USCIB Joins Coalition in Urging Specific US Government Action on US-China Trade

USCIB joined Americans for Free Trade, a multi-industry coalition consisting of over 150 members, to send a letter to President Donald Trump on April 22 regarding upcoming U.S.-China trade talks.

The Coalition letter urged the U.S. government to fully and immediately remove all recently imposed tariffs, including U.S. tariffs and China’s retaliatory tariffs as part of a final deal, while also encouraging the U.S. to come up with a deal that levels the playing field for U.S. companies by achieving meaningful changes to address China’s unfair trade practices that put American technology, innovation and intellectual property at risk.

Regarding unfair trade practices, the letter stated: “For too long, China has engaged in unfair trading practices, including forced technology transfer, cyber theft, intellectual property violations and more. We hope any final deal will resolve the structural issues that are at the core of the trade dispute in order to fully protect American technology, innovation, and intellectual property.”

The letter also urged the government to avoid any enforcement mechanism that would trigger further tariffs and obtain clarity on how the tariff exemption process will be carried out in the event of a deal.

Finally, the group also urged an economic assessment by the Administration examining the costs of tariffs for American businesses and consumers.

Americans for Free Trade represents companies that employ tens of millions of American workers and provide goods and services to virtually every corner of the United States.

Latest US Business Tax Dialogue With OECD to Focus on Digital Economy

Washington, D.C., April 23, 2019 – With national governments jostling over the appropriate means to tax the activities of fast-growing global tech companies, the G20 has called on the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to deliver a solution by 2020 to the tax challenges posed by the digital economy.

Against this backdrop, American and other global companies will meet with key officials from the OECD and national governments at a high-level conference, June 3-4 in Washington, D.C.

The 2019 OECD International Tax Conference, which will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel, will provide a unique opportunity for business experts to interact directly with key leadership from the OECD’s Center for Tax Policy and Administration (CTFA), along with senior tax officials from the United States and other OECD countries.

The conference is the 14th annual gathering on global tax policy developments convened by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), in cooperation with the 36-nation OECD and its official private-sector advisory body Business at OECD (also known as BIAC). Details on the event are available at www.uscibtax.org.

“With the taxation of the digitalizing economy on a fast-track at the OECD, this year’s conference comes at just the right time,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “All companies are potentially affected by the changes that are being considered. We will also be looking closely at tax and development policy, the latest developments in tax treaties, transfer pricing and the tax implications of Brexit. It’s really a must-attend event for global tax professionals.”

Key speakers at this year’s conference include:
Pascal Saint-Amans – Director of the Center for Tax Policy & Administration, OECD
Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director of the CTPA, OECD
Martin Kreisenbaum – Director General, International Taxation, German Ministry of Finance
Lafayette (Chip) Harter – Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs, U.S. Treasury
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – Economist and International Development Expert (Nigeria)
Doug O’Donnell – Commissioner, Large Business and International Division, IRS
Mike Williams – Director of Business and International Tax, HM Treasury (UK)
Will Morris – Chair, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
Bill Sample – Chair, USCIB Tax Committee

The tax event continues USCIB’s fruitful collaboration with the OECD and BIAC on digital economy topics, following upon a USCIB-hosted March conference in Washington, D.C. on the OECD’s “Going Digital” project.

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 (BIAC), 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, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

UN Partnership Forum Underscores Improving Relationship with Business

Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohamed opened the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Partnership Forum with a reminder to Forum participants that “we are all development actors.” The 2019 Forum, held at the UN headquarters in New York, convened representatives from governments, across the UN system, NGOs and business to share experiences on how to design and promote successful effective partnerships and how partnerships can advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its 17 SDGs.

Ann Cairns, vice chairman of Mastercard, highlighted the necessity of enabling frameworks for partnerships, stating that the challenge is to “build out an ecosystem that works, country by country, for partnerships, and people have to be able to use that system.”

