USCIB Sets Up New Anti-Illicit Trade Committee

Chaired by CEO of Luna Global Networks, group will focus on threats to global markets and governance

Washington, D.C., July 19, 2018 – Illicit trade is a threat multiplier that helps fuel transnational crime, corruption, and greater insecurity and instability around the world. To help combat it, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most innovative and successful global companies, announced the establishment of a new Anti-Illicit Trade (AIT) Committee to address the threat that Illicit trade poses across sectors, borders, markets and industries.

David M. Luna, president and CEO of Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC, will chair and provide leadership for the committee, which will be made up of executives from USCIB’s broad-based membership. The AIT Committee will take a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to elevating the fight against illicit trade, particularly related to the work of the OECD’s Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, corresponding activity by Business at OECD (the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD), and the work of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative.

“We are delighted to have David leading our work on brand protection and anti-illicit trade,” said Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government affairs. “USCIB recognizes the threat posed by illicit trade and related converging security threats to all economies, markets, and the reputational and economic impacts to our member companies. Today, global illicit markets account for several trillion dollars every year, and many experts predict that the value of counterfeit and pirated products alone will double within five years.”

With over 21 years’ experience in the U.S. government, Luna held numerous senior positions with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, including directorships for national security, transnational crime and illicit networks, and anti-corruption and good governance, and served as an advisor to the secretary of state’s coordinator for the rule of law. Luna also served in the White House as an assistant counsel to the president, as well as in other positions with the Department of Labor and on the staff of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

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
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

Joint Statement by USCIB and ICC-UK on Enhancing Cross-Border Trade and Investment

London and New York, July 16, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which serves as the American national committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), joined with its British counterpart ICC-United Kingdom in issuing the following joint statement today:

“On behalf of our respective business members, USCIB and ICC-UK pledge to work together to deepen commercial and diplomatic ties between our two countries. We will do so in solidarity with the worldwide business community represented by the International Chamber of Commerce network, and in the context of support for stronger multilateral rules and institutions, from which our societies derive tremendous benefits.

“We call on our two governments to also work together – and with other leading nations and regional blocs – to reduce barriers to trade, de-escalate recent actions to increase tariffs in many areas, and take action through the World Trade Organization and other international institutions to improve the climate for cross-border trade and investment.

“Our economies face critical barriers to entry and commercial challenges in key markets. We must address these together, in a spirit of common purpose, and with the understanding that concerted international action, rather than unilateralism, is the best approach. Failing to do so will harm not just our own national competitiveness, but the world’s ability to tackle key common challenges of promoting security and development.

“We further pledge to work together at the United Nations, World Trade Organization and G20 to improve the global business environment benefitting all companies of all sectors and sizes. We will focus on:

  • Championing inclusive free trade, robust international institutions and multilateral rules.
  • Supporting trade in goods and services through open borders, simplified customs, fair and modern tax and IP systems, and free movement of data.
  • Promoting responsible business conduct and good governance through self-regulation and improvement of best practices.
  • Championing sustainable economic growth through the implementation of the Paris Climate Accord, sustainable finance, smart cities and sustainable supply chains.

“We make this pledge as the International Chamber of Commerce prepares to mark its centenary next year. Founded as the “merchants of peace,” out of the ashes of the First World War, ICC continues to play a critical role in bringing the view of the private sector to the attention of governments at the highest levels, and in forging a path for business to lend its critical support to global goals of peace and sustainable development.”

About ICC-UK:
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the largest world business organization representing 6.5 million companies in 130 countries. ICC provides a voice for business at inter-governmental level and is the only business organization with UN Observer Status. ICC United Kingdom is the representative office of ICC in the UK, supporting British business interests and working in partnership with UK business groups and government. ICC has three central functions: 1) Promote responsible free trade; 2) Provide the rules and standards that govern international business; and 3) Help companies and States settle international disputes. More at www.iccwbo.uk.

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

New Co-Chairs for USCIB’s Food and Agriculture Working Group

Washington, D.C., July 10, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most innovative and successful global companies, announced that two leading corporate experts on global food and nutrition policy have been recruited to chair its Food and Agriculture Working Group.

