USCIB Responds to Announcement of New US Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

Washington, D.C., March 2, 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 announced plans to impose new duties of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on imports of foreign steel and aluminum:

“USCIB strongly supports a more competitive America, which enjoys economic growth and jobs by increasing exports, opening global markets and securing a level playing field for our goods and services. We are disappointed with the administration’s decision. History clearly teaches that fomenting trade wars with our commercial partners is likely to backfire on the United States, harming American businesses, workers, farmers and consumers in the process.

“The imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum will lead to higher prices for U.S.-made products, reducing the competitiveness of our exports, and will probably eliminate more jobs than it saves. In addition, it is likely to create strong disincentives for foreign investment in the United States, and to spur higher inflation. 

“Most importantly, these protectionist tariffs are likely to cause a chain reaction of retaliatory measures by our trading partners, as many of them have already indicated. Other nations are likely to target our most competitive exports and otherwise disadvantage American companies.

“We hope that these measures will be short-lived. We urge the Trump administration and America’s trading partners to work cooperatively and swiftly to address the serious issues associated with steel and aluminum dumping, and to open up new markets for our exports and new opportunities for American workers, farmers and consumers to prosper in the wider world.”

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 several 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 www.uscib.org.

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

India Now Accepting “Merchandise Passports” for Professional Equipment

New York, N.Y., January 31, 2018 – India has expanded its use of ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-free importation of various types of goods. As of January 18, the country is now accepting the widely used “merchandise passports” for professional equipment, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that allow for the temporary importation of various types of goods, duty-free and tax-free, generally for up to one year. India previously accepted Carnets only for goods destined to fairs and exhibitions, for a maximum period of six months. It is now also honoring them for temporary importation of professional equipment for up to two months, with the opportunity to renew for an additional two months.

“This is an important development that will help boost U.S. exports to India, and make it much easier for business travelers to get essential professional equipment in and out of the country,” said Andrew Shiles, USCIB’s senior vice president for ATA Carnet and trade services. “All sorts of people and companies – from news organizations to symphony orchestras to technicians making repairs – use ATA Carnets to move professional equipment around the world swiftly and cost-effectively.”

Additional information on developments in India is available on USCIB’s website at https://www.uscib.org/india-ud-1614/.

The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which USCIB serves as the American national committee. Find out more about the services offered by USCIB to facilitate cross-border trade and investment at www.uscib.org.

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

About USCIB:

The United States Council for International Business (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 several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide. USCIB also works to facilitate international trade and investment. It is the U.S. national guaranteeing association for ATA Carnets, which enable the temporary export of many types of goods, free of import duties or taxes, for up to one year.

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

Shiles Joins USCIB as Head of ATA Carnet and Trade Services

Andrew Shiles

New York, N.Y., May 16, 2017 – Former FedEx executive and cargo industry veteran Andrew Shiles has joined the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) to lead the association’s dynamic portfolio of trade services, including the “merchandise passports” used by thousands of exporters around the world to get goods through customs quickly and easily.

As senior vice president of ATA Carnet and trade services, Shiles will work to expand U.S. trade interests through promotion of the ATA Carnet program. ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that permit temporary duty-free, tax-free entry of qualified goods for up to one year. They are used widely to facilitate entry of goods for trade shows, product samples and professional equipment.

“Andy Shiles brings extensive experience to this position,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “He has in-depth knowledge of trade and customs affairs, including ATA Carnet, and relationships with clients ranging from multinational corporations to SMEs to freight forwarders. In addition, Andy has strong connections with U.S. Customs, and has engaged in a number of important industry trade associations.”

USCIB manages and guarantees the ATA Carnet system in the United States, with responsibility for issuing ATA Carnets falling to two outside service providers, Roanoke Trade and the Corporation for International Business. ATA Carnets are accepted in 84 countries and territories, while the global ATA systems is overseen by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). USCIB serves as ICC’s American national committee.

Shiles comes to USCIB following more than 30 years at FedEx Express, the world’s largest air express cargo company, most recently as global regulatory compliance manager, where he served on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee. His leadership experience in global supply-chain management includes participation in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Simplified Entry Working Group, which redesigned and implemented the current entry-clearance process into the United States.

