USCIB Competition Committee Holds Joint Meeting With ICC

The USCIB Competition Committee held a joint meeting April 13 with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Competition Commission to discuss developments in international competition enforcement.

The meeting featured a keynote presentation on a history of cases brought before the International Trade Commission (ITC) relating to unfair competition under Section 337, according to USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark. While Section 337 protects U.S. companies from “unfair methods of competition and unfair acts” related to the importation of articles made by foreign companies, it was considered for years as inappropriate for antitrust litigation. Since the law was amended in 1974 to give the ITC authority to issue cease and desist orders, however, it is now being used more for antitrust filings. Deanna Tanner Okun, former ITC chair and managing partner at AMS Trade LLP, and Lauren Peterson, partner AMS Trade LLP, described how the law developed into the antitrust tool it is today, including details on key cases filed and their outcomes.

Of significance, USCIB member Taylor Owings of Baker Botts reviewed USCIB comments filed last week with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division on modernizing enforcement guidelines for mergers. USCIB Competition Committee Vice Chair Jennifer Patterson provided updates on details of antitrust legislation moving through the U.S. Congress. USCIB plans to facilitate a member briefing with congressional staff on antitrust legislation as it advances in the months ahead. Finally, USCIB member John Taladay of Baker Botts proposed the creation of a new ICC task force to develop principles for RFIs (requests for information) for non-targeted stakeholders because they have become overly burdensome.

Regarding the ICC Competition Commission workstreams, Compliance and Advocacy Chair Anne Riley reported that ICC is working to expand credit for compliance programs in other jurisdictions across the globe. Riley also reported that late last year, the ICC filed comments regarding the French Competition Authority’s (FCA) new guidance on antitrust compliance programs, highlighting the importance of compliance and providing benchmarks on the objectives, the definition, and the implementation of these programs. In addition, Member of the ICC Merger Control Regimes Task Force (TF) Alex Nourry reported that the TF is currently working on comments to the European Commission on a proposed revision of competition rules regarding horizontal cooperation agreements. USCIB members were solicited and provided inputs. The ICC hopes the revision will ultimately yield better clarity and legal certainty for these agreements.

ICC Competition Commission Chair Francois Brunet encouraged USCIB companies to get more involved in ICC task forces.

USCIB Welcomes Korean Business Colleagues for Discussion on ILO, Labor and Trade issues

Chairman of CJ Group Kyung Shik Sohn (left) and Peter Robinson (right) at USCIB’s NYC office.

Kyung Shik Sohn, chairman of CJ Group and of the Korea Enterprises Federation-FEK (and also Honorary Chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry-KCCI), visited USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson on April 12.  Sohn was accompanied by CJ America CEO Hyunsoo (Hans) Shin. USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg and Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog, joined Robinson for USCIB.

FEK is USCIB’s Korean sister member organization in the International Organization of Employers (IOE). Discussion thus included an exchange of information and perspectives on ILO work in such areas as human rights, supply chains, forced labor and discrimination. KCCI, for which Sohn had served as longtime Chairman, is USCIB’s Korean sister national committee in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and also counterpart as National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association for the ATA Carnet export service.

According to Robinson, discussion also included respective perspectives on Korean and U.S. political environments and the recent Korean elections, U.S.-Korea trade relations and the importance to business of engagement with multilateral institutions. Sohn and Shin also provided an overview of the CJ Group and its American operations, a multinational corporation with operations ranging from Food/Food Services to Bio/Life Sciences, to Media/Entertainment, to Retail/Logistics.

USCIB looks forward to ongoing collaboration with KEF, KCCI and CJ Group.

USCIB Attends UN Global Biodiversity Framework Negotiations in Geneva 

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) convened the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) in Geneva, Switzerland March 14 – 29 at the Centre International de Conférences Genève.  

Government delegations continued negotiations of the GBF, a proposed set of over twenty targets pertaining to international cooperative action by governments, business and other key actors to protect and steward biodiversity.  

USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy and Policy and Program Associate for Sustainability Agnes Vinblad represented USCIB members during the second week of negotiations in Geneva, March 21 – 25. Kennedy and Vinblad followed developments related to USCIB’s priority targets determined by the USCIB Environment Committee: Target 7 (Pollution and Plastic Waste); Target 13 (Access and Benefit Sharing); Target 15 (Expectations of Business) and Target 17 (Biotechnology). USCIB supported members in attendance, including representatives from Bayer and CropLife.  

USCIB highlighted the importance of all-of-economy approaches, reflecting opportunities and risks in sustainable use and stewardship of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is intended to catalyze a participatory inclusive whole-of-society approach, USCIB will continue to advocate meaningful and substantive engagement for business.  

“Looking at new emerging issues for U.S. business relating to this international biodiversity deliberation, we see Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and the sharing of proceeds associated with utilizing this important resource for R&D as an increasingly critical topic,” said Kennedy.  

Target 15 addresses business and biodiversity, and USCIB is concerned about additional burdens on business that could be included in the GBF. Proposals under this draft target include calls for stronger requirements for businesses to assess, monitor, disclose and report dependencies and impacts on biodiversity across operations, value chains and portfolios. USCIB is following these developments closely and will provide members with further details on next steps.

USCIB collaborated with colleagues from ICC who were in attendance including Director of Peace and Prosperity Daphne Yong-d’Hervé and Global Policy Manager of Intellectual Property and Innovation Danny Grajales 

While government delegations made some progress in the GBF negotiations, there will be a further meeting of the GBF Group June 21 – 26 in Nairobi, Kenya to continue negotiations before expected adoption at the resumed UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Kunming, China to take place in the third quarter of 2022 with exact dates yet to be decided.  

ICC Releases Recent Trends in Trade and Trade Finance Report, Includes Impact of Ukraine Crisis on Global Recovery, Inflation

The International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Global Policy department has recently released the report, Recent Trends in Trade and Trade Finance. This report delves into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications on global trade and finance, as well as the major challenges that can hamper a successful economic recovery.

While focused on trade, banking and finance issues, the report is also relevant to other policy areas, such as ICT, workers and the environment.

To complement this analysis, ICC also released a related presentation, looking at the global impact of the crisis in Ukraine on recovery and further inflation through, for example, supply-chain disruptions, lower consumer and business confidence, inflation in agriculture, manufacturing and energy, as well as liquidity and fiscal risks resulting from currency depreciations and increasing financing costs.

According to ICC, the “Recent Trends in Trade and Trade Finance” report will be used for advocacy geared toward increasing resilience to trade disruptions by enhancing trade digitalization.

 

 

USCIB Provides Business Recommendations During ‘Our Common Agenda’ Consultation at UN Headquarters

Peter Robinson at the United Nations HQ in NY

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson was invited as a speaker for the fifth and final Informal Thematic Consultation on the United Nations report Our Common Agenda (OCA) on March 11 under the theme Enhancing International Cooperation. Representing USCIB, Robinson attended the consultation in person at the UN Headquarters in New York. 

In his remarks, Robinson referenced a quote by UN Secretary General António Guterres on how the international community currently is facing a momentous choice: will we “break through or break down?”  

“This question is even more urgent in light of recent disruptive events,” said Robinson. “Can the multilateral system survive these challenges? For business, the answer must be yes. Moreover, the private sector is part of the support structure needed to restore and strengthen the multilateral system and realize Our Common Agenda’s vision of more inclusive international cooperation.”

Robinson then went on to express gratitude to USCIB’s partners in the global business community, “When it comes to international cooperation, our focus here today, USCIB is privileged to be part of global leading business groups dedicated to working with the multilateral system – ICC, IOE and BIAC.” 

Highlighting business recommendations to the UN in taking forward the proposals set out in the OCA, Robinson advocated for the need to regard business and employers’ organizations as essential attributes of democratic and inclusive governance in both national and international settings and the critical need to crowd in and mainstream public-private sector partnerships.  

“Let me close with what might at first sound like a provocative statement: there can no longer be any conflict of interest between the private sector and the UN,” added Robinson. “Time and again, whether in response to the pandemic, or in unprecedented support for the Paris Agreement, or in humanitarian responses to help refugees, the private sector has leaned into international cooperation for our shared interests. Let us pursue the OCA’s opportunities through inclusive practical multilateralism, involving business, for the UN we want and need.” 

