USCIB Submits Negotiating Objectives for US-UK Trade Agreement

Given a recent request for comments by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), USCIB submitted negotiating objectives for a U.S.-UK Trade Agreement on January 16. USCIB believes that continued U.S.-UK free trade is overwhelmingly in the interests of both countries and their global trading partners, provided that the agreement is a high standard and comprehensive bilateral trade and investment agreement. The UK is an important trade partner for the United States, currently being the seventh largest goods trading partner of the United States. U.S. goods and services trade with the UK totaled an estimated $231.9 billion in 2017, with exports totaling $123 billion.

“USCIB’s submission is based on the assumption that the UK will be successful in exiting the EU by March 29, 2019, allowing for the ability to negotiate trade agreements with trade partners outside of the EU,” said Eva Hampl, senior director for investment, trade and financial services. “With that in mind, priority issues for negotiations of a U.S-UK Trade Agreement raised in our submission include digital trade (including cross border data flows, forced localization, cybersecurity and digital taxation), intellectual property, media and entertainment services, financial services, electronic payment services, customs and trade facilitation, express delivery services, regulatory cohesion, investment, government procurement, and chemicals.”

The submission also emphasized the importance of improved regulatory cohesion across the United States, the UK, and the European market, which would likely be among the greatest gains from a future trade agreement between the United States and the UK.

“The objective of such improved regulatory cohesion is to facilitate trade in a way that ensures the existing market remains intact,” added Hampl. “It should thus be a key component in furtherance of the liberalizing trade objective that is driving the U.S.-UK trade relationship.”

USCIB’s submission also recalled its support of a comprehensive, high-standard Transatlantic Trade and Investment agreement, eliminating of tariff and no-tariff barriers on goods and services trade, including between the United States and the UK. The range of issues that were on the table at the time, ranging from strong investment protections, to increased trade facilitation, and regulatory coherence, continue to be of great importance to USCIB members.

USCIB will also provide testimony at the public hearing scheduled to take place on January 29, 2019 before the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) at the United States International Trade Commission.

New Video Highlights USCIB’s Value Add

USCIB has launched a new video highlighting the organization’s policy expertise, close working relationship with decision makers and links to key international business organizations. The video features many of USCIB’s policy experts including USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, USCIB Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener, USCIB Senior Director for Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl, USCIB Vice President for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy and USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog. (See video below.)

The video was presented at USCIB’s 2018 International Leadership Award Gala, which honored Unilever CEO Paul Polman.

USCIB International Business Magazine: Winter 2018 Issue

The Winter 2018 issue of USCIB’s quarterly International Business magazine is available here. The issue features a timely column by USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson titled, “Upholding Human Rights Requires Strong Partnerships.” The issue also features news stories on USCIB’s leadership in promoting food security and nutrition partnerships, the U.S.-China trade conflict, and USCIB’s artificial intelligence priorities, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“International Business,” USCIB’s quarterly journal, provides essential insight into major trade and investment topics, a high-level overview of USCIB policy advocacy and services, USCIB member news and updates from our global business network.

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USCIB in the News: Taxes, Trade and Tariffs

USCIB’s voice and views were reflected in many of the top stories of the past several months, which saw a heavy focus on taxes, trade and tariffs. USCIB and its global network were featured prominently in numerous stories covering NAFTA modernization, China tariffs and the OECD’s work on global tax policy.

In October, USCIB CEO and President Peter Robinson contributed a letter to the Financial Times in response to an editorial urging action on the digital divide. In his letter, Robinson noted that “public-private partnerships are indeed needed to broaden access to the internet, and companies are already moving ahead in this regard, in addition to taking action on their own.”

In discussing G20 trade tensions, USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan sat down with BBC World News to do a live television interview. Mulligan said that Trump is right to address the balance of trade between the U.S. and China, but that tariffs aren’t the answer and will ultimately cause higher prices and job losses.

To read more of USCIB activity in the media, please visit this link.

USCIB Outlines AI Policy Priorities

Digital technologies and the online environment enabled by them present unprecedented opportunity to raise productivity and generate economic growth.
Close cooperation with business can ensure that regulatory approaches create a holistic framework that enables business investment.

In response to a Federal Register request for information concerning the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research and Development Strategic Plan, USCIB submitted comments outlining AI policy priorities.

“USCIB members believe that digital technologies and the online environment enabled by them present unprecedented opportunity to raise productivity, foster creativity and innovation, generate economic growth, build trust, and enhance social prosperity,” said USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner. “Key to realizing these social and economic benefits, however, are policies that ensure an open, safe, secure, stable, interoperable, seamless, and sustainable Internet.”

