Wanner Helps Lead ICANN Intercessional Meeting in California

USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner attended a meeting in Los Angeles, California earlier this month in her capacity as a member of the Business Constituency (BC) Executive Committee of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The February 1-2 meeting, known as the 5th Non-Contracted Party House (NCPH) Intersessional, brought together seven delegates from each of the six Commercial Stakeholder Group and Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group constituencies within ICANN. The two-day gathering, featuring Wanner and BC Chair Claudia Selli, AT&T, among other USCIB members, served as a dedicated forum for discussions about domain name policy and procedural “in-house” issues that regular ICANN meetings often cannot accommodate.

“Overall, the meeting was notable in highlighting the two houses’ shared values and potential for collaboration, but also indicating some challenges,” Wanner said. In particular, the meeting enabled the two houses to explore with ICANN CEO Göran Marby and members of the Board many concerns – both shared and differing – about the implications of the May 25, 2018 implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on ICANN’s WHOIS database policies and the contractual obligations of Registries and Registrars.

“These discussions were especially timely in view of ICANN’s plan to select an interim GDPR-compliant WHOIS model in the coming weeks,” Wanner noted. The NCPH and ICANN’s Contracted Party House can be expected to seek clarity about elements of the interim compliance model at ICANN 61, which will be held on March 10-15 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other topics explored at the NCPH Intersessional included the status of ongoing work aimed at revising procedures for the next launch of new top-level domain names, challenges to improving protective mechanisms for brand names and intellectual property, and expanding transparency at ICANN legal with respect to invoking attorney/client privilege for various processes.

ICC Academy Launches Free e-Course on Responsible Marketing and Advertising

The new ICC Academy e-course builds on decades of expertise in establishing high standards for marketers and ad agencies.

The educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the ICC Academy, has launched a new e-course based on ICC’s internationally-recognized Marketing and Advertising Code. Entitled “Ethical Marketing and Advertising” (EMA), the e-course is available free of charge, and aims to develop the skills needed to conceptualize, design and deliver responsible marketing communications.

From micro-enterprises to large multinational companies, nearly all businesses use marketing in some form to sell their products or services. However, in a world where good governance and consumer trust are increasingly important, there is a greater expectation from consumers for brands to communicate transparently about their operations and product offering. This interactive e-course serves to encourage ethical marketing solutions as better, more effective forms of advertising.

“We are proud to launch the EMA on the ICC Academy’s digital learning platform,” said Daniel Kok, general manager of the ICC Academy. “We believe that formal training is essential to create high industry standards and practice. Our aim for this e-course is to establish a foundation in marketing for businesses across all markets.”

The EMA builds on decades of expertise and is designed for marketers, advertising agencies, self-regulatory organizations and universities and expands on a program initially developed with the renowned international business school, INSEAD.

“The ICC Code provides globally applicable road signs for marketing practice, which help build confidence in business. This e-course brings the Code guidance to life with the aid of practical industry examples,” said Brent Sanders, assistant general counsel at Microsoft and chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising, who also chairs USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee. “We recognize the invaluable contributions of self-regulatory and partner organisations across the globe in developing this interactive course that we believe will reinforce the Code’s effectiveness.”

Comprising six lessons, the two-hour interactive e-course:

  • covers ICC Code basics
  • provides an overview of the importance of responsible advertising
  • explains responsible marketing principles relating to customers, society and competitors, and
  • delivers insights on digital marketing and advertising.

Each section of the course incorporates video examples, structured learning, self-assessments, a virtual coach and valuable case studies to fully understand the principles at the heart of global advertising codes, which are applicable across every industry.

“The ICC Code provides direction for legal and honest marketing communications – qualities that are critical for marketers to build consumer trust and brand loyalty,” said Raelene Martin, policy manager at ICC . “This e-course demonstrates, in practical terms, how the Code’s principles and provisions can be applied in everyday practice when developing marketing campaigns. We are confident that this e-course will be a key resource to help marketers employ today’s and tomorrow’s most innovative techniques to market their products and services.”

Professionals hoping to demonstrate their commitment to the practice of ICC Code on responsible Marketing and Advertising are invited to take the EMA certification exam for a nominal fee.

Click here to learn more about the ICC Academy’s brand-new EMA e-course.

USCIB attends Business “Talanoa Dialogue” to Advance Climate Policy Implementation

Tomasz Chruszczow, Climate Champion, Poland makes remarks

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) convened a business workshop under the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue process last week. The day-long meeting at ICC Headquarters in Paris brought business leaders together with influential government representatives leading the UNFCCC negotiations to discuss where business can contribute and strengthen implementation of national and international climate policy.

The Talanoa Dialogue, previously referred to as the Facilitative Dialogue, aims to overview collaborative action by governments, business and others to move the global climate agenda. A year-long process of discussions, consultations, events and expert inputs that will culminate at the 24th Conference of Parties in Poland, the Talanoa Dialogue is the first time business and other stakeholder inputs are to be mainstreamed into the UNFCCC deliberations.  ICC serves as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point for business and industry, and has represented global business in the UN climate deliberations since 1993.

