Annual Conference Discusses Human Rights Trends and Developments

Gabriella Rigg Herzog (USCIB) speaks at the 2018 Engaging Business Forum
Theme of 2018 forum: “Collaboration Through Partnerships to Address Business and Human Rights Trends and Developments.”
Forum brought together 200+ representatives from the private sector, U.S. government, civil society, academia, and international organizations to discuss the importance of partnerships in achieving business and human rights goals.

Since 2007, USCIB, The Coca-Cola Company, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) have organized an annual forum on business and human rights to foster candid discussions and peer learning opportunities. The 10th Engaging Business Forum took place on September 13-14 at The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarters in Atlanta under the theme of “Collaboration Through Partnerships to Address Business and Human Rights Trends and Developments.”

The two-day forum has become the leading annual business and human rights convening in the United States, and this year brought together over 200 representatives from the private sector, U.S. government, civil society, academia, and international organizations to discuss the importance of partnerships in achieving business and human rights goals. Participants discussed leading business and human rights issues of the moment, including:

  • What does and doesn’t work in partnerships?
  • How business can work and interact with human rights defenders?
  • Best practices and challenges for business in providing access to remedy?
  • How to address the issue of wages in the supply chain?
  • Understanding diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

The keynote speaker at the event was Director-General of the International Labor Organization Guy Ryder. Other speakers included USCIB Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Herzog, Director of Global Workplace Rights at The Coca-Cola Company Brent Wilton, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at IOE Matthias Thorns, and Michael Congiu of Littler Mendelson as the representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. USCIB member company speakers included The Walt Disney Company, Walmart, H&M, and Rio Tinto.

“Our role at USCIB is to support U.S. business in creating and supporting a more prosperous society, including through demonstrating respect for human rights in their activities,” said Herzog. “We’re proud to be a co-sponsor of this prestigious annual human rights event which provides sharing and learning opportunities about the important roles that governments, business and civil society representatives are playing to advance human rights around the world,” Herzog added.

The event’s agenda is available here.

 

Climate Talks Make Limited Progress, As Clock Runs Out on Implementation Rules

Meeting adjourned with 300+ pages that negotiators have to transform into a set of rules for governments and businesses.
Sticking points: differential treatment of reporting procedures by developed and developing countries and lack of attention to reporting on financial assistance commitments.

 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change convened an additional negotiating session in Bangkok, Thailand from September 4-10. Representatives of over 190 governments gathered in intense discussions to conclude rules for implementation of the Paris Agreement, which are due at the next climate governing body meeting in Poland from December 4-14.

While government representatives worked around the clock in Bangkok to develop streamlined negotiating text that could be finalized at the end of the year, the meeting adjourned with over 300 pages that negotiators will have to tackle in the limited time left and transform into a set of rules that governments and businesses can use as a blueprint for investment, energy mix and other long term decisions.

While the Bangkok deliberations were to focus on operational details relating to reporting, tracking and assessing government actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with nationally determined targets under the Paris Agreement, the discussions became contentious.

Sticking points related to differential treatment of reporting procedures by developed and developing countries, and the lack of attention to reporting on financial assistance commitments dating back to the conclusion of the Paris Agreement itself. Developing countries also continue to argue for the inclusion of loss and damage liability in future UN climate agreement procedures.

Business representatives from the International Chamber of Commerce and USCIB tracked the talks, meeting with key delegations from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. USCIB Vice President for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy commented on the U.S. business stake in what might seem to be mainly technical details: “An important consideration for U.S. business is preserving American competitiveness and ensuring deployment of U.S. innovation in global markets. The nuts and bolts of reporting under the UN climate agreement will determine how reliably we can assess comparability of effort between countries, so we appreciate the Administration’s continuing focus on clear rigorous rules for reporting such governmental actions across every nation.”

USCIB Gears Up for Talks on Global Environment Pact

The Pact is to be a binding, universal “umbrella text” providing a common global legal basis for environmental policy principles.
USCIB will work with the administration to communicate member views on developments and plan for USCIB engagement in the first substantive negotiations that will be held in January 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The first negotiating meeting for a proposed UN Global Pact for Environment (GPE) took place at United Nations headquarters in New York September 5-7. USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog attended those deliberations, alongside USCIB members Pfizer and the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The meetings focused on organizing the GPE negotiating process and its future meetings, preparation of a UN Secretary General’s report on gaps in international environment policy that will serve as a basis for further negotiations and government positions and priorities relating to the GPE.

