Hampl Leads Group for NAFTA Lobby Day to Voice Concerns

With the next NAFTA negotiating round now set for Mexico City later this month, USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl joined more than 100 representatives from the business and agriculture community last Wednesday for a second NAFTA House Lobby Day. The Lobby Day gave business representatives the opportunity to talk about business concerns and perspectives regarding the ongoing negotiations to modernize NAFTA and to increase support on the leadup to the next round of negotiations, scheduled for February 26 to March 6.

Hampl led one of the groups on the Hill, which included representatives from other associations and companies from the business and agriculture community. “The diversity of sectors represented was extremely helpful in getting our message across,” said Hampl. “Our group alone met with 9 offices throughout the day, receiving generally positive feedback about supporting our issues and concerns, including potential interest in signing on to a House NAFTA letter.”

Hampl will be traveling to Mexico for part of the next round at the end of February.

Ericsson’s Kallay to Chair USCIB Competition Committee

New York, N.Y, February 15, 2018 – A telecommunications industry executive has been tapped to spearhead a top U.S. business group’s work on global antitrust policy. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) has announced that Dina Kallay, head of antitrust (IPR, Americas & Asia-Pacific) at Ericsson, a leading global supplier of telecommunications equipment and services, will chair its Competition Committee.

USCIB, whose member include hundreds of America’s most competitive global companies, represents private-sector views to governments and policy makers worldwide. It does so via its affiliations with global business groups to focus especially on the work of the International Competition Network (ICN) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“We are delighted that Dina Kallay will lend her expertise and industry leadership to our work on global competition and antitrust policy,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “As the U.S. continues to look to the ICN and OECD to foster international convergence and cooperation on competition law, including the coordination of cartel enforcement, we intend to serve as an even stronger voice for business in these forums.”

Prior to joining Ericsson in 2013, Kallay served as counsel at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Office of International Affairs, where she focused on Asian and multilateral competition matters as well as on worldwide antitrust intellectual property matters. She previously worked at the European Commission’s antitrust agency (DG COMP), and practiced antitrust and intellectual property law at a number of law firms, most recently at Howrey LLP. Kallay is vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law I.P. Committee and a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School.

The USCIB Competition Committee promotes international legal policies that favor an open and competitive environment for U.S. business. The committee monitors global competition developments and contributes industry’s perspective through USCIB’s global network.

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence.  Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing 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
+1 917 420 0039, jhuneke@uscib.org

Wanner Helps Lead ICANN Intercessional Meeting in California

USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner attended a meeting in Los Angeles, California earlier this month in her capacity as a member of the Business Constituency (BC) Executive Committee of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The February 1-2 meeting, known as the 5th Non-Contracted Party House (NCPH) Intersessional, brought together seven delegates from each of the six Commercial Stakeholder Group and Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group constituencies within ICANN. The two-day gathering, featuring Wanner and BC Chair Claudia Selli, AT&T, among other USCIB members, served as a dedicated forum for discussions about domain name policy and procedural “in-house” issues that regular ICANN meetings often cannot accommodate.

“Overall, the meeting was notable in highlighting the two houses’ shared values and potential for collaboration, but also indicating some challenges,” Wanner said. In particular, the meeting enabled the two houses to explore with ICANN CEO Göran Marby and members of the Board many concerns – both shared and differing – about the implications of the May 25, 2018 implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on ICANN’s WHOIS database policies and the contractual obligations of Registries and Registrars.

“These discussions were especially timely in view of ICANN’s plan to select an interim GDPR-compliant WHOIS model in the coming weeks,” Wanner noted. The NCPH and ICANN’s Contracted Party House can be expected to seek clarity about elements of the interim compliance model at ICANN 61, which will be held on March 10-15 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other topics explored at the NCPH Intersessional included the status of ongoing work aimed at revising procedures for the next launch of new top-level domain names, challenges to improving protective mechanisms for brand names and intellectual property, and expanding transparency at ICANN legal with respect to invoking attorney/client privilege for various processes.

Politico Highlights Business at OECD Work on Colombia Accession

In light of Secretary Tillerson’s upcoming trip to South America, Politico published an article highlighting unresolved concerns surrounding Colombia’s accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including on intellectual property and transparency.

USCIB has long been advocating on these issues, particularly through Business at OECD and most recently through a document, which Politico references.