Tomasz Chruszczow,  climate champion, Poland, opened the meeting with a plea for business involvement, stating, “Business creates jobs, makes investment decisions. We need business to solve the challenges ahead in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.”  Phil Kucharski, ICC’s chief operating officer announced that ICC would make an organization-wide commitment to both the Paris Agreement and to inform the Talanoa Dialogue.

The Talanoa Dialogue is a process led by Fiji to invite and gather information, examples and discussion on 3 questions relating to the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and the need for additional greenhouse gas reductions, resilience, funding and technology cooperation:

-Where are We?

-Where are We Going?

-How Do we Get There?

“While the Talanoa questions appear very basic, business will re-frame them to be relevant to private sector investment and implementation, and then bring forward value-added information and recommendations in response,” stated Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB’s work on climate change, energy and the environment. Other USCIB members attending this workshop included Nick Campbell, Arkema and Justin Perrettson, Novozymes.

The discussion tackled concerns with assertions made by anti-business interests about “conflict of interest” as a justification to ban certain business sectors from observing the UNFCCC deliberations. Elina Bardram, head of Unit for International Climate Negotiations, European Commission stated that since the challenges involved in catalyzing climate action are daunting “for technical negotiators alone to tackle, so we need real world expertise – from business & other non-parties – included in the process.”

Other speakers included Deo Saran, Fiji’s ambassador to Belgium and permanent representative to the European Union and Brigitte Collet, France’s ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations, Renewable Energy & Climate Risk Prevention.

USCIB recently submitted recommendations to the UNFCCC on the importance of substantive business involvement in the UNFCCC going forward. USCIB will work closely with ICC in future Talanoa Dialogue meetings, and will consult its members as it prepares USCIB contributions to the Talanoa Dialogue scoping exercise en route to the next UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Katowice, Poland in December.

Politico Highlights Business at OECD Work on Colombia Accession

In light of Secretary Tillerson’s upcoming trip to South America, Politico published an article highlighting unresolved concerns surrounding Colombia’s accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including on intellectual property and transparency.

USCIB has long been advocating on these issues, particularly through Business at OECD and most recently through a document, which Politico references.

“This important advocacy document, which contains pre-accession recommendations for issues Colombia should address before acceding to the OECD, to be included in the OECD Trade Committee’s Formal Opinion, was developed by BIAC, with significant USCIB input on US industry priority issues,” noted Eva Hampl, USCIB director of investment, trade and financial services.

USCIB Joins Coalition to Advocate for Transparency in Public Health Research

USCIB has joined diverse group of industry and business interests this week, announcing the launch of a new coalition to advocate for reform of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Monographs Program. The Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR) Coalition will advocate to modernize the Monographs Program through greater transparency and balanced assessments that produce credible conclusions.

“Modernizing IARC’s Monographs Program process will help to strengthen the integrity of its conclusions and is especially urgent following several recent revelations of data suppression and manipulated outcomes in its cancer hazard evaluations,” said Mike Michener, who leads USCIB’s work on health policy.

In addition to USCIB, the Coalition includes the American Chemistry Council (ACC), American Petroleum Institute, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, CropLife, National Association of Manufacturers, National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association and the Society of Chemical Manufactures and Affiliates.

USCIB member the American Chemistry Council has published a press release on this issue.

 

Business Cautiously Optimistic on NAFTA Talks

The 6th round of NAFTA negotiations wrapped up yesterday with much progress being made on a technical level in several chapters, including in digital trade and telecom. USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl was on the ground during the talks in Montreal, coordinating with member companies and associations, and meeting with negotiators from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

“The anti-corruption chapter is now closed out and several others are close, but are stuck on a few remaining issues,” said Hampl. The four “poison pill” proposals, which refer to automobile rules of origin, investor-state dispute settlement, government procurement, and sunset provision remain contentious, though Canada and Mexico have presented new and creative ideas in an attempt to work within the U.S. proposals, according to Hampl.

In his Closing Statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also acknowledged that some progress has been made, but that it is slow. He also highlighted some of the controversial issues, including the automobile rules of origin. Importantly, however, he noted that the United States is committed to moving forward with negotiations.

A delegation of the House Ways & Means Committee, including members from both sides of the aisle, arrived in Montreal on Friday and participated in a range of meetings and events. “Republicans and Democrats appear to be aligned in their opposition to NAFTA withdrawal,” noted Hampl. “To what extent such alignment will also translate into votes in the end remains to be seen, but the show of support was certainly important.”

USCIB will continue advocating for negotiations to progress in the right direction for U.S. business when they are expected to take place in Mexico City from February 26 to March 6.

USCIB Spells Out Priorities for U.S. Trade Policy

Presses for enforcement, open markets and more competitive workforce

Washington, D.C., January 24, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which advises the U.S. government on trade and commercial policy and represents American companies in global business and intergovernmental forums, today laid out its priorities for U.S. trade policy. In its 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda, the group said it is committed to a global rules-based trade and investment system, will support enforcement of existing U.S. trade pacts, and will push for new market-opening agreements for U.S. exports and investment.