UN Member States have voted to launch a negotiation toward the development of a GPE earlier this year. An initiative of French President Emanuel Macron, the Pact is to be a binding, universal “umbrella text” providing a common global legal basis for environmental policy principles, such as the polluter-pays and precautionary principles, environmental rights-based approaches and other international environmental regulations and treaties.

“USCIB plans to submit a scoping paper for business on the GPE, raising questions and concerns based on what has already been agreed in relation to the GPE, such as the extent of U.S. business involvement in the negotiation process, assessment of GPE implications for international environmental policy and potential implications for the SDGs and existing environmental treaties, arising from the proposed GPE,” noted Rigg Herzog.

USCIB will work with the Administration to communicate member views on GPE developments, and plan for USCIB engagement in the first substantive negotiations on the GPE that will be held in January 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Please contact Norine Kennedy for more information, or to get involved in USCIB’s Environment Committee.

USCIB Member Marriott Announced Winner of Prestigious Integrity Award

Marriott International has been announced as the 2018 winner of the Coalition’s award.
USCIB works with the Coalition for Integrity on anti-bribery and anti-corruption issues, many of them related to the OECD’s Anti-bribery Convention.

 

For the fifth time in eight years, a USCIB member company has won the coveted annual Corporate Leadership Award of the Coalition for Integrity, a leading U.S. anti-corruption organization.  Marriott International has been announced as the 2018 winner of the Coalition’s award.  The award will be presented at the Coalition’s annual Integrity Awards Dinner on October 29 in Washington, DC.

Marriott joins fellow USCIB member companies Bechtel, GE, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo as winners of the Corporate Leadership Award. USCIB has worked closely with the Coalition for Integrity on a range of anti-bribery and anti-corruption issues, many of them related to the OECD’s Anti-bribery Convention. USCIB Vice President for Investment and Financial Services Shaun Donnelly has been a longtime member of the Coalition for Integrity’s Policy Advisory Board.

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson congratulated Marriott on being selected for the Coalition’s prestigious award, “All of us at USCIB are delighted to see another outstanding USCIB member company recognized again this year with this major anti-corruption award.  USCIB has worked closely with the Coalition for Integrity in recent years to combat bribery and corruption in international business. Marriott has a well-deserved reputation as a leader in this important area and is a very deserving recipient of this award.  USCIB and our member companies are devoted to integrity and responsible business conduct.”

 

USCIB Decries Further Escalation of China Tariffs

“American companies and consumers are already feeling the impact of earlier tariffs. The administration’s latest moves will only make matters worse.”

Washington, D.C., September 17, 2018 – Responding to the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most competitive global companies, issued the following statement:

“American business reiterates its call for the U.S. and China to take immediate steps to de-escalate their trade conflict, which risks upending financial markets and doing lasting damage to the U.S. and global economies.

“As we have stated on numerous occasions, including the recent U.S. public hearings on these tariffs, American companies and consumers are already feeling the impact of earlier tariffs, in the form of rising costs and operational disruptions. The administration’s latest moves will only make matters worse.

“While we support efforts to compel China to change its discriminatory trade practices negatively affecting U.S. companies, these new tariffs are unlikely to achieve such a goal, as we fully expect the Chinese government to retaliate, with American consumers and small businesses bearing a significant portion of the cost.

“We continue to believe that a better solution is for the United States and its trading partners to apply concerted pressure to address China’s unfair trading behavior, especially via the WTO, in ways that do not place the primary burden on America’s consumers, workers, farmers and companies.”

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

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

2019 OECD Tax Conference

Save the Date!

The 2019 OECD International Tax Conference, June 3-4

Four Seasons Hotel, Washington

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 to discuss the latest developments in international taxation.  At this year’s conference, Kevin Hassett, Chairman of The Council of Economic Advisors, delivered keynote remarks. Other senior tax officials from the U.S. and other key countries involved in the OECD’s international tax work participated on panels covering 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 ebreitenbucher@uscib.org).

2018 Final Agenda

2018 Speaker Biographies

2018 Photos

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
  • Brian Ernewein – General Director (Legislation), Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance, Canada
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury
  • Lafayette (Chip) G. Harter – Deputy Assistant Secretary (International Tax Affairs), U.S. Treasury
  • Doug O’Donnell – Commissioner, Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, IRS
  • 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
  • Michael Graetz – Professor of Tax Law, Columbia Law School
  • 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 Sponsors:

EY_Logo

 

PWC

 

 

Print

Black Deloitte Logo

exxonmobil

 

 

For information on how to become a sponsor, please contact Abby Shapiro (617-515-8492 or ashapiro@uscib.org). 