Shiles also has extensive experience working with multiple government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Product Safety Commission. A self-professed “Yankee with a Southern accent,” Shiles was born in Manhattan and raised in the Southwest and in Tennessee, where he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis. He is a member of the International Compliance Professionals Association and the American Association of Exporters and Importers.

Find out more about the services offered by USCIB to facilitate cross-border trade and investment at www.uscib.org.

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

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, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.

Kazakhstan to Begin Accepting “Merchandise Passports”

Baiterek TowerNew York, N.Y., March 21, 2017 – Kazakhstan is set to become the 77th member country to accept ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-free importation of various types of goods, beginning April 1, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

Known as “merchandise passports,” ATA Carnets are international customs documents that allow for the temporary importation of various types of goods, duty-free and tax-free, for up to one year. In most ATA member countries and territories, including Kazakhstan after April 1, Carnets cover import of professional equipment, commercial samples and items for display at exhibitions and fairs. The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which USCIB serves as the American national committee.

“The implementation of the ATA system demonstrates Kazakhstan’s commitment to promoting economic growth and trade facilitation,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Use of Carnets will make it easier for American and other foreign companies to do business with the country, while enabling Kazakhstan businesses easier access to the U.S. and global markets.”

The Republic of Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by area and is the world´s largest landlocked nation. ATA membership by the country – long regarded as a priority for other countries in the system – will significantly facilitate trade relations between Kazakhstan businesses and their foreign partners. The Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan has been designated as the official guaranteeing organization for ATA Carnets in the country.

Prior to Kazakhstan, Brazil and Indonesia were the two most recent countries to join the global ATA Carnet system. More than 180,000 Carnets are issued every year worldwide, for goods with a total value of over US$21 billion. The United States is the third-largest user of ATA Carnets, following Germany and Switzerland. The Republic of Georgia is expected to join the ATA system in the near future.

Find out more about the services offered by USCIB to facilitate cross-border trade and investment at www.uscib.org.

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

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, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.

USCIB Welcomes Entry Into Force of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Harbor_tradeLandmark pact will reduce customs barriers and costs for U.S. exporters

New York, N.Y., February 22, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) applauded the entry into force today of the landmark World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which will reduce the costs of trading across borders and lead to increased U.S. and foreign exports and jobs. The TFA, approved at the WTO’s 2014 ministerial in Bali, Indonesia, provides enforceable government commitments, which will reduce red tape at the borders, speed movement of goods internationally, reduce costs, increase exports and create jobs.

The WTO has 164 member countries, and its rules require two-thirds of its members to ratify and pass laws making necessary changes in their customs procedures in order for the TFA to go into effect. Today, Chad, Jordan, Oman and Rwanda  submitted their ratification notices to the WTO, achieving the two-thirds threshold.

USCIB Chairman Terry McGraw, chairman emeritus of S&P Global, stated: “It is so important to the American and global economy that these 100-plus countries have committed to streamlining their customs procedures to speed the movement of products and reduce their costs.  We commend WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo for his tireless efforts to make his happen.”

McGraw, who also serves as honorary chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization, and chaired the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations, has been a staunch advocate for the TFA and for multilateral trade liberalization in general.

“The TFA will provide a shot in the arm to U.S. exports and to the multilateral trading system,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Studies estimate that, when implemented, the TFA will cut the average cost of exporting by some 14 percent, delivering a net gain of $1 trillion in global annual GDP and spurring the creation of more than 20 million new jobs for the global economy. What’s more, the TFA demonstrates the continued importance of the WTO and of multilateral efforts to liberalize cross-border trade and investment.”

In addition to promoting the benefits of the TFA, USCIB has worked to secure overseas ratification of the agreement through bilateral meetings with numerous governments. It has also done so via its role as U.S. affiliate of ICC, which mounted a global campaign to secure ratification of the TFA.

ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said: “The entry into force of the TFA is a watershed moment for global trade. The reality today is that many small businesses find themselves unable to trade internationally due to complex customs requirements. By cutting unnecessary red tape at borders, the TFA will have a transformational effect on the ability of entrepreneurs in developing countries to access global markets.”

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, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.

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

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 www.uscib.org.

