Time to De-Escalate U.S.-China Trade Conflict, Says USCIB

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at last year’s G20 Summit in Germany (White House photo)

Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top global companies, is urging the U.S. and China to take steps to de-escalate their trade conflict. Responding to statements by President Trump and China’s commerce ministry over the past 24 hours, USCIB said both parties should seek to resolve their differences via established bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.

“China’s unfair trade practices and its mistreatment of U.S. and other foreign companies are serious problems,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “But an escalating, tit-for-tat trade war is not the way to solve them, and risks doing serious harm to the American and global economies.”

Robinson said both sides should seek to work constructively, tone down their rhetoric, and step back from threats to impose new trade barriers, which he said could rattle international markets, imperil future growth prospects and damage the global trading system. He urged the U.S. to use the multilateral mechanisms it has helped build over the years to defuse a looming crisis.

“We should be working with our allies, with other major trading nations, and via the World Trade Organization to apply pressure on China in a way that does not boomerang back to hurt U.S. farmers, workers, consumers and companies.”

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 several leading international business organizations, 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

USCIB Urges US and China to Avoid Trade War

Washington, D.C., March 22, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, responded to the Trump administration’s plans to impose tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese exports along with restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States. USCIB expressed continued concern over Beijing’s trade abuses while also urging the administration to tread carefully to avoid a trade war.

“We support the goal of getting China to stop its unfair trade practices and treatment of U.S. intellectual property,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “We are encouraged to see that the administration is considering a range of tools in addressing these concerns, including WTO dispute settlement. However, we remain concerned that potential new U.S. measures and Chinese retaliation will hurt American companies, workers, farmers and consumers.“

President Trump today announced his intention to impose tariffs on some $50 billion of exports from China under Section 301 of the 1974 trade act, in response to intellectual property violations and other trade abuses. Specifically, he instructed the office of the U.S. Trade Representative to publish, within 15 days, a list of proposed Chinese goods that could be subject to tariffs, while the Treasury Department will have 60 days to recommend steps to restrict Chinese investment in the United States.

“It’s been said that nobody wins a trade war,” Robinson added. “That would be especially true of a trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies. Escalation of the current dispute would severely impact our members, who rely on sales in both markets and who maintain complex global supply chains encompassing both countries as well as many others. These overseas sales and supply chains support millions of jobs in the United States.”

Robinson concluded: “We therefore urge the Trump administration to carefully consider the actions it takes pursuant to this Section 301 report, and we encourage both governments to work together to resolve these unfair trade practices before taking steps that will damage both economies.”

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 several leading international business organizations, 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

USCIB Welcomes Senate Confirmation of McAleenan as CBP Commissioner

Washington, D.C., March 19, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which advocates on behalf of America’s global companies and helps exporters of all sizes do business abroad, applauded today’s Senate confirmation of Kevin McAleenan as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“Kevin McAleenan is the right man for the job,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “As Acting Commissioner, he has demonstrated strong, skilled and knowledgeable direction to CBP. Under his leadership, the agency is positioned to move forward effectively in addressing the challenges and complexities of the trading environment in the U.S.”

Jerry Cook, vice president for government and trade relations with Hanes Brands and chair of USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee, added: “USCIB has a longstanding relationship with CBP, reflecting our subject-matter expertise and practitioner work on customs policy and trade facilitation. We look forward to working with Commissioner McAleenan and his team to help speed streamline and simplify trade for the benefit of American companies, workers and consumers.”

USCIB is already actively engaged with CBP on a range of issues, including, but not limited to customs valuation, customs classification continued ratification and, implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, engagement with the work of the World Customs Organization, and continued progress toward the Automated Customs Environment (ACE). It is working with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which USCIB serves as the American affiliate, to encourage the streamlining of customs practices overseas.

Robinson noted USCIB’s role in overseeing the ATA Carnet service in the United States under CBP authorization. ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that enable the duty-free, tax-free importation of product samples, goods for trade shows and professional equipment into some 80 countries worldwide for up to one year.

“With our unique perspective, we look forward to continuing to work with and help Customs meet its goals and objectives,” he said. “We stand ready to continue to serve as a key CBP stakeholder, and provide both subject matter expertise and practitioner support on topics of interest to Customs and to our membership.”

