Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to Be Honored by USCIB at Annual Gala

New York, N.Y., October 26, 2017Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of Mastercard, will be honored by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s leading global companies. Banga will receive USCIB’s International Leadership Award at a gala dinner on November 28 at United Nations headquarters in New York, in recognition of Mastercard’s ongoing leadership to extend the benefits of an expanding economy to all segments of society.

“Ajay Banga and Mastercard were among the first to recognize that financial inclusion can set in motion a virtuous cycle of equitable economic growth,” said USCIB Chairman Terry McGraw, chairman emeritus of McGraw Hill Financial (now S&P Global). “As we saw during last month’s UN General Assembly opening, many companies have now joined this movement to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Mastercard was one of the first supporters when the global goals were launched in 2015, and the company has been working with the public and private sectors to use its technology and expertise to help address issues such as poverty, hunger and gender equality.”

McGraw added that the November 28 gala would provide a platform to underscore ongoing American and global business support for the SDGs, policies that promote more open cross-border trade and investment, and robust U.S. engagement with the UN and other international bodies.

Mastercard has connected more than 300 million people around the world to the formal economy, providing critical access to services that allow them to live and work with greater efficiency, security and dignity. Through innovative products such as Mastercard Aid Network, which is helping NGOs improve the delivery of humanitarian aid so that people can get back on their feet after a disaster, and Masterpass QR, which gives small businesses a low-cost way to accept digital payments, Mastercard is making progress towards the SDGs as well as advancing its mission to create a more inclusive economy.

Banga is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, and is a founding trustee of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum. He is a member of the U.S.-India CEO Forum, co-chairs the board of directors of the American India Foundation, and served as a member of President Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

Banga serves on the executive committees of the Business Roundtable and the Financial Services Roundtable, and is vice chairman of the Business Council. He is a member of the board of overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College and the board of governors of the American Red Cross. He also serves on the board of directors of The Dow Chemical Company.

Prior to Mastercard, Banga was chief executive officer of Citigroup Asia Pacific. He began his career at Nestlé in India and also spent two years with PepsiCo in India. He is a graduate of Delhi University and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Established in 1980, USCIB’s International Leadership Award is presented annually to a leading CEO, international figure or institution, recognizing outstanding contributions to global trade, finance and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. Recent recipients have included Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, and Roberto Azevedo, director general of the World Trade Organization. More information on the event is available at www.uscibgala.com.

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 Ramps Up Work on Intellectual Property and Innovation

L-R: John Sandage (WIPO) and Paul Salmon (USPTO) at the October 18 launch of USCIB’s Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee

Washington, D.C., October 25, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most innovative and successful global companies, has redoubled its efforts to promote American competitiveness with the launch of its Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee.

The new committee, chaired by Sharon Reiche, corporate counsel for global patents and policy at Pfizer Inc., builds upon USCIB’s longstanding commitment to improved protection of intellectual property – and the innovation and creativity it underpins – via robust U.S. trade policy and expanded international diplomatic commitments.

The inaugural meeting of the new USCIB committee took place on October 18 in Washington, D.C. Special guests at the meeting included John Sandage, deputy director general for patents and technology at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and Paul Salmon, senior counsel for international affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Broad-based business groups like USCIB sometimes find it difficult to reach consensus on some aspects of innovation and IP policy,” said Michael Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation, who is the lead USCIB staff member supporting the new committee. “We are confident that, with a new structure and a new commitment to working proactively toward the common goal of improving our members’ global competitiveness, we will be able to forge ahead and identify new international initiatives to secure IP rights and promote innovation.”

Michener said the committee will focus its activities via four newly created working groups, covering trademarks, trade secrets, patents and copyrights.