“Opening global markets for American goods, services and investment is critical for our future prosperity,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Doing so requires strong enforcement of existing agreements, as well as their renegotiation where our commercial interests dictate. But it also demands a robust, ‘all-of-the-above’ approach, encompassing vigorous leadership by the United States in international negotiations to develop effective rules and open up new areas for liberalization of cross-border trade and investment.”

Robinson said that, as the U.S. works to open overseas markets, it needs policies and programs to support U.S. workers and improve workforce competitiveness. “While trade is dwarfed by technological and other factors in driving changes in jobs and skills, we need to make sure that are doing everything we can to stay ahead of the inevitable dislocations and build a workforce for the 21st century,” he said.

USCIB’s 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda identifies numerous priorities for American trade policy. Among its top priorities, USCIB pledged to:

  • work for effective enforcement of existing agreements, as well as to advance negotiations and agreements that improve market access for U.S. companies within a dynamic, rules-based system
  • stress the importance of U.S. engagement and leadership in creating and enforcing rules for international trade and investment, including protection of U.S. investments abroad
  • urge the Trump administration not to introduce new proposals in NAFTA that will weaken existing provisions, or negate the benefits that U.S. companies derive from the U.S. being part of NAFTA
  • urge the administration to initiate negotiations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure that American goods and services companies have open and fair access to their markets
  • work with the administration to develop a coherent strategy for pressing China to further open its markets to U.S. companies, and eliminate the proliferating Chinese policies aimed at hindering access, in a framework that maintains stability in the relationship
  • leverage USCIB’s unique global business network to build international consensus on trade and investment policy.

Download the full USCIB 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda here.

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.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212.703.5043

BIAC Issues Statement on Future OECD Accessions

As more countries in Europe and Latin America apply for membership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Business at OECD (BIAC) Executive Board issued a statement this week noting, in part, that a commitment to open markets should guide any decision to the opening of accession negotiations.

The letter emphasizes: “the accession process should encourage countries to improve their business environment and engage in the necessary reforms,” noting that “more than ever, business depends on an enabling environment to support trade and investment in global markets.”

The OECD has yet to respond to the applicant countries (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania) as OECD enlargement on this scale raises important questions on the mission and governance of the organization. For countries that will receive a positive response, acceding to the OECD entails a multi-year review process where all 25 major OECD committees evaluate, in confidential sessions, the policies of the candidate country and the improvements it must make to fully apply the body of OECD instruments and standards.

USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl will be providing input on behalf of U.S. business into this process. “USCIB members have significant business interests in many of these markets,” said Hampl. “These future accession processes provide an opportunity to ensure a high standards and a level playing field for our companies.”

USCIB Gears Up for NAFTA Talks in Montreal This Week

The sixth round of NAFTA negotiations is taking place in Montreal, Canada this week with a concluding Ministerial scheduled for Monday, January 29. USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl will be traveling to Montreal tomorrow for meetings with negotiators and key officials. This round presents a great opportunity to push forward on many chapters vital to U.S. business, and make progress in the discussions surrounding the more controversial provisions that have been tabled.

As a lead up to the talks in Montreal, Hampl participated in the Senate Lobby Day on the Hill last week, speaking with a range of Republican and Democratic offices. Throughout the day, about 150 members of the NAFTA Coalition met with as many Senate offices as possible, raising business issues of concern.

“We emphasized the outstanding issues regarding the problematic proposals of a sunset clause, investor-state dispute settlement, auto rules of origin, and government procurement,” said Hampl. “We also made the point that there are many chapters that are making progress, including customs and digital trade, which are vital for business and should get closed out as soon as possible.”

 

Official Report from USCIB Nutrition Event Now Published

Wilton Park USA, in partnership with the USCIB Foundation and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), has published a report as follow up to last October’s successful joint dialogue on “No More Missed Opportunities: Advancing Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve the Global Nutrition Goals.” The report summarizes the details of the meeting as well as the “Principles of Engagement,” which were developed during the meeting to provide a useful framework through which to approach future public-private partnership and a valuable reference point for developing effective solutions.

The report concludes that “effective partnerships and better nutrition outcomes can be facilitated through policy and legislative frameworks more conducive to collaboration. This could include better application of the clout of financiers, shareholders, and consumers on the business side and constituencies, NGOs, and civil servants on the government side.”

“Every country is now struggling with some aspect of malnutrition, and a growing number are experiencing both undernutrition and obesity,” said USCIB Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener, who leads USCIB’s policy work on nutrition, food and health. “The roundtable sought to support the accelerated achievement of internationally agreed global nutrition goals, and broader commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by convening a high-level group of leaders from government, business and other key stakeholders.”

This meeting aimed to tackle the problem of poor diet as the number one risk factor for early death, contributing to 20 percent of global deaths, with the burden falling disproportionately on children under five and women of reproductive age, a situation nutrition experts have described as a “missed opportunity” (Lancet, 2013). Each year, malnutrition is a factor in almost half of the six million deaths of children under five, and 159 million children are stunted, with impacts on their physical and cognitive abilities that last a lifetime. More than 500 million women are anemic, with an increased risk of maternal death and delivering premature and low-birth-weight babies. At the same time, 600 million adults are obese, and 420 million have diabetes, with rates rising steeply.