USCIB’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, Rob Mulligan, represented USCIB at International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) meetings with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the British government on March 23 in London. The meeting was organized by ICC’s Trade and Investment Commission and focused on a wide range of global trade issues. Ian Ascough, deputy director, multilateral trade, Department for International Trade, United Kingdom briefed ICC members on how the Brexit process will impact UK trade work. He stressed their desire for a free trade agreement with the EU, no border in Ireland, and to be champions of free trade globally. Ascough also noted that they will seek to secure a UK schedule in the WTO and build up their capability in the WTO. In discussing the implications of Brexit, Mulligan also raised business concerns related to trade, noting that “companies need sufficient transition times coming out of Brexit to address any changes related to customs, value chains, and regulatory requirements.”
Bernard Kuiten, head of external relations, WTO briefed the Commission on planning for the WTO Ministerial which will be held in Argentina this December. Some areas that could be addressed in the Ministerial if member countries agree would include fisheries subsidies, e-commerce, services facilitation, agriculture, and investment. The Commission also agreed to a suggestion by Mulligan to prepare a short paper on key ICC trade policy principles.