USCIB Pushes for Women’s Empowerment at ILO Event


The International Labor Organization (ILO) organized a panel discussion during the UN Commission on the Status of Women on March 16, featuring remarks from Ambassadors of Rwanda and Canada, Valentine Rugwabiza and Louise Blais, respectively. USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg joined the panel titled, “Gender Equality at the Heart of Decent Work for Rural Women.”

Speaking on behalf of Employers in the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Goldberg pointed out that many of the challenges women generally face are amplified for rural women.  “Infrastructure development, girls education, skills, entrepreneurship, rule of law, effective property rights and access to credit are vital elements in any policy to create jobs and improve the lives of working women in rural areas,” stressed Goldberg.

Goldberg also emphasized that “rural” does not necessarily mean “agriculture.”  “A focus on development in such areas as food processing, transport, and tourism has the potential to empower more women into work,” she added.

ICANN Focuses on Compliance of Registration Data and Privacy

Barbara Wanner, fourth from left, at ICANN 61 along with fellow ICANN Business Constituency Executive Committee members.:
Steve DelBianco (NetChoice); Phil Corwin (VeriSign); Claudia Selli (AT&T); Barbara Wanner (USCIB); Jimson Olufuye (AfICTA)

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is responsible for ensuring the security, stability and resilience of the domain name system (DNS), held its Community Forum in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 10-15. The Forum attracted over 2,000 participants from business, government, civil society, and the technical community from 150 countries, including USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner. Over 300 sessions delved into a range of topics relating to the Internet’s addressing and identifier systems. Last year’s implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) drove discussions throughout the week-long meeting.

Wanner, who also serves as the business constituent representative to the Commercial Stakeholders Group (CSG), was able to provide greater input to policy discussions at the executive committee level on behalf of USCIB members and facilitated important meetings with senior ICANN officials and key constituencies.

The focus of the Forum was an ICANN interim model aimed at ensuring that ICANN and the industry of more than 1,000 generic top-level domain registries comply with existing ICANN requirements concerning the collection of registration data (known as the WHOIS database) as well as meet the EU’s privacy protection requirements. Business participants also surfaced a proposal to establish an accreditation mechanism to enable third party access to data for law enforcement, consumer protection, brand management and intellectual property protection purposes.

The implications of the GDPR on ICANN’s WHOIS database policies dominated discussions throughout the week-long meetings,” commented Wanner. “The clock is running out on the May 25 implementation of the GDPR, so all stakeholders engaged in discussions with a sense of urgency,” she observed.

On March 8, ICANN proposed the so-called Calzone interim model, an approach that ICANN maintained endeavors to strike a balance between proposals put forward by various community stakeholders.

“Commercial business users raised concerns with the interim model, however, maintaining that it is overly broad in scope and does not sufficiently support legitimate public interests in allowing access to certain data for law enforcement, consumer protection and intellectual property protection,” commented Wanner.  “In order to gain access to this non-public data, business users proactively proposed a mechanism that would enable accredited users to gain access to the data they need to pursue legitimate business and public interests.”

Working through the business constituency and Commercial Stakeholder Group, USCIB will engage with other ICANN stakeholders in coming weeks to refine the accreditation model so it can be utilized when the GDPR formally goes into effect in late May.

2018 OECD International Tax Conference – Hotel Room Block

A limited number of rooms have been blocked at the reduced rate of $415/night at the conference venue, The Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, D.C. Unbooked rooms (if any) will be released for general sale on May 14, 2018, and the group rate will not be available after this date.

Please call the hotel directly and mention the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) room block: 1-202-944-9157.

Rooms reserved without a processed registration will be released for confirmed participants.

Below are a few other nearby options:

1)       The Graham Georgetown –

2)       The Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown –

3)       Park Hyatt –

4)       The Westin, Georgetown, Washington, DC –

5)       Melrose Hotel –

6)       Ritz Carlton, Georgetown –

7)       The Georgetown Inn –


Conference Website

2018 OECD Tax Conference

Registration Opening Soon!

The 2018 OECD International Tax Conference

 June 4-5, 2018

Four Seasons Hotel, Washington D.C

This annual conference provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. business community to interact with key representatives from the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, including the new Head of the Transfer Pricing Unit, Tomas Balco, the new Head of the Tax Treaty Unit, Sophie Chatel, and senior tax officials from the U.S. and other key countries involved in the OECD’s international tax work. The conference will focus on the latest developments in the taxation of multinational enterprises including tax treaties, transfer pricing, the work of the Task Force on the Digital Economy, dispute resolution and more.