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 several leading international business organizations, including ICC, 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
 

USCIB Responds to Announcement of New US Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

Washington, D.C., March 2, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s announced plans to impose new duties of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on imports of foreign steel and aluminum:

“USCIB strongly supports a more competitive America, which enjoys economic growth and jobs by increasing exports, opening global markets and securing a level playing field for our goods and services. We are disappointed with the administration’s decision. History clearly teaches that fomenting trade wars with our commercial partners is likely to backfire on the United States, harming American businesses, workers, farmers and consumers in the process.

“The imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum will lead to higher prices for U.S.-made products, reducing the competitiveness of our exports, and will probably eliminate more jobs than it saves. In addition, it is likely to create strong disincentives for foreign investment in the United States, and to spur higher inflation. 

“Most importantly, these protectionist tariffs are likely to cause a chain reaction of retaliatory measures by our trading partners, as many of them have already indicated. Other nations are likely to target our most competitive exports and otherwise disadvantage American companies.

“We hope that these measures will be short-lived. We urge the Trump administration and America’s trading partners to work cooperatively and swiftly to address the serious issues associated with steel and aluminum dumping, and to open up new markets for our exports and new opportunities for American workers, farmers and consumers to prosper in the wider world.”

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 several leading international business organizations, 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

Ericsson’s Kallay to Chair USCIB Competition Committee

Dina Kallay

New York, N.Y, February 15, 2018 – A telecommunications industry executive has been tapped to spearhead a top U.S. business group’s work on global antitrust policy. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) has announced that Dina Kallay, head of antitrust (IPR, Americas & Asia-Pacific) at Ericsson, a leading global supplier of telecommunications equipment and services, will chair its Competition Committee.

USCIB, whose member include hundreds of America’s most competitive global companies, represents private-sector views to governments and policy makers worldwide. It does so via its affiliations with global business groups to focus especially on the work of the International Competition Network (ICN) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“We are delighted that Dina Kallay will lend her expertise and industry leadership to our work on global competition and antitrust policy,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “As the U.S. continues to look to the ICN and OECD to foster international convergence and cooperation on competition law, including the coordination of cartel enforcement, we intend to serve as an even stronger voice for business in these forums.”

Prior to joining Ericsson in 2013, Kallay served as counsel at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Office of International Affairs, where she focused on Asian and multilateral competition matters as well as on worldwide antitrust intellectual property matters. She previously worked at the European Commission’s antitrust agency (DG COMP), and practiced antitrust and intellectual property law at a number of law firms, most recently at Howrey LLP. Kallay is vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law I.P. Committee and a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School.

The USCIB Competition Committee promotes international legal policies that favor an open and competitive environment for U.S. business. The committee monitors global competition developments and contributes industry’s perspective through USCIB’s global network.

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 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
+1 917 420 0039, jhuneke@uscib.org

India Now Accepting “Merchandise Passports” for Professional Equipment

New York, N.Y., January 31, 2018 – India has expanded its use of ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-free importation of various types of goods. As of January 18, the country is now accepting the widely used “merchandise passports” for professional equipment, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that allow for the temporary importation of various types of goods, duty-free and tax-free, generally for up to one year. India previously accepted Carnets only for goods destined to fairs and exhibitions, for a maximum period of six months. It is now also honoring them for temporary importation of professional equipment for up to two months, with the opportunity to renew for an additional two months.

“This is an important development that will help boost U.S. exports to India, and make it much easier for business travelers to get essential professional equipment in and out of the country,” said Andrew Shiles, USCIB’s senior vice president for ATA Carnet and trade services. “All sorts of people and companies – from news organizations to symphony orchestras to technicians making repairs – use ATA Carnets to move professional equipment around the world swiftly and cost-effectively.”

Additional information on developments in India is available on USCIB’s website at https://www.uscib.org/india-ud-1614/.

The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which USCIB serves as the American national committee. Find out more about the services offered by USCIB to facilitate cross-border trade and investment at www.uscib.org.

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

About USCIB:

The United States Council for International Business (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 several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide. USCIB also works to facilitate international trade and investment. It is the U.S. national guaranteeing association for ATA Carnets, which enable the temporary export of many types of goods, free of import duties or taxes, for up to one year.

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

USCIB Disappointed at Lack of Multilateral Progress at WTO Ministerial

But business group holds out hope on promising efforts by major groups of countries

Buenos Aires and New York, December 13, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, expressed disappointment at the lack of meaningful multilateral progress at the World Trade Organization ministerial that concluded today. But it said that potential new group efforts on electronic commerce and other issues offered some limited hope for the future.

