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

USCIB Applauds UN on Global Compact for Safe Migration

USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg delivered a statement on July 13 at the United Nations headquarters in NY in support of the final draft of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular Migration (GCM). Goldberg delivered the statement on behalf of the International Organization of Employers and the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Business Mechanism.

The Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration was agreed upon by UN Member States following several negotiating rounds and aims to protect the interests of both migrants and citizens.

“Regular migration is critical to the success of our enterprises – as well as our economies,” said Goldberg. “That success requires a comprehensive and balanced approach – such as that sought in the GCM – that facilitates the economic contributions of migrants while protecting them from predatory practices.”

SDG Countdown: Protect Ecosystems and Strengthen Means of Implementation

This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) on sustainable development will be held from July 9-18 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The theme for the forum will be “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies” focusing in part on Sustainable Development Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year.

As part of USCIB’s countdown to the UN HLPF, USCIB is highlighting some initiatives that its member companies are working on to transform toward sustainable and resilient societies, while subsequently meeting the SDG targets set by the UN. More examples of initiatives can be found on USCIB’s Business for 2030 website.

 

SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

One initiative to highlight is a project by Novozymes to support the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) in terms of the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.  Novozymes has decided to acknowledge and support the principles of both the CBD and the Nagoya protocol and has internal procedures to ensure that it lives up to its commitments. Novozymes promotes fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promotes appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed. They are regularly assessing outcomes of CBD meetings with a view to undertake a broader strategic discussion on its management and reporting of biodiversity issues. By sharing the benefits of genetic resources, Novozymes is taking steps to achieve SDG 15 and to increase biological diversity.

SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year:

Another project to note is an initiative by Mars to ensure that everyone working with their extended supply chains should earn sufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living. This is done through Mars’ Farmer Income Lab, an open-source “think-do-tank” that will enable Mars and others to leverage their unique human, social and financial resources to identify and activate solutions needed to eradicate smallholder poverty in global supply chains. This year, the Lab’s focus is on identifying effective actions that buyers can take to enable smallholder farmers in global supply chains to meaningfully increase income. This will culminate in a ‘What Works’ publication, providing an overview of promising models, sourced from academic literature and stakeholder dialogues, that increase incomes and demonstrate what factors are most successful. Mars’ commitment to increasing incomes is part of their Sustainable in a Generation Plan, a $1-billion investment to accelerate sustainable growth by achieving SDG 17 through global partnerships.

 

Click here for more information on what USCIB has done so far during this year’s HLPF.

New ICC Secretary General Visits USCIB Offices

ICC Secretary General John Denton (left) with USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson

John Denton, the new secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce – the oldest and largest part of USCIB’s global business network – paid visits to our New York headquarters and Washington, D.C. office in late June and early July. He met with USCIB staff including President and CEO Peter Robinson and Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan, along with a number of USCIB members. Discussion ranged from ICC pushing back against populist narratives on cross-border trade and investment to ICC institutional and management priorities.

Denton meets with USCIB members and staff in Washington, DC.

Denton, an Australian lawyer and diplomat who most recently headed the law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, was elected in March to provide executive leadership to the world business organization. He is the first Australian to head the Paris-based ICC, and joins Paul Polman, CEO of Unileveler, who was elected to serve as ICC’s chairman.

Denton says he plans to visit the United States often during his tenure, capitalizing especially on ICC’s recent elevation to full UN Observer Status. In between his many duties and visits, including those to USCIB, Denton found time to pen a letter to the Financial Times providing a vigorous defense of the multilateral trading system and the WTO. He has also recently appeared on MSNBC and took part in the UN High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development in New York.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Michener Focuses on Health, Food and Agriculture

Over the past three weeks, a number of important meetings took place in a wide variety of multilateral organizations, on topics ranging from nutrition policy to genome editing. Mike Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation, leads USCIB work in health care, food and agriculture and represented the private sector’s view and interests in each of the following events:

  • On June 19-20, the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) hosted an Experts Group Meeting (EGM) on Nutrition and the SDGs in preparation for the 2018 High Level Political Forum. Michener presented several case studies of private sector partnerships and efforts on the relationship of nutrition to SDGs 6 (water), 7 (energy), 11 (cities), 12 (sustainable consumption), and 15 (biodiversity). Michener also participated in a panel discussion on implications for investments, policies and programming where he addressed the issue of private sector conflict of interest and provided balance to the EGM’s recommendations to the HLPF.
  • On June 19, the International Food and Beverage Alliance hosted a dinner and dialogue at the Harvard Club in New York on the topic of the contribution of the private sector to the global effort to prevent and control Non-Communicable Diseases. Representatives from Italy and Uruguay, who serve as the co-facilitators for the Third High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, shared a progress update with participants.
  • On June 25, the OECD hosted a G20 Workshop on Obesity with the theme of “Making Healthy Choices the Easy Choices”, which included panel discussions on consumer choice, food product improvement, and G20-wide actions to address the issue of obesity. USCIB Food and Agriculture Committee Co-Chair Diego Ruiz addressed PepsiCo’s engagement in constructive dialogue with governments and international organizations.
  • On June 26, Michener attended the Business at OECD Health Committee meeting, and contributed to discussions on proactive steps to address OECD initiatives on obesity, NCDs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and public health economics. Planning is underway for the Business at OECD 3rd Annual Forum on Health.
  • On June 28-29, OECD hosted a Conference on Genome Editing focusing on applications in agriculture and implications for health, the environment, and regulation. Leading scientists from governments, industry, and academia presented global developments in genome editing in agriculture in crop plants to improve culture and quality traits or enhance disease resistance, and in farm animals (chickens and cattle) and aquatic systems.
  • On July 5, the President of the UN General Assembly hosted a Civil Society Hearing in preparation for the High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (HLM-NCDs). Michener observed a number of panel discussions on actions to prevent and control NCDs, financing, promotion of multi-sectoral partnerships, and political leadership and accountability.

“As an increasing number of multilateral organizations take an anti-business stance when it comes to the private sector role in intergovernmental negotiations, USCIB will continue to engage and advocate for the inclusion of business and industry in these crucial discussions,” said Michener. “Business and industry is the engine of innovation that will address issues like food and nutrition security and NCDs, so it is critically important to have business at the table to help identify and promote global solutions in order to fully achieve the SDGs by 2030. We appreciate the robust participation of our members in these important multilateral events.”

SDGs Countdown: Sustainable Cities, Consumption and Production

This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development is being held July 9-18 under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council. The theme for the forum is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies,” focusing in part on Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, and Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

As part of USCIB’s countdown to the HLPF, we are highlighting some initiatives our member companies are working on to transform toward sustainable and resilient societies, while subsequently meeting the SDG targets set by the UN. More examples of initiatives can be found on USCIB’s Business for 2030 website.

SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable

A notable project is one initiative by Novozymes to manage and treat solid waste and wastewater for cities. In a partnership with DONG Energy in the UK, Novozymes is incorporating special enzymes into a waste management plant in England. This will ensure that most of the waste from 110,000 UK homes is recycled into biogas, plastic, metal, and fuel. Most importantly, the biogas can be converted into green power and used to generate 5MW of electricity to power 9,500 households. The project will help aid cities to be more productive with their waste management, to be more sustainable overall, and to help achieve SDG 11.

SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Cargill is working with several partners to achieve SDG 12 to eliminate food loss and ensure global food security. Cargill addresses hunger, food waste, food security, and other issues in 18 countries by working with national food banks. They also participate in Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FReSH) initiative, led by EAT and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which brings together business and science to help accelerate progress across the value chain for global food systems. Furthermore, Cargill is working with World Resources Institute to create and deploy an accounting system toolkit to reduce food loss and waste by setting reduction targets, creating measurement and reporting processes, and creating internal and external awareness.

Next week, we will highlight company initiatives on Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss; and Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

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

ICANN Makes Progress on GDPR-Compliant Framework for Access to Domain Name Data

USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner played a leadership role representing USCIB commercial interests at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ ICANN 62 Policy Forum, which wrapped up on June 28 in Panama City, Panama. The four-day meeting brought together participants from business, government, civil society, and the technical community from throughout the world to focus on policy priorities for the Internet domain name system.

This year’s forum was especially timely, coming on the heels of ICANN’s May 17 issuance of a temporary specification for global top-level domain (gTLD) registration data. This action would enable “tiered access” to domain name registrant data, ensuring that ICANN and the industry of more than 1,000 gTLD registries and registrars comply with existing ICANN contractual requirements concerning the collection of registration data and meet the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect on May 25.

Also in the spotlight was ICANN’s proposed framework to enable third-party access to non-public domain registration data for legitimate law enforcement, consumer protection, brand management and intellectual property protection purposes. The General Names Supporting Organization Council, ICANN’s policy making body, spent virtually the entire forum developing a charter for an “expedited policy development process” (EPDP), which aims to replace the temporary specification within one year. Wanner noted that the council made significant progress and set an ambitious timeline to complete the charter and launch the EPDP by the end of July. “The charter ultimately will define the scope of the policymaking process,” she said.

Wanner also highlighted that notwithstanding the intense focus on GDPR/data access, the ICANN community realized another important milestone at the policy forum. The Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability completed its work on the second phase of issues related to the March 2016 transition from the U.S. government to ICANN stakeholders of oversight of certain domain name functions. “The hours of tireless volunteer input very competently moved forward important community work on the IANA transition, representing a notable achievement for ICANN’s multi-stakeholder process,” Wanner said.

Click below to view a video introduction to Wanner and the other members of the Commercial Stakeholder Group.

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