Sylvia Aguilera, director of international public affairs for McDonald’s Corporation, and Diego T. Ruiz, vice president for global public policy and government affairs with PepsiCo, will provide volunteer leadership for the working group, which is made up of corporate and other private-sector executives from USCIB’s broad-based membership.

USCIB’s Food and Agriculture Working Group seeks to promote an open and efficient global food system. It does so by providing industry expertise to government officials working to eliminate existing barriers to agricultural trade and investment, and by fostering coordination among organizations working to ensure a safe food supply, meaningful food security and enhanced environmental sustainability.

“We are delighted to have both Diego and Sylvia leading our work on food and agricultural policy at this critical juncture,” said Michael Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation, who provides lead staff support for the working group. “We are in the midst of important shifts in technology, consumer tastes and global trade patterns in food and agriculture. USCIB’s role in this area is growing, as international agencies play an increasing role in establishing rules and best practices for food production and distribution.”

Prior to joining McDonald’s, Aguilera led a technology policy organization dedicated to increasing access to technology by underserved communities. She has also held executive-level positions at various organizations including the multicultural public relations firm Comunicad, where she provided counsel to Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Ruiz was executive director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, serving as chief operating officer of the principal law enforcement and regulatory agency for the U.S. securities markets. He previously held senior positions with the Federal Communications Commission and at Univision Communications Inc., and as a senior advisor in the U.S. House of Representatives.

USCIB’s Food and Agriculture Working Group will hold its first meeting under Ruiz and Aguilera’s leadership on July 19 in Washington, D.C.

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
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

USCIB: De-Escalate US-China Trade Conflict Now

Washington, D.C., July 6, 2018 – Responding to the latest round of tit-for-tat tariffs from the United States and China, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most competitive global companies, reiterated its call for the two countries to back away from an all-out trade war, urging them to take immediate steps to mediate the conflict through the World Trade Organization.

“Our members are already feeling the impact of earlier tariffs, in the form of rising costs and operational disruptions, and these latest moves will only make matters worse,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “We can expect further damage to the U.S. economy, workers, companies and consumers.

“While we appreciate the goal of the Trump administration to force the Chinese side to make concessions on its poor treatment of U.S. companies, we believe these tariffs will not have the desired effect. Rather, they will negatively impact the American economy and workforce, even if they are maintained for just a short time.”

Robinson continued: “The American business community is united in its belief that joint action, not unilateral escalation, is the best path to address important structural problems with China’s unfair trading behavior. We should be working with our allies, including via the WTO, to apply pressure on China in ways that do not unnecessarily harm U.S. farmers, workers, consumers and companies.

“USCIB calls upon the U.S. government, its allies and the Chinese government to develop a workable, measurable action plan for eliminating the trade barriers China has erected. This plan should contain benchmarks that are tied to penalties if China doesn’t stick to the agreement, but penalties that encourage China to do the right thing without burdening American businesses, workers and consumers in the process.”

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

Global Business Welcomes New Multilateral Framework on Procedures in Competition Enforcement

Paris and Washington, D.C. June 27, 2018 – The global business community has applauded the launch of a new Multilateral Framework on Procedures in Competition Law Investigation and Enforcement (MFP), as announced recently by the U.S. Department of Justice. In a joint statement, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its American national committee, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), welcomed the announcement, saying they hoped the initiative would lead to fairer and more efficient antitrust procedures.

“As the world’s largest and most representative business organization, ICC welcomes the U.S. Department of Justice’s new Multilateral Framework on Procedures in Competition Law Investigation and Enforcement,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton. “Business relies on and thrives in a global economy based on multilateral rules and shared principles. We encourage competition authorities to further engage with the private sector to ensure that investigations are conducted in a consistent and transparent manner worldwide.”

