USCIB Outlines Priorities for Trade Agreement With Japan

USCIB submitted comments to USTR outlining negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement
Japan is currently the fourth largest goods trading partner of the U.S.


USCIB submitted comments in late 2018 to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) outlining negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. USCIB supports negotiation of a comprehensive trade agreement with Japan as part of a broader strategy to open international markets for U.S. companies and remove barriers and unfair trade practices in support of U.S. jobs. USCIB outlined its priority issues, which include digital trade, intellectual property, media and entertainment services, investment, customs and trade facilitation, express delivery services, electronic payment services, regulatory coherence, government procurement and financial services.

Japan is currently the fourth largest goods trading partner of the U.S. and in 2017, Japan was the United States’ fourth largest export market as well. U.S. goods and services trade with Japan totaled an estimated $283.6 billion in 2017, with exports totaling $114 billion. The U.S. also has a surplus in services trade with Japan, totaling $13.4 billion.

“A successful trade agreement with Japan should cover not just market access for goods, but also address important services issues, as well as issues like digital trade and intellectual property,” said USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl. “We look forward to working with the Administration toward a favorable outcome for U.S. business in a U.S.-Japan FTA.”

USCIB welcomed the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) back in October 2015, noting at the time that a comprehensive, market-opening agreement would provide a significant boost to the United States.  The Administration has released negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan FTA, negotiations for which may begin as soon as late January.

USCIB, Keidanren Discuss Trade and Investment

USCIB’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan and USCIB’s Director for Trade, Finance and Investment Eva Hampl recently attended a dinner hosted by Keidanren, Japan’s leading business group. Mulligan and Hampl joined Keidanren’s delegation of over 40 business leaders to discuss trade, investment and the mutual interests and areas of partnerships shared by USCIB and Keidanren. 

Mulligan gave a brief presentation on the role USCIB plays and highlighted areas where USCIB and Keidanren have worked together in the past. In addition to commenting on NAFTA, Brexit, WTO and China, Mulligan discussed comparable affiliate roles at BIAC and IOE as well as the joint work USCIB and Keidanren have done together such as the op-ed last year on the Trans Pacific Partnership and the recent China letter on cybersecurity. Mulligan also touched upon Keidanren and USCIB’s partnership with regards to the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF) and the extensive collaboration between USCIB and Keidanren on climate change.

“USCIB greatly appreciates our productive partnership with our Japanese colleagues at Keidanren and we look forward to strengthening our ties on trade and investment issues,” said Mulligan.

USCIB’s Mulligan Weighs in on Asia Trade in Wharton Journal

As the Trump administration moves to shift the focus of U.S. trade policy away from larger multilateral pacts and toward bilateral deals, USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan was cited in a Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania online business journal Knowledge@Wharton in an article titled “Bilateral or Multilateral: Which Trade Partnerships Work Best?

Mulligan was quoted emphasizing the importance of the Asia-Pacific region for USCIB’s membership, saying, “Our hope is that [the U.S.] will pursue some other approach that will continue to open those markets and ensure that U.S. companies are able to compete and have access in those markets. The multilateral approach, we generally felt, had advantages [in] that you could get many countries at one time… [A] lot of U.S. businesses benefit from the global rules-based trade system.”

The full article can be accessed here.

USCIB in the News: Trump and Global Leadership

USCIB was recently cited in a Denver Post opinion piece highlighting President Donald Trump’s signal of “retreat from leading the world.” The op-ed, by Professor Ved Nanda of the University of Denver,  referred to a USCIB statement issued last week regarding Trump’s executive order to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In the statement, USCIB observed that the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 40 percent of the global economy and is a key market for future growth of U.S. companies, in part due to estimates that two-thirds of all middle-class consumers will be in Asia by 2030.

The op-ed also highlighted the need for continue U.S. leadership and closer cooperation with its allies. Click here to access the op-ed on the Denver Post’s website.

USCIB Urges Administration to Maintain Leadership on Trade

Harbor_tradeNew York, N.Y., January 23, 2017Peter M. Robinson, president and CEO of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“While we are disappointed that the United States will not take part in this ambitious and market-opening agreement, we hope this move sets the stage for future trade agreements that build upon the best in the TPP.

“As we noted in USCIB’s American Competitiveness Agenda 2017, which was released earlier today, the Asia-Pacific region is a very important market for U.S. business and the jobs they support. By 2030, two-thirds of all middle-class consumers in the world will be in Asia, so the area continues to be key to the future growth of many U.S. companies and their SME suppliers. We will work with Congress and the Administration to determine the best ways to further open markets in the Asia-Pacific region to U.S. goods and services, including by carrying forward key provisions from TPP.

“Maintaining U.S. leadership in the region should be a strategic priority. Trade relationships provide economic security but also important national security benefits. Letting other nations – including some with very different economic systems and priorities – write the rules in this fast-growing region would be a mistake. Moreover, some of our most important trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region have already ratified TPP or are continuing to undertake reforms consistent with the agreement.