The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Abdulla Shahid has convened five informal thematic consultations on the landmark UN report, Our Common Agenda (OCA), released by Guterres in September 2021. Through a five-part series of consultations, commencing with the first one in February 2022, Member States and other stakeholders, including the private sector, have been given the opportunity to discuss the proposals outlined in the OCA and their potential implementation in the Decade of Action.  

To find more information on Our Common Agenda, please visit this website.  

Ukraine Crisis: ICC’s Business Call to Action

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General John Denton released a letter on March 1 listing a number of organizations and campaigns on the ground in Ukraine providing humanitarian relief efforts. The situation is constantly evolving but many of the international organizations with whom ICC works closely are scaling operations to support the dramatically escalating humanitarian needs. ICC also worked with UNICEF to release a joint document outlining how companies can donate to critical services for children, speak up to raise awareness and act in ways that protect employees, suppliers and their families in Ukraine.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 

With a priority to assist those in need, ICRC teams in Ukraine are undertaking work to repair vital infrastructure, support health facilities with medicines and equipment, and improve the living conditions of more than 66,000 people whose homes have been damaged by heavy fighting. Together with its partners in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – ICRC is calling for donations to raise over US$270 to save and protect lives.

  • DONATE NOW or check the ICRC website for the latest information.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) 

Speaking at a press briefing today at the Palais des Nations in Geneva UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo warnes that that the situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century. UNHCR is mobilising resources to respond as quickly and effectively as possible, stepping up operations and capacity in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Donations will support effort to ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe.

  • DONATE NOW or check the ICRC website for the latest information

UNICEF 

With offices across Ukraine and surrounding UNICEF currently anticipates funding needs in excess of US$348 million for Ukraine, as well as the Refugee Response Plan across the wider region in order to support 7.5 million children with a wide range of services, including psychosocial support, immunization, healthcare, education, protection, water and sanitation, and emergency cash assistance.

  • DONATE NOW or check the UNICEF website for the latest information.

Crown Agents 

This non-profit international development organisation is a global leader in the humanitarian space and positioned to respond rapidly in the face of conflict. Working with its logistics partner Greenshields Cowie – skilled in delivering supplies, from new-born kits to tents, into some of the most challenging, remote and volatile regions in the world – Crown Agents is looking to ensure essential products reach the people who need them most.

 

ICC and UNICEF: What Can Business Do For Children and Their Families?

Download the Document Here

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine poses an immediate threat to the lives and well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children and is displacing a growing number of them from their homes. Children have been killed, wounded, uprooted and severely distressed by the escalating violence all around them. Hundreds of thousands of children and their families have been internally displaced and, to-date, over one million forced to flee the country in search of safety—the majority are women and children. Amongst those fleeing, many are unaccompanied children or have been separated from their parents or family members. As this crisis evolves, many more are expected to be displaced in the coming days and months.

Companies and business leaders can use their influence, reach and channels to promote messages to rally the business community.

ICC and UNICEF released a joint document outlining how companies can donate to critical services for children, speak up to raise awareness and act in ways that protect employees, suppliers and their families in Ukraine.

USCIB Statement on Russia Conflict in Ukraine

New York, N.Y., February 24, 2022 – As conflict tragically unfolds in Ukraine, USCIB joins President Biden in denouncing the shocking attack by Russia on a sovereign nation and on the global rules-based order. USCIB deplores the impact of this aggression on innocent people, and the destabilization and disruption it brings in its wake. We are more committed than ever to the fundamental importance of peace and security, democracy and multilateral cooperation for American business and for the international community.

We fully agree with UN Secretary General António Guterres when he urgently called for “a ceasefire and return to the path of dialogue and negotiations to save the people in Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war.”

We are sharing the “ICC Statement on Russia – Ukraine Conflict” issued this morning by ICC Secretary General John Denton, and the setting out of ICC’s next steps to assess and address potential economic and trade disruption. We will continue to keep members apprised of further developments.