For more information, please contact Erin Breitenbucher (202-682-7465 or

2017 Final Agenda

Hotel Room Block Information

Information for Participants

2018 Topics:

  • International Aspects of the US Tax Reform
  • Taxation of the Digital Economy
  • Transfer Pricing Developments – Profit Splits, HTVI, Financial Transactions
  • Corporate Tax Landscape
  • Tax and Development
  • Dispute Resolution
  • MLI and the Model

2018 Featured Speakers:

  • Kevin Hassett – Chairman, Council of Economic Advisors, Executive Office of the President
  • Pascal Saint-Amans – Director of the Center for Tax Policy & Administration, OECD
  • Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
  • Martin Kreienbaum – Director General, International Taxation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury
  • Doug O’Donnell – Commissioner, Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, IRS
  • Lafayette (Chip) G. Harter – Deputy Assistant Secretary (International Tax Affairs), U.S. Treasury
  • Achim Pross – Head of International Cooperation and Tax Administration, OECD
  • Tomas Balco – Head of the Transfer Pricing Unit, CTPA, OECD
  • Sophie Chatel – Head of the Tax Treaty Unit, CTPA, OECD
  • Will Morris – Chairman, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Bill Sample – Chairman, USCIB Tax Committee; Vice Chair, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Other Senior Treasury and Foreign Tax Policy Officials

More on USCIB’s Taxation Committee

2018 Conference Sponsored By:






Black Deloitte Logo



Presented by:

USCIB logo


Business at OECD Logo - 2016

In association with:

IFA Logo
NFTC logo
Organization for International Investment
Tax Executives Institute, Inc.

BIAC Hosts Gender and Skills Seminar, Launches New Report

Business at OECD (BIAC) hosted a breakfast seminar on gender equality and skills as part of the OECD’s March on Gender Initiative on March 9 in Paris. The seminar was chaired by Ronnie Goldberg, USCIB senior counsel, and marked the official launch of the BIAC report “Preparing All our Minds for Work: Girls, women and learning over a lifetime” (2018), produced by BIAC and USCIB with support from Deloitte and Dell. This is the third in a series of BIAC reports that highlight business efforts towards the global advancement of women and girls in the economy.

The focus of the seminar was on corporate efforts to address unconscious bias impacting gender equality at work and featured a summary of the 2018 BIAC report and a presentation by Dell on their implementation of the MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) initiative. MARC aims to identify where unconscious bias exists and aims to promote a more collaborative and inclusive leadership style. As the first IT company to participate in MARC, Dell discussed their experience and impacts.

“Empowering women in the workplace has positive consequences for the lives and careers of both women and men —as well as for the companies that employ them,” said Goldberg. “There has been progress, but it is painfully slow. Initiatives such as MARC are making an important contribution to the cause of gender equality, which more and more companies are recognizing as a key bottom line issue.”

Gabriella Rigg Herzog who leads USCIB work on corporate responsibility and labor affairs added, “Empowering women to participate meaningfully in the global economy is good for families, communities, business and society. We applaud BIAC and the OECD for their leadership in bringing attention to practical tools and best practice examples to reduce gender discrimination and support women in the world of work.”


2018 OECD Tax Conference: Information for Participants

Conference Materials:

  • USB Flash Drives with Background Documents will be included in materials handed out to attendees. Electronic copies are available to registered participants upon request.

PowerPoint Presentations

  • Hard Copies of PowerPoint Presentations will not be distributed. Electronic copies are available to registered participants upon request. 

Conference Logistics:

Location Details: The conference will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel located at 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The meeting portion of the conference will take place in the Corcoran Ballroom located on the Banquet level. The Reception on Monday, June 4th will take place in the Seasons Restaurant on the Lower Lobby Level.  The Luncheon on Tuesday, June 5th will take place in the Dumbarton Conservatory next door to the Corcoran Ballroom.

Wireless Internet:  Wireless internet is available for conference attendees in the meeting room.  Please ask a member of the conference staff for the wireless password. Complimentary internet is also available to conference participants in your hotel room.

Parking:  Discounted Valet Parking is available at the conference venue, The Four Seasons Hotel, for conference attendees. The discounted rate is $29 per day.  Please pick up a parking validation sticker at the registration table for each day of the conference.

Metro: The nearest metro station is the Foggy Bottom-GWU station.  Both Blue and Orange lines stop at the Foggy Bottom Metro.  The Hotel is approximately a four block walk from the metro. (Map below)


Conference Website

Colombians in Washington Lobby on OECD Accession

Last week, USCIB was actively involved in various meetings with the Colombian government, business community and civil society on the issue of Colombia’s accession process to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl, who coordinates U.S. business input on OECD accession issues attended a number of these meetings, along with USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan.

“With only two outstanding OECD Committees left to approve the accession, Colombia has ramped up lobbying efforts to the U.S. business community and government,” said Hampl. The outstanding committees are the Committee for Employment, Labor and Social Affairs (ELSA) and the Trade Committee. These committees are scheduled to deliberate in March and April, respectively.