“We encourage the Trump Administration to move quickly in pursuing its plan for the region, both to help American companies and workers compete, and to ensure that regional trade rules are not driven by others. We look forward to working with the Administration in support of these objectives.”

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. As the American affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, 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

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB, +1 212.703.5043

The U.S. and Mexico Must Work Together as Neighbors

Flag Badges of America and Mexico in PileUSCIB Chairman Terry McGraw has joined with ICC Mexico Chair Maria Fernanda Garza in a joint appeal for the United States and Mexico to work together to address common challenges of trade, immigration and security.

In a joint op-ed in the Mexican newspaper El Financiero, the two business leaders urged their compatriots to reject the antagonism emanating from the U.S. campaign trail, reminding readers of the direct and measurable benefits the North American Free Trade Agreement has brought to both Mexicans and Americans alike.

McGraw and Fernanda Garza finished by reiterating that the business communities of both the United States and Mexico are united in their support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which they urged their respective legislatures to ratify without delay.

Please see below for the English translation of the op-ed. To read it in Spanish on El Financiero’s website, click here.

USCIB and ICC Mexico each serve as their country’s national committees of the International Chamber of Commerce.


The U.S. and Mexico Must Work Together as Neighbors

By Harold McGraw III and María Fernanda Garza

If the U.S. presidential campaign has reminded us of anything, it is the importance of neighborliness. Just as your own neighborhood deteriorates if you and your neighbors don’t communicate or work together well, so it is in business and international affairs.

Right now, on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, we face a stark choice: build walls, foster mistrust and disengage our economies – or work together to continue building shared prosperity. As representatives of the business communities from both nations, we strongly urge our fellow countrymen and our leaders to choose the latter course.

Since the North American Free Trade Agreement was negotiated more than 20 years ago, Mexico and the United States have enjoyed an increasingly close and mutually beneficial relationship that builds on our respective strengths and abilities, our vibrant economies and vast resources, our unique position as neighbors and, most importantly, our peoples. Mexico, the U.S. and Canada have turned North America into one of the most important and most dynamic free trade areas in the world. It has taken foresight and resolve.

Bilateral trade between Mexico and the U.S. has multiplied by six since NAFTA’s entry into force, reaching nearly $500 billion in 2015. Mexico is now the second-largest export market for U.S. goods and its second-largest supplier. It is estimated that U.S. trade with Mexico supports some six million American jobs.

With a growing, $1 trillion economy and a developing middle class that eagerly consumes U.S. and other foreign products, Mexico is the world’s 9th-largest world importer, and it buys 16 percent of everything the U.S. sells to the world. It is the largest export market for California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and one of the three most important export markets for 29 other U.S. states.

This burgeoning trade relationship is built upon regional economic integration, cooperation and capitalizing on both nations’ competitiveness. Bilateral trade often occurs in the context of shared production, where manufacturers on each side of the border work together to produce goods. The development of robust supply chains as a result of NAFTA has translated into highly integrated trade in such key industries as automobiles, aerospace and electronics.

For instance, Mexican exports to the U.S. contain 40 percent of U.S. value-added, which is much higher than those from South Korea or China which are at five percent and four percent, respectively.

The U.S. and Mexico have a shared interest in fostering economic integration in North America, which is becoming, once again, the most competitive region in the world. Among other things, both countries need to ensure an efficient and secure border, the development of human capital for innovation and the growth of the services sector.

Businesses on both sides of the border firmly believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will further strengthen Mexico-U.S. relations, North American competitiveness and our shared prosperity by encouraging competition and setting new and modern disciplines in the Asia-Pacific Region. With TPP, North America will become an even more important export platform to the world, with the consequent creation of jobs. We therefore are urging our respective legislatures to quickly ratify the TPP.

Especially in the face of growing protectionist and isolationist sentiment, we cannot stress strongly enough the critical importance of closer cooperation between our two governments in fostering a strong U.S.-Mexico relationship – one that contributes to shared economic growth, competitiveness and prosperity throughout North America. As neighbors, we have a shared responsibility to keep the neighborhood safe and prosperous.

Harold McGraw III is chairman of the United States Council for International Business. Maria Fernanda Garza chairs the Mexican chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce.

What’s the Big Deal About Trade?

AIADA_TradeThe 2016 presidential race has brought trade under heavy fire, with both candidates opposing the the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Jonathan Huneke, USCIB vice president of communications and public affairs was quoted in an article by the American International Automobile Dealers Association about current misconceptions about trade.

Read the article

Jonathan Huneke, the vice president of Communications at the U.S. Council for International Business, echoes that belief, noting that many Americans believe the economic climate is working against them. “Despite steady growth in jobs since 2010, wage stagnation in the United States has led many in the United States to believe that the odds in the current economy are stacked against them,” he notes.