Another guest at the October 18 meeting was Daphne Yong-d’Herve, chief intellectual property officer with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization for which USCIB serves as the exclusive American affiliate. Yong-d’Herve provided an overview of ICC’s newly elevated status as an observer in the United Nations General Assembly. This is expected to augment ICC’s longstanding work with WIPO and other international agencies, as well as national governments, to promote effective protection of intellectual property around the 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 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

 

Thevenin Joins USCIB as General Counsel

Nancy Thevenin

New York, N.Y., October 11, 2017Nancy M. Thevenin has joined the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s leading global companies, as general counsel. USCIB serves as the U.S. affiliate of several global business bodies, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization whose International Court of Arbitration is the world’s leading forum for the settlement of cross-border commercial disputes.

Thevenin’s portfolio will include supporting USCIB’s Arbitration Committee and coordinating the work of the U.S. Nominations Committee to the ICC Court. Additionally, she will coordinate amicus requests and responses from USCIB members and other interested parties. Further, Thevenin will work closely with USCIB’s business development team to ensure more comprehensive membership recruitment outreach to both law firms and corporations.

“Nancy Thevenin brings extensive experience to this important position within USCIB,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Our members, including both companies and law firms, have broad experience and knowledge of global arbitration and other legal matters. I am confident that Nancy will be able to fully leverage those relationships to drive further organizational growth and improved services to members.”

Thevenin previously served as deputy director of the ICC Court’s North American marketing office, which at that time also managed USCIB/ICC-USA’s Arbitration Committee. During her tenure, the group helped launch the ICC International Mediation Competition and developed USCIB’s Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF), which Thevenin helped develop and wrote the proposal to turn into a global organization under the ICC umbrella. She later joined Baker & McKenzie as a special counsel and global coordinator of the firm’s International Arbitration Practice Group. Thevenin left Baker in 2014 to start her own practice as arbitrator and mediator. She is the chair of the International Section of the New York State Bar Association and an adjunct professor of the international commercial arbitration course at St. John’s Law School.

A graduate of Tulane Law School where she obtained certificates in European legal practice and in commercial arbitration, Ms. Thevenin also attended the University of Paris at Panthéon-Assas in France, where she studied the French legal system and European Community law. She is a graduate of Cornell University, where she obtained a double major in history and Spanish literature. While at university, Ms. Thevenin lived in Madrid, Spain and studied international relations, Spanish law and Spanish literature. Thevenin is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is licensed to practice law in New York and Florida.

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 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

Business Makes It Happen: UNGA Week Events Spotlight the Private Sector’s Role in Sustainable Development

New York, N.Y., September 13, 2017 – As United Nations members gather in New York to review progress on the UN’s ambitious 2030 Development Agenda, American business is underscoring how much it is doing – and could be doing, provided the proper incentives – in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most innovative and successful global companies, plans a series of events in New York throughout the week of September 18, centered on the theme: “Business makes it happen.”

“This is an important moment for the SDGs and for the UN family,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Throughout the negotiations leading to the SDGs, and now in the period of their execution, we have underscored the need for business to be embedded in the process. This is necessary to leverage all the resources that the private sector can provide through investment, innovation and know-how. With dialogue and the right mix of incentives, business really can make it happen.”

Events the week of September 18 include:

  • Rethinking Collaboration for the SDGs, September 18 at Barclays, 745 Seventh Avenue. USCIB will join forces with Business Fights Poverty to co-host this action-focused half-day event on how business, government and civil society are collaborating to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. USCIB’s Robinson and several USCIB members are among the speakers.
  • Data Analytics for SDGs and National Reports, September 19 at KPMG, 345 Park Avenue. Experts from USCIB member companies will present and discuss private sector frameworks for data analytics on SDG implementation, and consider opportunities for synergy with national reports for more targeted and comprehensive UN discussion and action.
  • Going Further Together for Shared Impact: U.S. Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development, September 21 at Deloitte, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. USCIB member companies and government partners will present and discuss examples of public-private sector partnership to advance the SDGs, with a view to expanding those working relationships and improving and scaling up efforts for shared impact and benefit.
  • USCIB Side Event, Business Makes It Happen, September 22 at Pfizer, 235 East 42nd Street. This wrap-up event will present the main recommendations and initiatives identified during UNGA week, and discuss next steps on the intersection of UN reform and the SDGs, scaling up investment in infrastructure, public-private partnerships and institutional evolution needed to catalyze business involvement to advance SDGs.