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

More Than 20,000 ATA Carnets for Temporary Exports Issued in United States in 2016

ATA-Carnet-LogoNew York, N.Y., January 10, 2017 – To date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has only flirted with the elusive 20,000-point milestone. But another economic indicator – one that tends to forecast trends in U.S. exports – recently blew past the 20K mark and shows signs of continued growth. American companies and business executives used more than 20,000 ATA Carnets for the temporary export of various types of goods in 2016, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers and guarantees ATA Carnets in the United States.

The ATA Carnet, also known as the “merchandise passport,” is an international customs document honored by customs authorities in some 75 countries, which helps companies expedite temporary duty-free and tax-free import of goods for professional equipment, commercial samples and items for display at exhibitions and fairs. The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which USCIB serves as the American national committee.

“The 20,000 mark has been a longstanding goal for the ATA Carnet service,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “It was achieved following two very impressive growth years spearheaded by our Service Providers, Roanoke Trade and Boomerang Carnets. We believe that this milestone is a positive sign for continued growth in U.S. exports, since ATA Carnet usage by American firms often presages increased sales overseas.”

The ATA Carnet system has expanded in recent years, with Brazil joining last June as the country got set to host the Summer Olympics. Robinson said there are hopes that additional countries in Latin America will soon participate. Mexico and Chile have honored ATA Carnets for several years. USCIB plays an active role in the worldwide administration of the global system by virtue of its role as the U.S. affiliate of ICC. The United States is the third-largest user of ATA Carnets, following Germany and Switzerland.

Find out more about the services offered by USCIB to facilitate cross-border trade and investment at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
Tel: +1 212.703.5043, click here to e-mail

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, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.

USCIB Hails Passage of Customs Reauthorization Bill

customs declaration

Washington, D.C., February 11, 2016 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) applauds Congressional passage of H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. This bipartisan bill is the first true Customs modernization legislation in nearly two decades.

The bill puts into law changes to the organization and management of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, streamlines and facilitates trade, focuses on the Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System (ACE/ITDS) program, and provides an enforcement mechanism for trade agreements.

“This is a very welcome development that has been a long time in coming,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “We applaud Congressional leadership, the conferees, and the members of Congress and staff who worked hard to craft a bipartisan, bicameral compromise bill that meets business needs, updates outdated procedures, and reduces business costs and paperwork burdens.”

According to Robinson, the new law will promote U.S. competitiveness and job creation by reducing barriers to legitimate trade, while stepping up enforcement of U.S. trade agreements. “This will make it much easier for our companies, both large and small, to export and succeed in the global marketplace, which translates into economic growth and good jobs here at home,” he said.

USCIB’s recent legislative and advocacy efforts have focused on important issues impacting the bottom line of member companies and organizations, including:

  • addressing an oversight on the tariff treatment of cold-weather outerwear that not only would have increased costs, but also that would have opened the U.S. to WTO compliance concerns (current effective date of March 31, 2016);
  • increasing de minimis from $200 to $800 (U.S.), which will particularly benefit small and medium size enterprises by reducing costs, paperwork burdens and facilitating the movement of cargo; and
  • updating the outdated returns processes that subject companies to unnecessary double taxation on returned property and goods as well as for U.S. government property returned to the United States.

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, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the 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

More on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee

USCIB Applauds Agreement on Final Customs Bill, Urges Swift Passage

Golden_GateWashington, D.C., December 10, 2015– The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed yesterday’s announcement that the Customs Conferees have issued a final bipartisan, bicameral, Conference report on the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. We applaud Congressional Leadership and appointed Conferees for moving this vital bill forward. We continue to urge Congress to take prompt action and pass the reconciled Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 before Congress adjourns.

“American business needs this legislation, which is long overdue and sets the United States on a path to remain in the top-tier of nations when it comes to trade facilitation and customs modernization,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “We will work to get the bill passed and signed into law as quickly as possible.”

Last week, USCIB was joined by 21 other businesses organizations representing every sector of the American economy in signing a letter to Congressional leadership urging legislators to resolve outstanding issues and pass the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 before Congress adjourned.

“[W]e strongly encourage the passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement bill within the 2015 legislative calendar,” the letter stated. “Continued customs modernization is essential to providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection the support it needs to safeguard America’s borders while enhancing economic prosperity, and ensuring stability for American importers and exporters.”

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, including ICC, 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