In anticipation of the upcoming meeting of the Trade Committee, Colombia’s Minister of Trade Maria Lorena Gutierrez met with USCIB to discuss outstanding issues on pharmaceuticals, distilled spirits and truck scrapping, as outlined in the Business at OECD (BIAC) Pre-Accession Recommendations. Also part of the delegation was Colombia’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit Mauricio Cardenas Santamaria, who advocated strongly for Colombia to accede prior to the end of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos term this summer.

USCIB also had a meeting with ANDI, the National Business Association of Colombia, to discuss outstanding issues for business. Bruce Mac Master, president of ANDI led a delegation of Colombian CEOs in this meeting with the U.S. business community, in an effort to make progress on issues like trucking and pharmaceuticals.

Hampl also addressed these critical issues to U.S. business with Colombian civil society in an interview on Colombian radio last week. The main concerns raised during that conversation were on the timing of the accession process given the expiring term of President Santos, and substantive issues on pharmaceuticals, including patents.

“The U.S. business community remains firm on the outstanding issues,” said Hampl. “The OECD is a group of like-minded countries when it comes to believing in open trade and investment and innovation. It is important for any new members to share those views. The Colombian market is important to U.S. industry and we value the U.S. relationship with Colombia, so we look forward to Colombia making the necessary regulatory changes to allow the accession process move forward.”

USCIB Member Appointed Chair of ICC Environment Commission

Justin Perrettson (Novozymes)

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced the appointment of USCIB member Justin Perrettson of Novozymes as the new chair of the Commission on Environment and Energy. Perrettson is head of global engagements at Novozymes, the world`s leading bio innovation company, where he leads a series of policy and stakeholder interactions that support its sustainability agenda.  He also has broad international policy experience from consulting, finance and not-for-profit sectors and has served as an active member of the Commission on Environment and Energy over the past seven years.

“We are excited that Justin has been appointed chair of the ICC Environment and Energy Commission,” said Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB’s work on environment, climate and SDGs. “He has taken USCIB’s work in environment, climate and SDGs to another level in international forums, and we know he’ll bring the same amount of energy, commitment and passion about sustainability to enhancing those synergies working with ICC.”

Perrettson has been instrumental in leading the business voice for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change and public-private partnerships, serving as vice chair of USCIB’s Environment Committee and leading USCIB work on sustainable development as member of its SDG Working Group.

Perrettson will be responsible for leading the Commission on Environment and Energy in a renewed strategic direction and will ensure that ICC is leading responsible business engagement that promotes sustainable, inclusive economic growth in line with the UN Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals.

Perrettson has said that he is “both delighted and honored to take on this new role within ICC and to work with the world’s largest business organization to drive the global sustainable business agenda forward.”

Perrettson will take over from Kersten Karl Barth, who has led the Commission on Environment and Energy’s work for the past five years.

ICC: New Leadership for World Business Organization

International Business HandshakeThe International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has announced the election of a new secretary general and new first vice chair at its March 12 meeting of the ICC World Council in Tokyo. CEO of the leading Australian law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth John W.H. Denton has been elected as the next secretary general of ICC.

Denton is a legal expert and adviser on global policy, international trade and investment and infrastructure. Denton, who was unanimously elected, will succeed outgoing ICC Secretary General John Danilovich. Denton previously served on ICC’s Executive Board and, in 2016, became the first Australian to hold the position of first vice chair of the Paris-based organization.

Commenting on his election, Denton added, “I’m deeply honored to have been elected as secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce. At a time when the dual threat of populism and protectionism still loom large, it’s more vital than ever for business to have a seat at the table in global policy-making. ICC has a unique role to play in ensuring the views and experience of the global private sector are taken into account in key global forums, from the United Nations to the G20. I look forward to working with ICC’s global network in over 100 countries to do just that.”

CEO of Unilever Paul Polman has also been unanimously elected as ICC’s new first vice-chair. Polman will succeed current ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal on July 1, 2018, who in turn will take the position of honorary chair. Polman is a globally recognized business leader and a pioneer in the field of corporate sustainability having served as a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel responsible for formulating the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), launched in 2015, and was subsequently appointed as a UN SDG Advocate responsible for promoting the “Global Goals.”

Commenting on these appointments, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson said, “USCIB has appreciated the opportunity to work with John Danilovich and Sunil Mittal in recent years and thank them for their service to ICC. We now very much look forward to working closely with John Denton and his team. And of course we welcome the addition of renowned business statesman Paul Polman to ICC’s chairmanship, which will surely elevate the world business organization’s stature on sustainable development and many other topics.”

For more information, please visit ICC’s website.