In 2015, USCIB launched Business for 2030, an ambitious effort to catalogue and catalyze company efforts to support the SDGs. The site has quickly become a go-to resource for all stakeholders interested in the SDGs to learn about what the global business community is doing to help achieve them. Business for 2030 now showcases 187 initiatives from 49 companies, in over 150 countries, covering 83 of the 169 SDG targets. These encompass both philanthropic corporate responsibility initiatives as well as core business operations that all contribute to achieving one or more of the 17 SDG targets.

“Innovation, infrastructure, economic growth and empowerment and good governance are the four inter-linked cornerstones for all 17 SDGs for business,” stated Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president for strategic international engagement, energy and environment. “Therefore, it is crucial to consult with private-sector groups at the national and regional level to develop enabling frameworks for business actions to advance the SDGs.”

The latest list of UNGA week events organized by USCIB is available 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. 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
Tel: +1 917 420 0039
jhuneke@uscib.org

Administration Goals for Modernizing NAFTA Include Many USCIB Priorities but Leave Out Key Issues

Washington, D.C., July 17, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top global companies and helps exporters of all sizes do business across borders, is encouraged that the objectives for modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) released by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today cover many of the issues proposed in USCIB’s submission last month. But the group said some of the objectives leave out references to key business priorities such as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson said: “The fact of the matter is that a great many businesses base their success on increasingly seamless integration of the North American trading space. U.S. negotiators need to start from the premise that three-way trade and investment among the NAFTA partners should be enhanced, not restricted. A modernization effort must include strong investment protection provisions, including effective ISDS. We encourage USTR to maintain an intensive dialogue with affected U.S. stakeholders, including business, as they flesh out more detailed objectives, strategies and priorities.”

Last month, USCIB released its priorities for NAFTA modernization, calling on the administration to update the 23 year-old pact to accommodate new realities in global commerce, including the rise of the digital economy, while keeping what works from the original agreement.

USCIB urged the administration to update and strengthen key NAFTA provisions, including the liberalization and protection of investment flows, protection of intellectual property, customs and trade facilitation, regulatory cooperation, and improved agricultural market access. It also recommended tackling new areas not included or anticipated in the original agreement two decades ago, such as the digital provision of goods and services, data localization requirements, and state-owned enterprises.

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, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
Tel: +1 917 420 0039
jhuneke@uscib.org

Update NAFTA, but Keep What’s Working, Says USCIB

Washington, D.C., June 13, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents the global interests of American companies, has released its recommendations to the Trump administration on priorities for the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The group calls on the administration to update the 20 year-old pact to accommodate new realities in global commerce, including the rise of the digital economy, while keeping what works from the original agreement.

“Our member companies, who collectively encompass America’s most successful enterprises on the global stage, strongly support modernization of NAFTA,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “But they are united in believing that this must take place as part of a broader strategy to open international markets for U.S. companies, and remove barriers and unfair trade practices in support of U.S. jobs.”

USCIB calls upon the administration to update and strengthen key NAFTA provisions, including the liberalization and protection of investment flows, protection of intellectual property, trade facilitation and improved agricultural market access. It also recommends tackling new areas not included or anticipated in the original agreement a quarter-century ago, such as the digital provision of goods and services, data localization requirements, treatment of state-owned enterprises. It further urges U.S. negotiators to work closely with a range of private-sector stakeholders to ensure that a revamped agreement meets business needs in the 21st century.

The USCIB statement notes that, since NAFTA’s implementation, U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico has more than tripled, with a positive impact on U.S. GDP of 0.5%, or several billion dollars of added growth per year. It cites a recent study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics which found that NAFTA did not foster noticeable growth in the overall U.S. trade deficit, and that increased trade with Mexico did not perceptibly raise U.S. unemployment.