The comments submitted by USCIB emphasized that serving as essential complements are policies that encourage both private investment and public-private partnerships in the R&D needed to drive innovation and realize the potential of AI and other emerging technologies. Such policies are most effectively developed when informed by stakeholder engagement.

“Government policymakers can benefit from close cooperation with business, academia and other stakeholders to ensure that the legal, policy, and regulatory approaches implemented create a holistic framework that enables sustainable business investment in infrastructure and product innovation, includes technically feasible solutions, and offers appropriate privacy and human rights protections,” added Wanner. “The participation of a full complement of stakeholders best ensures that decisions concerning R&D and related policies avoid unintended consequences or outcomes that fall short of expectations. Importantly, a multistakeholder approach will help to build trust and dispel fears that could undermine realization of AI’s economic and societal benefits.”

Robinson Contributes Letter to FT on Making Internet Affordable to All

FT featured a letter by USCIB CEO and President Peter Robinson in response to an editorial “The web should be open to all the world’s citizens” on October 11.

In the letter, Robinson emphasizes the important role of public-private partnerships as crucial to broadening access to the internet, noting that companies such as Google, Ericsson, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft are already moving ahead in this regard.

“Focused on driving prices down to meet the UN Broadband Commission target of entry-level broadband services priced at less than 5 percent of monthly income, they are working with governments and other stakeholders in countries as diverse as Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and Myanmar to make the internet more affordable and accessible,” writes Robinson.

The full letter can be found here, subscription to FT required.

USCIB Welcomes Trilateral Update of NAFTA

Washington, D.C., October 1, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s announcement of a United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“We welcome the conclusion of a trilateral agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada on the modernization of NAFTA, which is a longtime priority for our members and American business more broadly.

“The North American market is very important to the success of our members, and keeping the region economically integrated is vital for U.S. companies to remain competitive in the global market.

 “The USMCA contains numerous provisions important to our members, recognizing the many changes in the North American and global economies since the original agreement was signed a quarter-century ago. We look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement to ensure that it addresses our key concerns and priorities in lowering barriers to cross-border trade and investment.”

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

Jonathan Huneke, VP Communications
+1 212.703.5043 or

Op-Ed Dispels Myths of Business “Conflict of Interest” at UN

As the annual United Nations General Assembly is underway in New York this week and next, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson contributed a timely op-ed in The Hill, titled “UN’s private-sector phobia prevents if from hitting its lofty goals.”

“It is increasingly evident that the international community is not on track to deliver the expected results under the Paris Agreement (as well as the broader U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change) or the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals,” writes Robinson. “So why, at a moment when governments and international organizations should be actively seeking ways to encourage business to step up, is the private sector being accused of having a ‘conflict of interest’ or of actively seeking to upend global consensus?”

Robinson points out that accusations of conflict of interest are rampant across UN agencies, including the World Health Organization and in the context of the UN climate talks. He then outlines six “myths” about business influence in international policy-making and dispels them one by one.

To read the full op-ed, please visit The Hill.


USCIB Voices Concerns With China’s WTO Commitments

As part of the annual request by the U.S. Trade Representative for comments on China’s compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments and notice of public hearing, USCIB submitted comments on September 21 reflecting USCIB members’ feedback and concerns. Since China acceded to the WTO in 2001, while progress has been made in some areas, there still remain significant WTO obligation compliance concerns.

USCIB’s submission highlights concerns that arise in selected horizontal areas that transcend industry sectors, including IT security measures, China’s antimonopoly law, intellectual property rights, market access, national treatment and non-discrimination, the regulatory environment, standards, state-owned enterprises, customs and trade facilitation, taxation, labor laws, certification, licensing, and testing barriers. USCIB’s submission also addresses issues related to specific industry sectors that face problems in China, including agricultural biotechnology, audiovisual, chemicals, electronic payment access, express delivery services, recoverable materials, software, and telecommunications.

“On China’s fulfillment of its WTO obligations, USCIB acknowledges the efforts China has made since joining the WTO in 2001 to meet its obligations under the terms of its accession agreement,” said USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl, who leads USCIB’s work on China. “However, there still remain significant WTO obligation compliance concerns. USCIB notes that its member concerns extend beyond those discussed in this paper, including government procurement; until China officially accedes to and implements the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), government procurement program concerns remain among USCIB members.”

A public hearing to discuss these issues is scheduled to take place on October 3, 2018. Hampl will be testifying and highlighting the most urgent issues to U.S. industry.

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.