“The spread of antitrust regimes globally over the past 20 years has underscored the importance of due process as a cornerstone of sound competition enforcement,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Multilateral forums such as the OECD and the International Competition Network have done, and continue to do, tremendous work towards normative convergence in this area. USCIB applauds this complementary MFP initiative, which goes beyond soft-convergence to employ a practical mechanism that will promote compliance by competition authorities with a dozen fundamental procedural fairness principles.”

On June 1, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim, announced the MFP as a tool to “promote greater procedural norms and due process in antitrust, or competition, enforcement.” Delrahim said the United States, “in partnership with leading antitrust agencies around the world, will introduce and invite the global antitrust enforcement community to help finalize and join” the framework.

“USCIB members support this fresh initiative and its open multilateral nature,” Robinson said.  “Procedural fairness improves outcomes for agencies and stakeholders alike. The MFP is therefore great news for global antitrust enforcement and our members stand ready to assist it in whatever way they can.”

About ICC:
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world’s largest business organisation with a network of over 6 million members in more than 100 countries. We work to promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation through a unique mix of advocacy and standard setting activities—together with market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world’s largest companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.

More at www.iccwbo.org

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.

Contacts:
Stephen Lloyd, ICC
stephen.lloyd@iccwbo.org, +33 1 49 53 28 49

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

USCIB Statement on U.S. Withdrawal From the UN Human Rights Council

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (credit: U.S. Mission to the UN)

New York, N.Y., June 20, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business, which represents the views of the American private sector to major multilateral organizations, international forums and national governments, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as the separation of families at the southern border:

“We are disappointed that the United States has chosen to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). While we agree with the Administration and Ambassador Nikki Haley that the Council is badly in need of reform, this can only come about through continued, direct and vigorous engagement by the United States, working with allies, civil society groups and representatives of the private sector.

“We urge the United States to reconsider this decision. In the meantime, USCIB and its global business partners will continue to represent the views of the private sector on matters affecting American business in the UNHRC and other international forums. USCIB will also continue its cooperation with the Administration to represent U.S. business interests on social and human rights issues across the United Nations system, including in the ILO.

“USCIB members are strongly committed to human rights. We will continue to advocate for both governments’ duty to protect and corporate responsibility to respect human rights, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

“Lastly, especially in the context of U.S. withdrawal from the UNHRC, harmful U.S. action to separate children of illegal immigrants apprehended at our southern border from their families is contrary to American values. Such troubling practices at home risk calling into question U.S. leadership and dedication to upholding human rights. We are hopeful that President Trump, as he has pledged to do, will address this issue via executive order and reunite these families without delay.”

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, VP Communications

+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

 

Report Urges New Partnerships to Achieve Global Nutrition Goals

Geneva, June 19, 2018 – A new report calls for governments and private industry to join forces to tackle global malnutrition, saying that achievement of the nutrition-related UN Sustainable Development Goals requires leveraging the clout of companies, financiers and shareholders, working alongside governments and NGOs.

The report comes from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the USCIB Foundation – the educational arm of the United States Council for International Business. It was prepared in follow-up to a roundtable of experts in global health policy held last October in New York.

“The future of food is one of the most critical economic and human development challenges of our time, and new solutions are urgently needed to tackle all forms of malnutrition,” said USCIB Foundation President Peter Robinson, who also serves as president and CEO of USCIB. “It cannot be tackled by government or business acting alone. Business is open to doing more and better but we need stronger dialogue and partnerships with governments, NGOs and other public-sector agencies to do that.”

The report was launched today in Geneva alongside key World Health Organization meetings aimed at promoting adolescent nutrition.

“Nations cannot achieve the SDGs without engaging the private sector,” said GAIN Executive Director Lawrence Haddad. “But to ensure that engagement is positive, governments need to be proactive, businesses need to be responsible and incentivized. Dialogue, transparency and impact assessment need to pervade their alliances to ensure they have positive effects and no negative effects on the nutrition status of all, especially those most vulnerable.”

Haddad and Robinson presented a draft set of Guiding Principles of Engagement developed by a group of 20 public-sector and 20 private-sector representatives at the October roundtable. These representatives challenged themselves on how best to get governments and industry to work together to build pro-nutrition food and beverage markets, in order to combat malnutrition and help achieve the SDGs.