Three main sessions considered:

  • How to build effective country level partnership platforms
  • Multi-stakeholder partnership as a lever for inclusion and impact
  • Raising ambition for UN associated-partnerships

Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB work on strategic international engagement, energy and environment, spoke on behalf of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), to draw attention to the importance of pursuing open, transparent and inclusive business involvement in informing and advancing UN outcomes and initiatives.

“In light of the substantial challenges ahead in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we should open the doors wide to partnership with the private sector,” stated Kennedy.

The Partnership Forum is part of the annual round of UN 2030 Agenda related meetings leading up to the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF). While the HLPF holds deliberations on clusters of SDGs year by year, SDG 17 on partnerships is reviewed every year. Framed as a goal to “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development,” SDG17 is being re-interpreted to emphasize partnerships with the full variety of non-governmental actors, including the private sector.

Donnelly Returns to State as “Economic Leadership” Panelist  

L-R: Manisha Singh (US Department of State); Charles Rivkin (Motion Picture Association of America); Shaun Donnelly (USCIB)

USCIB Vice President for Investment Policy and Financial Services Shaun Donnelly was invited back to the Department of State last week as a featured panelist at the annual “Economic Leadership Day,” session, organized by the three bureaus at State working primarily on economic issues.

Prior to joining USCIB in 2011, Donnelly led a long career as a Department of State Foreign Service Officer and held several senior State Department economic positions including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business (“EB”) Affairs, which is the third highest ranking economic policy post at the Department, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary (“DAS”) for Trade Policy, DAS for International Energy Policy and Economic Sanctions and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

At last week’s session, Donnelly joined President and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America Charlie Rivkin, who is the former EB Assistant Secretary and former U.S. Ambassador to France, on a panel moderated by Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh.  The panel, entitled “Don’t Stagnate, Innovate!” featured Donnelly and Rivkin offering advice to and answering questions from economic officers across the Department on lessons from the private sector for Department officers. In his wrap-up remarks, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan underlined his and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s strong support for economic policy work and commercial advocacy on behalf of U.S. business as top priorities of the Department of State.

“I was honored to join Ambassador Rivkin and Assistant Secretary Manisha Singh on a free-wheeling panel at State’s Economic Leadership Day,” said Donnelly. I’ve spent the bulk of my professional career doing economic policy work at the State Department so these issues of the roles of the Department of State and the people there doing economic work are near and dear to my heart.  I really enjoyed the exchanges and the follow-up private conversations, especially with younger State Department officers with long careers ahead.  Anything we at USCIB can do to promote more interactions, better coordination between the Department and leading U.S. firms is to everyone’s benefit. I commend Assistant Secretary Singh and her team for an excellent event.”

USCIB Meets With UN High Commissioner on Human Rights

L-R: Michelle Bachelet Jeria (UN); Gabriella Rigg Herzog (USCIB); Peter Robinson (USCIB)

USCIB was honored to host the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet Jeria during the annual spring meeting of USCIB’s Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Committee on April 11 in Washington, DC.

USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog welcomed the High Commissioner and emphasized the U.S. business community’s firm commitment to respecting human rights across the world in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGP serves as the global framework for governments, business and civil society regarding business and human rights.

The High Commissioner reflected on her experience to date as the global ambassador for human rights and stressed the need for all stakeholders – business, governments and civil society – to play an active and constructive role in advancing human rights around the world.

L-R: Roberto Suarez (IOE); Mthunzi Mdwaba (ILO); Michelle Bachelet Jeria (UN); Peter Robinson (USCIB); Gabriella Rigg Herzog (USCIB)

“Many USCIB corporate member’s individual and collective efforts to implement the UNGPs are underway,” said Herzog during her welcoming remarks. “USCIB and many of its members plan to highlight these actions and progress at the 8th UN Annual Forum on Business & Human Rights in Geneva this November. We have actively participated in the UN Annual Forum every year since its inception in 2012 and are pleased that for the first time this important meeting will center on the fundamental role that governments must play in carrying out their duty to pass laws that meet international human rights standards, and then effectively enforcing those laws within their own jurisdictions.”