“This important advocacy document, which contains pre-accession recommendations for issues Colombia should address before acceding to the OECD, to be included in the OECD Trade Committee’s Formal Opinion, was developed by BIAC, with significant USCIB input on US industry priority issues,” noted Eva Hampl, USCIB director of investment, trade and financial services.

Taxation

 

Fountain pen on tax

Chair

Bill Sample
Vice President – Tax
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, transfer pricing guidelines for intangibles, 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.
  • Support enactment of foreign tax simplification provisions in the IRC that would significantly reduce the burden of complexity for U.S. companies and enhance their international competitiveness.
  • Successfully manage the 2018 OECD International Tax Conference in Washington, DC on June 4-5, 2018.

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.

Recent Advocacy Engagement

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.  USCIB is also:

  • Engaging with the OECD by submitting comment letters and participating in Public Consultations and informal consultations on BEPS to advocate for the need of effective dispute resolution and clarity in guidance regarding all BEPS outcomes.
  • Citing business concerns with BEPS and noting the threat of double taxation and its negative impact on global trade and investment in letters sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
  • 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

USCIB Urges President Trump: Secure Growth Through Engagement (1/8/2018) - As the annual State of the Union address approaches, USCIB is urging President Trump to use the occasion to commit his administration to pursuing strong U.S. economic growth and improved competitiveness by engaging with our trading partners and key international institutions. In a letter to the president, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson wrote: “It […]
Fall/Winter 2017 Issue of International Business Now Live (11/29/2017) - The Fall/Winter 2017 issue features USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson‘s column on “The Global Goals: a blueprint for partnership and action” as well as articles on developments in the UN General Assembly, NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

Read More

Press Releases

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.
USCIB Welcomes Treasury White Paper Criticizing EU State Aid Investigations (8/24/2016) - USCIB welcomed the U.S. Treasury’s statement criticizing the European Commission’s ongoing state aid investigations, aimed at recouping prior-year tax benefits.

Read More

USCIB Spells Out Priorities for U.S. Trade Policy

Presses for enforcement, open markets and more competitive workforce

Washington, D.C., January 24, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which advises the U.S. government on trade and commercial policy and represents American companies in global business and intergovernmental forums, today laid out its priorities for U.S. trade policy. In its 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda, the group said it is committed to a global rules-based trade and investment system, will support enforcement of existing U.S. trade pacts, and will push for new market-opening agreements for U.S. exports and investment.

“Opening global markets for American goods, services and investment is critical for our future prosperity,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Doing so requires strong enforcement of existing agreements, as well as their renegotiation where our commercial interests dictate. But it also demands a robust, ‘all-of-the-above’ approach, encompassing vigorous leadership by the United States in international negotiations to develop effective rules and open up new areas for liberalization of cross-border trade and investment.”

Robinson said that, as the U.S. works to open overseas markets, it needs policies and programs to support U.S. workers and improve workforce competitiveness. “While trade is dwarfed by technological and other factors in driving changes in jobs and skills, we need to make sure that are doing everything we can to stay ahead of the inevitable dislocations and build a workforce for the 21st century,” he said.

USCIB’s 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda identifies numerous priorities for American trade policy. Among its top priorities, USCIB pledged to:

  • work for effective enforcement of existing agreements, as well as to advance negotiations and agreements that improve market access for U.S. companies within a dynamic, rules-based system
  • stress the importance of U.S. engagement and leadership in creating and enforcing rules for international trade and investment, including protection of U.S. investments abroad
  • urge the Trump administration not to introduce new proposals in NAFTA that will weaken existing provisions, or negate the benefits that U.S. companies derive from the U.S. being part of NAFTA
  • urge the administration to initiate negotiations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure that American goods and services companies have open and fair access to their markets
  • work with the administration to develop a coherent strategy for pressing China to further open its markets to U.S. companies, and eliminate the proliferating Chinese policies aimed at hindering access, in a framework that maintains stability in the relationship
  • leverage USCIB’s unique global business network to build international consensus on trade and investment policy.

Download the full USCIB 2018 Trade and Investment Agenda here.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, 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
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212.703.5043

BIAC Issues Statement on Future OECD Accessions

As more countries in Europe and Latin America apply for membership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Business at OECD (BIAC) Executive Board issued a statement this week noting, in part, that a commitment to open markets should guide any decision to the opening of accession negotiations.