 

Presented by:

USCIB logo

OECD

Business at OECD Logo - 2016

In association with:

IFA Logo
ITPF
NFTC logo
Organization for International Investment

Tax Executives Institute, Inc.

Taxation

 

Fountain pen on tax

Chair

Bill Sample
Consultant
Microsoft Corporation

Vice Chair

Timothy M. McDonald
Vice President, Finance & Accounting, Global Taxes
The Procter & Gamble Company

Vice Chair

Will Morris
Deputy Global Tax Policy Leader
PwC

Staff

Carol Doran Klein
Vice President and International Tax Counsel
202-682-7376 or cdklein@uscib.org

Erin Breitenbucher
Senior Policy & Program Associate and Office Manager, Washington
202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org

Working Groups / Subcommittees

BIAC/ICC Subcommittee

Inbound Investment Subcommittee

Legislative and Administrative Developments Subcommittee

Tax Treaties Subcommittee

Transfer Pricing Subcommittee

Working Group on Consumption Taxes

Working Group on the Digital Economy

Working Group on Environment and Energy Taxes

Working Group on Financial Services Issues

Working Group on Permanent Establishment Issues

What’s at Stake for Business

  • Multiple sets of inconsistent rules drive up costs and result in double taxation.
  • Double taxation will have a negative impact on global trade and investment.

Current Priorities

  • Provide leadership and business perspective on key OECD projects including BEPS, taxation of the digital economy, transfer pricing guidelines, permanent establishment rules.  USCIB works closely with BIAC on OECD issues.
  • Urge the OECD to consider the need for a predictable fiscal environment that will protect and encourage cross-border trade and investment in the context of developing and implementing BEPS recommendations.
  • Provide input to the IRS on important guidance projects, including those resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Successfully manage the 2019 OECD International Tax Conference in Washington, DC on June 3-4, 2019.

USCIB at Work

USCIB plays a leading role in advocating sound, consistent international taxation policies and opposes any efforts to unfairly increase the tax burden on companies in several forums:

  • At the OECD, leading voice through BIAC informing policymakers on the unintended negative consequences resulting from unilateral actions.
  • At the UN, providing business input at the UN’s Committee of Tax Experts including on changes to the UN Model and UN Transfer Pricing Guidance.
  • In Washington, promoting business interests to U.S. Treasury and House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees on International Tax Reform and U.S, competitiveness.
  • The Committee has a deep technical knowledge of the practical applications of tax policy and works to prevent any policies that may have unintended negative consequences.
  • On the Steering Committee of the BIAC Taxation Committee where we influence both agenda setting and policy development in the OECD.

Who We Are

The USCIB Tax Committee is composed of USCIB member companies representing a range of business and industry sectors. Advocacy priorities are determined that reflect consensus among the members.

Mission

The Committee works to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. business by promoting sound, appropriate and consistent international tax policy and also to prevent and eliminate government policies that result in double taxation in a range of strategic forums:

  • The OECD, particularly on the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
  • The United Nations
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury

Recent Accomplishments

News Stories

OECD Tax Conference Assesses Tax Reform Impacts (6/6/2018) - Months after the signing into law of the most fundamental tax reform in the U.S. in over 30 years, the annual OECD International Tax Conference, organized by USCIB in cooperation with the OECD and Business at OECD, convened earlier this week in Washington, D.C. to assess the impact of the new law on U.S. multinational companies, reforms in other countries, as well as on cross-border trade and investment. Months after the signing into law of the most fundamental tax reform in the U.S. in over 30 years, the annual OECD International Tax Conference, organized by USCIB in cooperation with the OECD and Business at OECD, convened earlier this week in Washington, D.C. to assess the impact of the new law on U.S. multinational companies, reforms in other countries, as well as on cross-border trade and investment.
OECD Tax Conference: Global Challenges in the Context of U.S. Tax Reform (5/2/2018) - OECD Tax Conference: Global Challenges in the Context of U.S. Tax Reform

Read More

Press Releases

OECD Tax Conference: Global Challenges in the Context of U.S. Tax Reform (5/2/2018) - OECD Tax Conference: Global Challenges in the Context of U.S. Tax Reform
USCIB Statement on the U.S. Election Results (11/9/2016) - USCIB congratulated Donald Trump on his election as president, saying a top priority for the new administration should be a strategy for U.S. engagement with the wider world.