United Nations General Assembly Commemorates ILO Centennial

L-R: Secretary General of IOE Roberto Suarez; IOE Vice-President to the ILO
Mthunzi Mdwaba; President of the International Organization of Employers Erol Kiresepi; USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson

As the International Labor Organization celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary this year, the United Nations commemorated this milestone at the UN General Assembly on April 10 under the theme “The Future of Work.” The commemorative plenary was attended by heads of state, ministers, heads of delegations from permanent missions to the UN, and representatives from the private sector, including USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. 

Opening statements were made by President of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, Secretary General of the UN António Guterres, Director General of the International Labor Organization Guy Ryder, President of the International Organization of Employers (IOE) Erol Kiresepi, and others.

As IOE Vice President for North America, Robinson also took part in a luncheon, co-hosted by Espinosa Garcés and Ryder, to discuss progress, good practices, and lessons learned toward achieving the eight Sustainable Development Goal (decent work and economic growth). The luncheon provided an opportunity for participants to take stock of the progress in the implementation of sustainable development objectives in the area of promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. According to Robinson, the luncheon provided a terrific opportunity to support the ILO as an example of inclusive multilateralism embodied in its tripartite structure.

“We at USCIB are proud to celebrate the ILO’s centennial, alongside our partners in the Department of Labor, the AFL-CIO and the International Organization of Employers’ worldwide membership,” said Robinson.

USCIB Joins US Labor Department in Celebrating ILO’s 100 Years

L-R: Ed Potter (USCIB); Cathy Feingold (AFL-CIO); Guy Ryder (ILO)

Ed Potter, who serves as Counsel for USCIB, took part in a high-profile discussion on April 12 hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The discussion was part of a broader set of meetings in 2019 celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The event last week, entitled “Shaping the World of Work: U.S. Engagement with the ILO,” focused on the instrumental role of U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins in leading the United States to join its first multilateral institution in 1934 – the ILO. 

The event also featured U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, Director-General of the ILO Guy Ryder, Director of the International Department of the AFL-CIO Cathy Feingold, and author of “The Woman Behind the New Deal,” Kristin Downey. 

Reflecting on the role the ILO plays in the world, Secretary Acosta noted in particular the ILO’s standard setting role and its work to highlight and address unacceptable child and forced labor practices in a number of countries around the world. Such poor labor practices also unfairly disadvantage U.S. businesses that prioritize doing business the right way with appropriate labor practices. On this point, Secretary Acosta stated, “free trade needs to include fair trade, and that means certain levels of labor standards that are enforced across the board, maintained, and that really should be prerequisites.”

Panelists reflected not only on the ILO’s history and achievements, but also looked ahead towards the ILO’s next hundred years and the role the ILO can play in addressing future priorities. Reflecting on the ILO’s unique governance structure in which governments, employers and workers all must come together for consensus decision-making, Potter stressed, “You can not underestimate the strength of the tripartite system that holds the ship together.” In terms of key milestones from a U.S. employer’s perspective, Potter cited the ILO’s 1944 Declaration of Philadelphia and the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work as formative frameworks which are all the more relevant today – especially as the ILO looks towards its next century. 

This upcoming June, some 6,000 ILO tripartite constituents will come together again at the ILO International Labor Conference to negotiate, among other items, a new ILO declaration focusing in broad strokes on its next 100 years.

“USCIB will participate actively again, representing U.S. employers, constructively engaging, and playing a key role in these critical deliberations to steer the ILO “ship” towards the next century,” said Gabriella Rigg Herzog, who leads USCIB’s work on labor policy.

See below for the panel discussion:

2019 OECD Tax Conference

Early Bird Registration Ends April 19th!