Post-Brexit Trade: An Opportunity to Set New Standards

By Chris Southworth

As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, the country is at a crossroads. To deliver success means delivering trade deals fast, and the only way to do that is to be more innovative, explains Chris Southworth, the secretary general of ICC UK, USCIB’s partner in the global International Chamber of Commerce network. This was also the topic of a recent ICC UK podcast featuring USCIB’s Rob Mulligan. The views presented here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect USCIB policy positions.

ICC UK Secretary General Chris Southworth

The UK government has committed itself to renegotiate its entire stock of trade relationships and bring home the largest number of trade deals ever delivered in a short space of time – the task has no precedent.

The first round of post Brexit deals will be with 88 countries and nine trade blocs, covering non-EU countries with EU deals – almost half the world. The scale and pace at which this task must be delivered presents a unique opportunity to be innovative – it’s the only way the government will deliver on its promises of a “free trade model that works for everyone.”

The government has begun the process of passing legislation to set up a new Trade Remedies Authority, share customs data and maintain an open procurement market, but there is currently no proposal for how the government will deliver so many deals in such a short space of time. The government says that the 60-plus countries with EU deals will roll over on the same trade terms, so no extra consultation is required, but that is highly unlikely according to the experts.

In a rare display of unity, business groups, NGOs, unions and consumer groups all agree that to move forward on trade, the UK needs a more transparent, inclusive and democratic framework to handle trade policy if there is any chance of ensuring trade benefits everyone.

The UK has become one of the most centralized G7 countries, with wide disparities across its regions, a stubborn trade deficit and a history of under-performance on productivity and competitiveness. London now dominates the UK economy, with every other region a long way behind. Brexit presents a golden opportunity for trade to play a central role in boosting regional economies as well as address the frustration and disparity that is all too clear to spot, but only if the mode of engagement changes.

If the government wants to deliver new trade deals at the pace and scale required, fresh thinking and reinvented processes are required – those who generate trade will need to be consulted on what works, not only because it is necessary, but because it is democratic. To deliver a trade model that works for everyone means giving stakeholders a say in the decisions.

The Trade Bill

The Trade Bill – currently under review in Parliament – sets out an initial framework for an independent trade policy: a Trade Remedies Authority, an open procurement market, rolling over terms with countries with third party EU agreements sharing customs data. Controversially, the bill also proposes “Henry VIII” powers giving the government the ability to overrule Parliament.

Being a member of the EU means that the UK has no formal structures or procedures for reviewing treaties, and Parliament does not have to debate, vote on or approve deals. Trade agreements are scrutinized via the usual Parliamentary means such as written questions and answers, internal debates and select committee inquiries.

If government negotiators have any chance of delivering trade deals on the scale and pace required, there needs to be a more structured approach that provides organised forums for the international community, business, unions, NGOs and civil society organisations to engage on the issues and make consensus based decisions.

There is a myth that consultation and transparency slows the decision-making process. But without dialogue there is scope for mistrust to grow, which if unchecked, has more than enough weight to derail trade negotiations – as we saw with the lack of public support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). As hard is may be to hear, public services and food standards trumped trade and that is exactly how people expressed their views.

The TTIP negotiations collapsed, losing five to seven years of negotiation with no sign of an opportunity to restart discussions. It was a colossal waste of resources that could have been easily avoided if the engagement process had been better organised and more inclusive from the start.

The Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) very nearly went the same way. The issues surrounding Wallonia’s role in Belgium that almost derailed CETA could very well apply in a host of UK regions. Good-quality engagement throughout the decision-making process would prevent such scenarios happening in the future and most importantly give people a stake in making trade a success.

Trade policy now influences all walks of life – it’s not possible to separate trade from public policy and it’s imperative to have the public on board if deals need to be done.

International Models

The US trade model is often cited as an option for the UK but it’s not the only country that has a better system of engagement. New Zealand has successfully integrated private sector groups, civil society and the Maori – its indigenous population – into its model for developing trade positions.

Beyond regular public meetings regarding trade policy, the government established a ministerial advisory group to oversee high-level consultations. The group consists of representatives from key export sectors, NGOs, business and minority groups to reflect the overall priorities of New Zealand’s trade agenda, and to provide feedback to the nation’s minister of trade. In short, it’s a more inclusive system.

The scale of the UK challenge provides an opportunity to set a new international benchmark – no country has it completely right. A deal with 27 EU countries, followed by 60-plus countries with EU agreements, and then the rest of the world is a lot of ground to cover in a short space of time – if the UK government is going to return the benefits of Brexit as promised.

In fact, the success or failure of Brexit will hinge on the government’s ability to deliver trade deals – this is central pillar of the Brexit strategy to offset costs incurred from leaving the EU, especially for SMEs. To do that, it means breaking from the past, opening up and building a model of engagement that is more transparent, consensual and democratic in approach – and doing it fast!

Published March 12, 2018