USCIB says that several other areas currently covered by the agreement also require modernization, including rules on intellectual property protection, regulatory cooperation, services market access, and customs and trade facilitation. The group says that language agreed during the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations provides a useful foundation on these topics upon which to build for NAFTA modernization, as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have remarked. In other areas where NAFTA disciplines have stood the test of time, USCIB is urging the administration to focus on ensuring that those provisions not be weakened.

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, 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
Tel: +1 917 420 0039
jhuneke@uscib.org

USCIB Statement on U.S. Withdrawal From the Paris Climate Agreement

New York, N.Y., June 1, 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 the Paris Climate Agreement:

“Like many others in the U.S. business community, USCIB is disappointed by the news that the Trump administration has elected to leave the Paris Climate Agreement. In our view, this decision could leave U.S. companies unprotected and exposed to possible discrimination under the Paris Agreement if the U.S. government is not at the table.

“The Paris Agreement is redefining global markets for energy and environmental goods and services, as well as providing major economic stimuli for companies. U.S. energy security and access were never threatened by the Paris Agreement, which allows each national government to define its own climate action plan. Moreover, the U.S. stands to benefit from trade and investment opportunities that the Paris Agreement will set in motion.

“We are interested to learn more about how the U.S. will pursue new arrangements while remaining in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. While it does so, we encourage the U.S. to stay involved on behalf of U.S. economic interests, and to bring U.S. solutions to this crucial global effort. We encourage the administration to reform areas of the UN climate framework toward more fair, transparent and balanced approaches that are responsive to U.S. circumstances and aspirations.

“USCIB members are committed to advancing sustainable development and environmental solutions through international cooperation, and have supported the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement since their inception. Multilateral forums and cooperative approaches are the best way to address the transboundary challenges of energy access and innovation, climate change and sustainable development. In close coordination with our global business partners, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF), USCIB will continue to champion U.S. business interests in the UNFCCC, and will seek opportunities to promote U.S. environment and energy solutions through business engagement and implementation, and to broadly deploy climate-friendly investment and innovation.

“USCIB has represented U.S. business interests in the UN climate negotiations for over 25 years, and during that time has benefited from the diligent efforts of U.S. government representatives at the table to advance and defend U.S. business interests, often under challenging conditions. We express thanks to the current U.S. climate negotiating team, and others with whom we have worked, for their extraordinary efforts on our behalf.”

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
Tel: +1 212 703 5043
jhuneke@uscib.org

Shiles Joins USCIB as Head of ATA Carnet and Trade Services

Andrew Shiles

New York, N.Y., May 16, 2017 – Former FedEx executive and cargo industry veteran Andrew Shiles has joined the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) to lead the association’s dynamic portfolio of trade services, including the “merchandise passports” used by thousands of exporters around the world to get goods through customs quickly and easily.

As senior vice president of ATA Carnet and trade services, Shiles will work to expand U.S. trade interests through promotion of the ATA Carnet program. ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that permit temporary duty-free, tax-free entry of qualified goods for up to one year. They are used widely to facilitate entry of goods for trade shows, product samples and professional equipment.

“Andy Shiles brings extensive experience to this position,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “He has in-depth knowledge of trade and customs affairs, including ATA Carnet, and relationships with clients ranging from multinational corporations to SMEs to freight forwarders. In addition, Andy has strong connections with U.S. Customs, and has engaged in a number of important industry trade associations.”

USCIB manages and guarantees the ATA Carnet system in the United States, with responsibility for issuing ATA Carnets falling to two outside service providers, Roanoke Trade and the Corporation for International Business. ATA Carnets are accepted in 84 countries and territories, while the global ATA systems is overseen by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). USCIB serves as ICC’s American national committee.

Shiles comes to USCIB following more than 30 years at FedEx Express, the world’s largest air express cargo company, most recently as global regulatory compliance manager, where he served on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee. His leadership experience in global supply-chain management includes participation in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Simplified Entry Working Group, which redesigned and implemented the current entry-clearance process into the United States.

