Reforming and restoring the system will support U.S. interests and can hold WTO members accountable to their commitments.

The Administration can best support the international rules-based system and the WTO by making concrete proposals and partnering with allies who share market-based trade liberalization, modernization, and reform principles. Moreover, scheduling more frequent Trade Ministers meetings could help overcome impasses, support reforms and foster progress. We will continue to work with you and your team to advance our shared goals for the WTO. U.S. companies, workers, and families will all benefit when the WTO achieves what it was established to do.

Sincerely,

American Chemistry Council

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Property Casualty Insurance Association

Business Roundtable

Business Software Alliance

Coalition for Services Industries

National Foreign Trade Council

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Council for International Business