USCIB Meets With Australian Consul General to Discuss Mutual Interests, Future Collaboration

Left to right: Nick Greiner, Peter Robinson

USCIB had the honor of hosting Australian Consul General Nick Greiner and his colleague Mike Ryan on February 16 in the USCIB New York office.

The meeting between the Australian delegation and USCIB, which included USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy, allowed for a candid discussion of mutual interests and potential future collaboration—namely in trade and investment, climate change and digital economy, among others.

It was acknowledged that USCIB and its Australian counterpart, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), are both privileged to serve as the respective national affiliates of the three main global business organizations: International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Organization of Employers (IOE), and Business at OECD (BIAC).

ACCI also serves as a Steering Team Partner on The USCIB Foundation’s Business Partners to CONVINCE initiative, which is a global network of employers of all sizes that seeks to build vaccine confidence and support uptake among employees.

The Australian Consulate is located in the same building as the Australian Mission to the United Nations, and Consul General Greiner generously offered to introduce USCIB to the latter.

USCIB Issues ATA Carnet Advisory on Brazil; Brazil to Terminate Carnet as of January 1

New York, N.Y., December 22, 2021 — As the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association (NGA and IA) for ATA Carnet in the United States, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) is issuing the following guidance for holders (users) of U.S. ATA Carnets to Brazil (BR) or “BR ATA Carnets” for entry into the United States.

As of January 1, 2022, Brazilian customs will terminate their ATA Carnet operations.

Brazil will no longer issue or accept ATA Carnets. The National Confederation of Industry (CNI) initially ended its role as the sole NGA role in Brazil in June 2021 and was subsequently extended to December 31, 2021. During this time, Brazil Customs went through a solicitation process for a new NGA and IA, but the process conducted on September 17 and November 5, 2021, was not successful. At this time, Brazil has not been able to appoint a new entity to guarantee and issue Carnets.

As a result, U.S issued ATA Carnets currently in circulation should not be used for entry into Brazil on or after January 1, 2022. Likewise, ATA Carnets issued by Brazil for entry into the United States will be rejected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Details of this announcement can be found at the Brazilian Customs’ website.

“Specific questions or assistance on U.S. ATA Carnets with regards to this announcement should be directed to our authorized service providers, Boomerang Carnets and Roanoke Insurance Group,” advised USCIB Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Declan Daly.

ATA Carnets are honored in over eighty customs countries and territories and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period. The global ATA Carnet system is overseen by the Paris-based World Chamber Federation of the International Chamber of Commerce. USCIB administers the Carnet system in the United States.

More on USCIB’s Trade Services.

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 (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Members Honored With Corporate Startup Stars Awards; Pfizer Earns 2021 Grand Winner

On occasion of the annual Corporate Startup Stars Awards, startups were asked to nominate corporates most active in open innovation. Launched by Mind the Bridge under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative in 2016, the Awards have been scaled globally by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

One company that has consistently pursued Open Innovation with Purpose and involving all nations, all genders, all generations is the 2021 Grand Winner, USCIB member Pfizer.

Pfizer’s partnership with startup BioNTech epitomizes this by crossing national, generational and gender borders to come together and help the world with its COVID-19 vaccine.

Along with Pfizer, other USCIB member companies named in the 2021 Top 25 Corporate Startup Stars are: AB InBev, BP, Mastercard and SAP. 

The 25 companies awarded in the “Open Innovation Challengers” category include USCIB members Bayer AG, Boeing and Hewlett Packard.

Regional Awards go to Mastercard (North America).

Special awards for seven categories single out approaches and best practices that merit recognition:

  • Startup Procurement Award
    AB Inbev
  • Corporate Startup Accelerator Award
    Mastercard and SAP
  • Startup Investment Award
    AEI HorizonX (Boeing)

During the Awards Ceremony, Mind the Bridge presented key evidence emerging from its Report “Evolve or Be Extinct. Future Models of Open Innovation from the 2021 Global Corporate Startup Stars” that analyses how Fortune 500/Forbes 2000 companies interact with startups and scaleups at global level.

Download the Mind the Bridge report Report “Evolve or Be Extinct, Future Models of Open Innovation from the 2021 Global Corporate Startup Stars.

See here for the full story on ICC’s website.