“Expectations for Buenos Aires were low coming in, and unfortunately the results largely lived up to them,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, who represented USCIB at the ministerial. “The business community, which relies on cross-border trade and investment to help contribute to economic growth and societal well-being around the world, is disappointed. But we do hold out some hope for future progress based on the commitment by large groups of countries in pursuing new agreements.”

On the sidelines of the ministerial, 70 countries, led by Australia, Japan, and Singapore, and including the United States and the European Union, agreed to begin discussions toward negotiations on electronic commerce. USCIB joined the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which it serves as the American national committee, in welcoming the move.

“Today’s statement is a very welcome step forward by governments representing 77 percent of global trade,” said ICC Secretary General John Danilovich. “We firmly believe that with the right global policies in place there is an opportunity to unleash a new era of inclusive trade, one in which all companies – regardless of size, sector or location – can benefit from equal access to the global trading system.”

Separately, ministers from over 60 countries issued a joint statement pledging to pursue negotiations on domestic regulations that limit cross-border trade in services. They also renewed a landmark 1998 moratorium on duties on electronic transmissions.

“Taken together, these results offer some hope for the future, and set a new and positive direction for the WTO,” said Robinson. “We are especially grateful for the persistence and vision of those members that pushed for continued positive movement on e-commerce.”

Robinson continued: “However, the lack of truly meaningful multilateral deliverables is worrisome. Members will need to think long and hard about what kind of WTO they really want – one that simply adjudicates trade disputes and sanctions trade enforcement remedies, or one that expands trade through new, market-opening agreements.”

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 several leading international business organizations, including ICC, 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

 

USCIB Statement on US Withdrawal From Global Compact on Migration

New York, NY, December 4, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, issued the following statement on U.S. withdrawal from negotiations surrounding the UN Global Compact on Migration:

Like many others in the U.S. business community, USCIB is disappointed by the news that the Administration has elected to withdraw from the UN Global Compact on Migration, which aims to enlist international cooperation to ensure the rights of migrants and refugees, including dissemination of best practices surrounding their access to education and jobs. This non-binding instrument is currently under negotiation and due to be adopted next year.

The U.S. business community regards migration as a positive and necessary phenomenon. It is a vehicle for fulfilling personal aspirations, for balancing labor supply and demand, for supporting competitiveness and sparking innovation, and for transferring and spreading skills.

Companies are frequent and important users of national migration systems. To remain successful and competitive in the global economy, they require clear and consistent migration policies, national laws and procedures in both sending and receiving countries.

The U.S. has benefited immeasurably from the contribution of migrants to our economy and our society. As the home to the largest number of migrants in the world, our government has experience with the practical workings of immigration laws, procedures, and policies that can contribute to a positive international dialogue. Without U.S. leadership, we fear an opportunity will be missed to ensure clear, transparent, and efficient national immigration laws and policies in the U.S. and around the world that permit the movement of workers when and where they are needed.

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 service firms from every sector of the economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, including the International Organization of Employers (IOE), USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, including through the Business Mechanism to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

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

USCIB Applauds Progress at Bonn Climate Conference

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson at the UN Climate Change Conference

Bonn and New York, November 17, 2017 – As the Bonn Climate Conference wrapped up its work, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed progress on priority topics for American business in the UN climate discussions. In particular, it noted that, after two weeks of intense negotiations, governments are moving ahead on transparency rules that will provide clarity and credibility across different national pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mobilize resources to address climate change.

USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson stated: “We want to express particular appreciation to the U.S. administration and the U.S. delegation attending these meetings for their accessibility and attention to advancing and defending American economic interests and opportunities in these international climate talks.”

Throughout the meeting, USCIB worked closely with the International Chamber of Commerce and the Major Economies Business Forum to call for inclusive business involvement in all areas of the climate deliberations. The Bonn outcomes also further chart the way forward for assessment and dialogue on the progress of all countries to meet Paris Agreement objectives, known as the Talanoa process, throughout 2018.

USCIB and its members have been on hand in Bonn to showcase American companies’ actions and solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mobilize investment and innovation, and inform the inter-governmental discussions going forward. Over 30,000 representatives from governments, the UN, NGOs and the business community attended the complicated technical talks to develop implementation rules for the Paris Agreement, including in the area of market-based approaches and carbon markets.

The next UN climate conference will take place in Katowice, Poland in December 2018.

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, +1 917.420.0039