According to Huneke, “American dealers have a lot at stake in keeping our trade policy fundamentally open and forward-leaning. There is huge demand and growth potential for innovative automobiles that meet the needs of U.S. consumers. Many of the most innovative automakers rely heavily on the American market, and on skilled American workers, to compete globally.”

Huneke agrees. “Trade agreements serve important diplomatic and geopolitical purposes in addition to their economic benefits, something that most Americans probably understand,” he says. “For example, the TPP and TTIP agreements can play an important role at a time when we are seeking to strengthen our Asian and European alliances in the face of threats like North Korea and ISIS.”

Read the article

Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Vital Role in U.S.-Japan relations

The following op-ed by USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and Kunio Ishihara, vice chairman of the Japanese business federation Keidanren, appeared in The Seattle Times yesterday on the economic and geopolitical benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the United States, Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Ishihara led a Japanese business delegation to Seattle and other U.S. cities this week.

You can view the op-ed on The Seattle Times’ website at

USCIB Welcomes International Trade Commission Report on Trans-Pacific Partnership

Washington, D.C., May 18, 2016 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed today’s release of a long-awaited report by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the economic impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). USCIB said that the report’s publication represents a further step in the process of Congressional review and ultimate ratification of the landmark 12-nation agreement.

“Like others in the trade community, it will take us some time to scrutinize and digest this substantial study, but this is an important step in the process” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “We are confident that TPP will be, on balance, a plus for American workers and companies and the growth of the American economy. We support the continued process to move the agreement forward, and encourage Congress to review the ITC’s findings closely and weigh all aspects of this important, 21st-century trade agreement.”

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 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


Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or

US Labor Secretary Talks TPP at USCIB Meetings

(Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor)
L-R: Ariel Meyerstein (USCIB), Laura Rubbo (Disney), Thomas Perez (US Labor Department), Ronnie Goldberg (USCIB), Kevin Coon (Baker & McKenzie) (Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor)

USCIB members and government officials gathered in Washington, D.C. on May 3 and 4 to review several important upcoming events and initiatives regarding labor policy, business and human rights, and corporate social responsibility. Convening at the offices of Baker & McKenzie for the first of two yearly meetings, USCIB’s Corporate Responsibility Committee and Labor and Employment Policy Committee discussed member priorities and concerns about upcoming transnational regulatory events and initiatives throughout 2016.

On May 3, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez briefed members on a wide range of international labor policy issues. He expressed support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying it has the strongest labor provisions of any trade agreement the United States has ever negotiated, and noted he expects TPP to pass, but not without continued advocacy and support from the business community. Perez also made a pitch for apprenticeships to help spur youth employment, saying apprenticeships are broadly applicable in many different sectors. The current administration has backed-up its belief in job training and skills development with a $175 million new grant-making initiative.  And he argued America needs to do more on progressive paid leave for mothers to include more women in the workforce to keep the United States competitive with its peers. USCIB is actively involved in all these areas at the global level, particularly on apprenticeships, which it has advanced by helping establish the Global Apprenticeships Network (GAN) through its global partner, the International Organization of Employers (IOE). Eric Biel and Mark Mittelhauser of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs accompanied Secretary Perez and remained on hand to answer member questions.

Laura Chapman Rubbo (Walt Disney) chaired the committee meetings while USCIB Vice President for Labor Affairs, Corporate Responsibility and Corporate Governance Ariel Meyerstein facilitated the discussions. On the first day of meetings, members reviewed developments at the International Labor Organization (ILO), including the update of the ILO Multinational Enterprise Declaration and the General Discussion on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains that will take place at this June’s International Labor Conference; legal developments related to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; international tax avoidance and how it relates to illicit financial flows and human rights and development, and future of work developments at the OECD. Other government guests included Lewis Karesh, assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Labor Affairs, who briefed members on TPP’s labor provisions.

On the second day, members listened to presentations about new empirical studies benchmarking company responses to human trafficking regulation, international policy developments and company initiatives around ethical recruitment, public-private partnerships with USAID on labor rights capacity-building, partnerships with the U.S. Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau, and new software for issues management, benchmarking and stakeholder engagement. Government guests included Bama Athreya of USAID’s s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance and acting division chief of labor and employment rights; Prairie Summer of USAID’s Global Development Lab; Ana Aslan, global coordinator of the Better Work Program at the U.S. Department of Labor; and Josh Kagan, senior labor advisor for trade policy at the U.S. Department of Labor.

USCIB’s Labor Policy and Corporate Responsibility Committees will reconvene in early Fall 2016. The Committee will also have a substantial role in the upcoming 9th Annual Engaging Business Forum in Atlanta, hosted by the Coca-cola Company. For more information on the committee’s work and meetings please contact Ariel Meyerstein at