Shiles also has extensive experience working with multiple government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Product Safety Commission. A self-professed “Yankee with a Southern accent,” Shiles was born in Manhattan and raised in the Southwest and in Tennessee, where he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis. He is a member of the International Compliance Professionals Association and the American Association of Exporters and Importers.

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:
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 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.

Kazakhstan to Begin Accepting “Merchandise Passports”

Baiterek TowerNew York, N.Y., March 21, 2017 – Kazakhstan is set to become the 77th member country to accept ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-free importation of various types of goods, beginning April 1, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

Known as “merchandise passports,” ATA Carnets are international customs documents that allow for the temporary importation of various types of goods, duty-free and tax-free, for up to one year. In most ATA member countries and territories, including Kazakhstan after April 1, Carnets cover import of professional equipment, commercial samples and items for display at exhibitions and fairs. 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.

“The implementation of the ATA system demonstrates Kazakhstan’s commitment to promoting economic growth and trade facilitation,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Use of Carnets will make it easier for American and other foreign companies to do business with the country, while enabling Kazakhstan businesses easier access to the U.S. and global markets.”

The Republic of Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by area and is the world´s largest landlocked nation. ATA membership by the country – long regarded as a priority for other countries in the system – will significantly facilitate trade relations between Kazakhstan businesses and their foreign partners. The Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan has been designated as the official guaranteeing organization for ATA Carnets in the country.

Prior to Kazakhstan, Brazil and Indonesia were the two most recent countries to join the global ATA Carnet system. More than 180,000 Carnets are issued every year worldwide, for goods with a total value of over US$21 billion. The United States is the third-largest user of ATA Carnets, following Germany and Switzerland. The Republic of Georgia is expected to join the ATA system in the near future.

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:

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 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.

USCIB Welcomes Entry Into Force of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Harbor_tradeLandmark pact will reduce customs barriers and costs for U.S. exporters

New York, N.Y., February 22, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) applauded the entry into force today of the landmark World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which will reduce the costs of trading across borders and lead to increased U.S. and foreign exports and jobs. The TFA, approved at the WTO’s 2014 ministerial in Bali, Indonesia, provides enforceable government commitments, which will reduce red tape at the borders, speed movement of goods internationally, reduce costs, increase exports and create jobs.

The WTO has 164 member countries, and its rules require two-thirds of its members to ratify and pass laws making necessary changes in their customs procedures in order for the TFA to go into effect. Today, Chad, Jordan, Oman and Rwanda  submitted their ratification notices to the WTO, achieving the two-thirds threshold.

USCIB Chairman Terry McGraw, chairman emeritus of S&P Global, stated: “It is so important to the American and global economy that these 100-plus countries have committed to streamlining their customs procedures to speed the movement of products and reduce their costs.  We commend WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo for his tireless efforts to make his happen.”

McGraw, who also serves as honorary chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization, and chaired the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations, has been a staunch advocate for the TFA and for multilateral trade liberalization in general.

“The TFA will provide a shot in the arm to U.S. exports and to the multilateral trading system,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Studies estimate that, when implemented, the TFA will cut the average cost of exporting by some 14 percent, delivering a net gain of $1 trillion in global annual GDP and spurring the creation of more than 20 million new jobs for the global economy. What’s more, the TFA demonstrates the continued importance of the WTO and of multilateral efforts to liberalize cross-border trade and investment.”

In addition to promoting the benefits of the TFA, USCIB has worked to secure overseas ratification of the agreement through bilateral meetings with numerous governments. It has also done so via its role as U.S. affiliate of ICC, which mounted a global campaign to secure ratification of the TFA.

ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said: “The entry into force of the TFA is a watershed moment for global trade. The reality today is that many small businesses find themselves unable to trade internationally due to complex customs requirements. By cutting unnecessary red tape at borders, the TFA will have a transformational effect on the ability of entrepreneurs in developing countries to access global markets.”

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 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.

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