Global food and agriculture constitute a $7.8 trillion (U.S.) industry, employing up to 40 percent of the working population in most countries. The report calls for much more openness and engagement in removing obstacles to foster this cooperation with greater focus on doing good together.

The report, “No More Missed Opportunities: Advancing Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve the Global Nutrition Goals,” was prepared with Wilton Park, a leading host of critical development dialogues.

About GAIN:
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. Working with partners, GAIN aims at making healthier food choices more affordable, more available, and more desirable. GAIN’s purpose is to improve nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable. For more information, visit: www.gainhealth.org

About The USCIB Foundation:
The USCIB Foundation is the educational and research arm of the United States Council for International Business. Its purpose is to promote the benefits of a free-market economy and the role of the private sector as an engine for economic growth and social development globally. The Foundation advances this mission primarily through its work in conducting information-based research to educate and engage policy makers and the public to develop sensible regulatory policies based on data that will strengthen trade, investment, innovation and sustainability through environmental management. More at www.theuscibfoundation.org.

Contacts:
Nathalie Perroud, GAIN
nperroud@gainhealth.org, +41 22 749 18 45

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212 703 5043

Colombia Gets Approval to Join the OECD

Colombia will join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development following an agreement among the 35-nation forum’s member states ahead of this week’s OECD ministerial.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría are expected to sign an accession agreement at the annual ministerial-level council meeting, which is scheduled for May 30, according to the OECD.

USCIB – which serves as the U.S. affiliate of Business at OECD, the representative private-sector voice in the OECD – issued the following statement:

“USCIB welcomes the progress Colombia has made over the past several years in the context of the accession process to the OECD. As the official voice representing U.S. business in this process, we acknowledge the steps taken by Colombia to meet the high standards of the OECD in various sectors. We look forward to continued progress and concrete actions being taken on outstanding issues, including on pharmaceuticals and trucking, where the current status does not yet rise to the level of like-mindedness with other OECD countries on open trade and investment. As the OECD considers inviting additional countries to join, USCIB will continue to advocate on behalf of U.S. business to ensure that all OECD countries continue to meet high standards.”

OECD Tax Conference: Global Challenges in the Context of U.S. Tax Reform

Washington, D.C., May 2, 2018 – Several months after the passage of the most fundamental U.S. tax reform law in over 30 years, what will the impact be on global companies – and on cross-border trade and investment? This is just one of the many questions to be discussed at a major June 4-5 conference in Washington, D.C.

The 2018 OECD International Tax Conference, which will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel, will provide a unique opportunity for business experts to interact directly with key leadership from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, its Center for Tax Policy and Administration (CTFA), and senior tax officials from the United States and other OECD countries.

The conference is the 13th annual gathering on global tax policy developments convened by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), in cooperation with the 35-nation OECD and its official private-sector advisory body Business at OECD (also known as BIAC). Details on the event are available at www.uscibtax.org.

“U.S. tax reform is but one piece of an increasingly complex puzzle of changing global tax rules that companies must navigate,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “As technology, business models and supply chains have evolved, it is more critical than ever to bring certainty to international tax rules, in order to promote global growth and avoid double taxation. This conference provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn about, and influence, the latest developments in the global taxation system.”

Keynote remarks at this year’s conference will be delivered by U.S. Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Kevin Hassett. Other speakers will include:

  • Pascal Saint-Amans – Director of the Center for Tax Policy & Administration, OECD
  • Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director of the CTPA, OECD
  • Martin Kreisenbaum – Director General, International Taxation, Ministry of Finance, Germany
  • Brian Ernewein – General Director, Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance, Canada
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury, UK
  • Lafayette (Chip) Harter – Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs, U.S. Treasury
  • Doug O’Donnell – Commissioner, Large Business and International Division, IRS
  • Mary Baine – Head, International Taxation, African Tax Administrative Forum
  • Will Morris – Chair, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Bill Sample – Chair, USCIB Tax Committee

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, VP communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

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