Read More

Robinson Meets With B20 Business and Labor Leaders

L-R: IOE President Erol Kiresepi, US Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson in Mendoza, Argentina

As preparations accelerate for this year’s Group of 20 Summit, which kicks off November 30 in Buenos Aires, host country Argentina held a number of key meeting of business, labor and other stakeholders on September 6-7 in the Andean foothills city of Mendoza. USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson attended alongside high-level representatives of G20 governments, business and labor.

Among the gatherings were the G20 Labor Ministerial, which featured cabinet-level labor officials from each of the G20 nations, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, and the Global Employers Forum, organized by the B20 (Business 20), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Deloitte.

At the latter event, USCIB’s Robinson took part in a discussion on implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, alongside Kyra Kaszynski of Deloitte and Dante Pesce, chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. Pointing to the Business for 2030 platform launched by USCIB to align business activities with the SDGs, Robinson urged governments and employers groups to do their utmost to foster support for the SDGs in their national business communities, including among small and medium-sized enterprises.

L-R: Gerhard Braun (BDA), IOE President Erol Kiresepi, B20 Chair Daniel Funes, B20 Policy Sherpa Fernando Landa and USCIB’s Peter Robinson

“Many SMEs connect with larger companies via cross-border commerce, trade, and investment,” Robinson stated. “So there can be a link and opportunity for larger companies to pass these ‘good business practice’ principles on to smaller national firms, both through supply chain links and and by making expectations clear.”

Recognizing the relevance of cooperation and constructive discussion, business leaders released joint B20 statements on employment and education. “As key priorities for the G20 Argentine presidency, both statements aimed to provide concrete, consensus-based, policy recommendations focusing on implementation,” the B20 stated. “In this collaborative spirit, our mission has been to identify and address current challenges and opportunities in the fields of education and employment while advancing with a concrete call to action for G20 countries. We believe these are valuable efforts to lead the way into more sustainable and inclusive societies.”

Robinson, IOE President Erol Kiresepi and Gerhard Braun, vice president of the German employers federation BDA, serve as co-chairs of the B20 Employment and Education Task Force. The B20 will hold its summit in advance of the G20, on October 4-5 in Buenos Aires.

 

USCIB Submits Comments on China 301 Tariffs

Tariffs of 10-25 percent are contemplated
Negative impact could exceed actual harm from Chinese trade abuses

On September 6, USCIB submitted extensive comments on the Trump administration’s proposed $200 billion list of tariffs on imports from China, following up on earlier submissions in response to the quickly escalating trade conflict between the United States and China.

“USCIB and its members continue to be very concerned about the potential unintended consequences these proposed tariffs of 10 or 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are likely to have, affecting many sectors vital to the U.S. economy and jobs,” the USCIB statement said. “Particularly if [the U.S. Trade Representative’s office] imposes 25 percent tariffs on this broad list of products, these tariffs will impact consumers and will severely impact U.S. competitiveness. The negative impact of such tariffs to U.S. consumers and industry appears disproportionate to the intended purpose.”

The statement said that, while China’s forced technology transfer requirements and other abusive practices harm U.S. competitiveness, the administration’s “sweeping tariffs endanger the U.S. economy in similar ways.” USCIB said its members are “very concerned that these proposed tariffs will stifle the U.S. economy, and not achieve the important goal of changing China’s behavior.”

The statement also recommended a number of changes to the list of tariffs being proposed by the administration. USCIB also signed on to a broader industry statement appealing to the Trump administration not to proceed with the proposed tariffs, saying the effort would likely backfire against U.S. businesses and workers.

In August, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony to the 301 Committee chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, expressing concern about the proposed tariffs’ potential unintended consequences.

Business Must Help Governments Chart New Course in Trade Policy, Writes ICC Secretary General

ICC Secretary General John Denton published a letter in Financial Times on September 5 titled, “Let’s be constructive on trade and not just vent.” The letter responds to recent critique of a “muted response from U.S. chief executives to the ongoing escalation in global trade tensions,” particularly in response to President Donald Trump‘s threat to pull the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“It is certainly true that there is an imperative for business to stand behind the multilateral trading system — now more so than ever,” writes Denton. “But I would suggest that the private sector has much more to offer than simply voicing its (well-founded) concerns. “Rather than adding fuel to the fire of an already polarized debate, business leaders must instead focus on helping governments chart a new course for trade policy-making that deals meaningfully with the pressures now building in the global economy. If tariffs are not the answer, then what are the alternatives? And how can the WTO, to use Mr Trump’s vernacular, best ‘shape up’ to avoid the U.S. shipping out?”

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