The 2019 OECD International Tax Conference, June 3-4

Four Seasons Hotel, Washington

June 3: 8:30am – 7:30pm
June 4: 8:00am – 1:00pm

Draft Agenda with Confirmed Speakers

Now in its 14th year, 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 (“CTPA”) as well as key members of the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs: including Pascal Saint-Amans, Director, CTPA, and Grace Perez-Navarro, Deputy Director, CTPA. Speakers will also include Martin Kreienbaum, Chair of the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and Director General for International Taxation at the German Federal Ministry of Finance, and Lafayette “Chip” Harter, Deputy Assistant Secretary – International Tax Affairs. This year’s conference will focus mainly on the OECD’s work on a global solution to the tax challenges posed by the digitalization of the economy. This work is on a fast track, with the G20 having asked OECD to deliver a global solution in 2020, with an update in June 2019. With G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Japan a few days after the conference, this event provides participants a unique opportunity to hear and discuss the latest developments on this important issue.

Registration Information

Information for Participants

Hotel Room Block

Key Topics:

  • Four sessions on the Tax Challenges of Digitalization covering Pillar 1 – Profit Allocation and Nexus, Pillar 2 – Minimum Taxes and Taxes on Base Eroding Payments and next steps
  • Tax Treaties and the Multilateral Instrument
  • Improving Tax Certainty – ICAP and MAP
  • Transfer Pricing
  • The International Tax Implications of Brexit

2019 Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – Economist and International Development Expert with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Central Europe and Latin America (Keynote Speaker)
  • Pascal Saint-Amans – Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Peter Robinson – President and CEO, USCIB
  • Russel Mills – Secretary General, Business at OECD
  • Martin Kreienbaum – Director General, International Taxation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury, United Kingdom
  • Alexandra MacLean – Director General, International and Large Business Directorate, Canada Revenue Agency
  • Harry Roodbeen – Director, International Tax and Consumer Tax, Ministry of Finance, The Netherlands
  • Gael Perraud – Co-Chair, OECD Task Force on the Digital Economy; Director of International Taxation and European Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Finance, France
  • 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
  • John C. C. Hughes, Director, APMA, Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, IRS
  • Achim Pross – Head of International Cooperation and Tax Administration, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Tomas Balco – Head of the Transfer Pricing Unit, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Sophie Chatel – Head of the Tax Treaty Unit, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Richard Collier – Senior Advisor, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Michael Graetz – Professor of Tax Law, Columbia Law School
  • Will Morris – Chairman, Business at OECD Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs; Vice Chair, USCIB Tax Committee
  • Bill Sample – Chairman, USCIB Tax Committee; Vice Chair, Business at OECD Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Tim McDonald – Vice Chair, USCIB Tax Committee
  • Louise Weingrod – Vice Chair, USCIB Tax Committee
  • Other Senior Treasury and Foreign Tax Policy Officials

For more information, including how to become a sponsor, please contact Erin Breitenbucher (202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org).

2018 Final Agenda

2018 Speaker Biographies

2018 Photos

More on USCIB’s Taxation Committee

2019 Sponsors:

PWC

 

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

In association with:

IFA Logo
ITPF
NFTC logo

Tax Executives Institute, Inc.

Global Business Endorses the ICN Framework for Competition Agency Procedures

Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019 – The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Association of in-house competition lawyers (ICLA), and the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) welcome the announced approval of the International Competition Network (ICN) Framework for Competition Agency Procedures (CAP), as an encouraging step towards a more sound and fair competition enforcement across the globe.

The CAP highlights and reinforces important due process principles in competition law investigations such as transparency and predictability, confidentiality, conflict of interest, representation by counsel, appropriate notice, privilege, independent review and reasonable time period for investigations. Competition agencies, businesses and consumers around the globe, all stand to gain from reinforcement of these core principles.

The CAP’s endorsement of non-discrimination in antitrust enforcement is key in today’s global marketplace and addresses a pertinent issue at the interface of competition law and trade law.