The letter emphasizes: “the accession process should encourage countries to improve their business environment and engage in the necessary reforms,” noting that “more than ever, business depends on an enabling environment to support trade and investment in global markets.”

The OECD has yet to respond to the applicant countries (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania) as OECD enlargement on this scale raises important questions on the mission and governance of the organization. For countries that will receive a positive response, acceding to the OECD entails a multi-year review process where all 25 major OECD committees evaluate, in confidential sessions, the policies of the candidate country and the improvements it must make to fully apply the body of OECD instruments and standards.

USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl will be providing input on behalf of U.S. business into this process. “USCIB members have significant business interests in many of these markets,” said Hampl. “These future accession processes provide an opportunity to ensure a high standards and a level playing field for our companies.”

USCIB Gears Up for NAFTA Talks in Montreal This Week

The sixth round of NAFTA negotiations is taking place in Montreal, Canada this week with a concluding Ministerial scheduled for Monday, January 29. USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl will be traveling to Montreal tomorrow for meetings with negotiators and key officials. This round presents a great opportunity to push forward on many chapters vital to U.S. business, and make progress in the discussions surrounding the more controversial provisions that have been tabled.

As a lead up to the talks in Montreal, Hampl participated in the Senate Lobby Day on the Hill last week, speaking with a range of Republican and Democratic offices. Throughout the day, about 150 members of the NAFTA Coalition met with as many Senate offices as possible, raising business issues of concern.

“We emphasized the outstanding issues regarding the problematic proposals of a sunset clause, investor-state dispute settlement, auto rules of origin, and government procurement,” said Hampl. “We also made the point that there are many chapters that are making progress, including customs and digital trade, which are vital for business and should get closed out as soon as possible.”

 

Official Report from USCIB Nutrition Event Now Published

Wilton Park USA, in partnership with the USCIB Foundation and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), has published a report as follow up to last October’s successful joint dialogue on “No More Missed Opportunities: Advancing Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve the Global Nutrition Goals.” The report summarizes the details of the meeting as well as the “Principles of Engagement,” which were developed during the meeting to provide a useful framework through which to approach future public-private partnership and a valuable reference point for developing effective solutions.

The report concludes that “effective partnerships and better nutrition outcomes can be facilitated through policy and legislative frameworks more conducive to collaboration. This could include better application of the clout of financiers, shareholders, and consumers on the business side and constituencies, NGOs, and civil servants on the government side.”

“Every country is now struggling with some aspect of malnutrition, and a growing number are experiencing both undernutrition and obesity,” said USCIB Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener, who leads USCIB’s policy work on nutrition, food and health. “The roundtable sought to support the accelerated achievement of internationally agreed global nutrition goals, and broader commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by convening a high-level group of leaders from government, business and other key stakeholders.”

This meeting aimed to tackle the problem of poor diet as the number one risk factor for early death, contributing to 20 percent of global deaths, with the burden falling disproportionately on children under five and women of reproductive age, a situation nutrition experts have described as a “missed opportunity” (Lancet, 2013). Each year, malnutrition is a factor in almost half of the six million deaths of children under five, and 159 million children are stunted, with impacts on their physical and cognitive abilities that last a lifetime. More than 500 million women are anemic, with an increased risk of maternal death and delivering premature and low-birth-weight babies. At the same time, 600 million adults are obese, and 420 million have diabetes, with rates rising steeply.

USCIB in the News: Fighting for American Business

Throughout 2017, USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, alongside other USCIB leaders and staff, garnered important coverage from the news media on issues critical to USCIB members. Policy issues ranged from NAFTA and the need to enshrine investor protections to the need for reform at the United Nations.

USCIB members and committee leaders, particularly Jerry Cook of Hanesbrands and Tam Nguyen of Bechtel, also made headlines on issues such as customs and trade facilitation and the evolution of corporate sustainability standards, respectively.

“USCIB won important news coverage in a wide variety of areas,” said Jonathan Huneke, USCIB’s vice president for communications and public affairs. “Thanks to outstanding thought leadership from USCIB President Robinson, as well as committee leaders and our staff experts, we were able to consistently punch above our weight, holding our own in a crowded media environment.”

Read the full 2017 media review here. To request an interview with a USCIB expert, contact USCIB Communications.