Our members hope that most, if not all, competition agencies opt into the CAP in the near future. We believe implementation of the CAP principles is key in any sound competition enforcement regime.

“The broad spread of antitrust regimes globally has highlighted the need for due process standards that support sound and predictable competition enforcement,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “We hope the CAP will bring the world’s competition agencies together in supporting a robust unified definition of basic fairness principles in competition investigations.”

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 at www.uscib.org.

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

USCIB Briefs Members on New Business and Society Initiatives 

L-R: Tom Woods (Wilton Park Foundation) and Mike Michener (USCIB)

USCIB held a special briefing on April 8 in Washington, DC with leading members, USCIB staff and the U.S. Department of State focusing on how USCIB is responding to challenges in the multilateral system around business and society.

Over thirty participants attended the briefing, hosted by USCIB member Beveridge and Diamond, including Director of the Office of Economic and Development Affairs from the U.S. Department of State Margy Bond, President of Woods International and Chairman of the Wilton Park USA Foundation Tom Woods and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. USCIB members in attendance included representatives from AT&T, Bayer, Cargill, Chevron, DHL Express, KPMG, McDonald’s and PepsiCo, among others.

Bond, who gave a keynote address, noted that USCIB members have been a driving force for constructive business engagement at the United Nations and emphasized that the U.S. government is focused on enhancing private sector involvement at and partnerships with the UN, which will not only help achieve global goals but also help promote growth and create jobs in the United States.

However, as business is expected to step up and provide the investment, innovation and capacity to scale solutions that can solve the world’s largest problems, USCIB members find themselves increasingly in the cross-hairs as anti-business sentiment continues to find traction among policymakers, NGOs and UN entities around the world.

“Our overriding concern is to promote trust and partnership between governments, international organizations and the private sector,” said Robinson. “All too often in recent years, we have seen the public and private sectors set against each other in international forums. We need to move beyond this, so that we can, together, tackle important global challenges like climate change, public health and nutrition, human rights and many others.”

With regards to trust, another value add to this meeting was an overview of the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer by Edelman Intelligence Managing Director  Kari Butcher. Butcher gave insight into the findings of this year’s report and how business can use the data in the report to move forward on solving today’s societal challenges.

Participants had the opportunity to discuss and learn about three new initiatives launched by the USCIB Foundation to respond to these challenges, as well as opportunities for greater engagement through USCIB. These new initiatives are designed to strengthen the pivotal role business plays in furtherance of the 2030 Agenda with regards to nutrition-related SDGs, inclusive engagement of business in key UN forums, and the private sector’s role as a trusted partner in meeting the challenges facing society.

Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB’s international strategic engagement and USCIB’s All in Campaign emphasized that, “the private sector brings value to the United Nations system. Its success is our success.”

The initiatives that were presented to members include:

  • Together for Nutrition Principles– a joint project between The USCIB Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the Wilton Park Foundation defining a set of principles for public-private sector engagement to advance the nutrition-related SDGs.
  • All In Campaign– an initiative bringing policymakers and global businesses together in key UN cities to begin a global conversation on opportunities for inclusive engagement with businesses from all industry sectors as essential to meeting the SDG goals and other 2015 outcomes.
  • Business in Society: A Crisis of Trust – a USCIB Foundation project that aims to better understand and influence attitudes and behaviors among policymakers through data, analysis and education to demonstrate that business can be profitable and still be trusted partners in meeting societal challenges.

Moving forward, all of the above will be highlighted in USCIB’s 2nd Annual Geneva Week May 6-10, the first All In Campaign Roundtable scheduled to take place in Geneva during Geneva Week, a planned event on the impact of business SDG partnerships on the margins of the High Level Political Forum in July in New York, as well as additional planned All In Campaign roundtables in cities around the world.  USCIB encourages members to participate and welcomes feedback.