USCIB Calls for International Financial Support for At-Risk Businesses, Workers in Developing Countries Impacted by COVID

April 23, 2020 – As the continuing health consequences of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across the globe, no country has been spared, but the impacts are particularly acute in vulnerable middle- and lower-income countries.

The scale and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic requires that all stakeholders come together to develop broad-based approaches to this pandemic crisis. Critically, without immediate support from international development finance institutions, the ability of vulnerable countries to reopen and resume economic activity once the pandemic is contained and addressed, will be severely compromised.

As part of the international response to address the health, economic and social crisis from this pandemic, the G-20 countries, including the G-20 Finance Ministers, have coordinated closely with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group and regional development banks, to mobilize resources to address urgent needs.

We call upon the G-20 and leadership of the international financial institutions to support those countries requiring assistance for the health care assets to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, we urge these countries and institutions to allocate necessary resources for:

  1. sufficient funds for governments to offer credit facilities to maintain and avoid the liquidation of businesses in export sectors vital to the economies of these vulnerable countries,
  2. funding to governments to support functioning social protection programs, including income to meet the basic needs of their work force so that they can be supported while they wait to resume their jobs once businesses can be reopened, and
  3. technical and financial support necessary for the export and other economic sectors in these countries so that workplaces can resume operation safely taking into account strategies to mitigate COVID-19 risk.

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USCIB’s Donnelly Retires; Will Take on a Consulting Role 

Shaun Donnelly

Vice President for Investment Policy and Financial Services Shaun Donnelly is retiring April 3 after eight and half years at USCIB.

Donnelly came to USCIB in 2011, after an impressive 36-year career as a Department of State Foreign Service Officer followed by shorter stints at two other leading Washington trade associations. Throughout his time at USCIB, Donnelly has been a leading voice for the U.S. and international business communities on a wide range of investment policy issues, speaking out forcefully and publicly, as well as privately, to the U.S. Administration, Congress and in international fora, from the OECD and World Trade Organization (WTO) to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Donnelly has also been a sought-after and a provocative speaker at investment conferences and seminars around Washington and around the globe.  But most importantly, Donnelly has always been willing and able to put his experience, his expertise and his rolodex to use to assist USCIB members, collectively and individually.

“It has been a real privilege to have Shaun as part of the USCIB team, and I’m delighted that he will continue on in an advisory role,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “Shaun is a global regulatory diplomat par excellence, never hesitating to stand up for private sector interests in a forceful, rational and compelling way.”

In the State Department’s Foreign Service, Donnelly served eight years as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, at various times leading policy on Trade, Energy and Economic sanctions.  For almost five of those years he was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, the Department’s #3 economic policy official. Donnelly also served as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives and as Deputy Ambassador to Tunisia and Mali. In his final U.S. government assignment, Donnelly was detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) as Assistant USTR in charge of Europe and the Middle East, running USTR’s largest regional office.  He retired from the Foreign Service with the personal rank of Career Minister, roughly equivalent to that of three-star general.

“Simply put, it’s time,” Donnelly said.  “It’s been a great run and I have really appreciated the opportunity to work with so many great colleagues at USCIB and in our member companies.”

For us at USCIB, the good news is that Donnelly has agreed to stay on in a consulting role, serving as a senior advisor to Robinson and USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Rob Mulligan, as well as to take on a few special projects.

“I look forward to staying involved behind the scenes with USCIB and helping where I can,” said Donnelly. “It’s a great organization and there is still a lot of important, challenging work to do.”

2017 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner

USCIB is delighted to honor Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of MasterCard. Each year this gala event attracts several hundred industry leaders, government officials and members of the diplomatic community to celebrate open markets and the recipient of USCIB’s highest honor.

Established in 1980, USCIB’s International Leadership Award is presented to a senior business executive who has made significant policy contributions to world trade and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. Join us for what will be a truly memorable evening!

USCIB Weighs in With Administration on Trade Deficits

With the Trump administration seeking to reorient U.S. trade policy toward bilateral agreements, bilateral trade deficits have been put forward as a marker of the health — or lack thereof — of U.S. commercial relations with a given country. USCIB has taken up this issue in a recent statement to the Department of Commerce.

In its statement, USCIB said: “On the specific issue of trade deficits, particularly bilateral deficits (or surpluses) with individual countries, USCIB supports the view of most mainstream economists, who are convinced that trade deficits are a product of broader macroeconomic factors, not trade policy, and that the trade balance should not be viewed as a straightforward indicator of a country’s economic health. While it is useful to address trade barriers that impede access for U.S. goods and services exporters to specific markets, we should not set up bilateral trade balances as the metric of successful trade policies.”

Furthermore, the USCIB statement argued for greater attention to trade in services, not just goods, in any analysis of trade balances. “In the United States, services account for almost 80% of GDP, and services jobs account for more than 80% of private sector employment,” USCIB said. “Accordingly, a trade policy focused solely on trade deficits in manufacturing is misleading.”

The Commerce Department is expected to hold hearings on trade deficits later this week.

6th Supply Chain Finance Summit

The Supply Chain Finance Summit is an annual meeting of CFOs, Corporate credit and risk managers, corporate treasurers, import managers and trade specialists, bankers, insurers, consultants and vendors, promoting the discussion and assessment of issues affecting supply chain finance.

In its sixth edition, and for the first time in London, the ICC Academy’s Supply Chain Finance Summit will provide a unique opportunity to learn from experienced corporations and bankers about their visions and strategies in the new area of supply chain finance. You can expect insight and commentary on a wide range of issues: streamlining of trade finance operations, the changing landscape from the BPO perspective, the impact of the regulatory environment, dealing with logistical hurdles, and more.

The Summit will be divided into two streams with themes that focus on the corporate and banking sector. Nevertheless, all guests will be brought together in social and networking events. For this year, organizers will offer various new formats of discussions and greater opportunities to engage in the debates. Save the date and be among the firsts, who will experience a Night Owl Session in trade finance, test your knowledge in SCF definitions, and more.

ICC Banking Commission Annual Meeting

The ICC Banking Commission in collaboration with ICC Indonesia is delighted to invite members, National Committees and key players of the banking Industry to the ICC Banking Commission Annual Meeting at the premises of the Shangri-La Hotel.

5th Supply Chain Finance Summit

The Supply Chain Finance Summit is an annual meeting of CFOs, Corporate credit and risk managers, corporate treasurers, import managers and trade specialists, bankers, insurers, consultants and vendors, promoting the discussion and assessment of issues affecting supply chain finance.

In its fifth edition, the ICC Academy’s Supply Chain Finance Summit will provide a unique opportunity to learn from experienced corporations and bankers about their visions and strategies in the new area of supply chain finance. You can expect insight and commentary on a wide range of issues: streamlining of trade finance operations, the changing landscape from the BPO perspective, the impact of the regulatory environment, dealing with logistical hurdles, and more.

The Summit will be divided into two streams with themes that focus on the corporate and banking sector. Nevertheless, all guests will be brought together in social and networking events. For this year, organizers will offer various new formats of discussions and greater opportunities to engage in the debates. Save the date and be among the firsts, who will experience a Night Owl Session in trade finance, test your knowledge in SCF definitions, and more.

New Compliance Guide for Trade Transactions Published

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission, along with partners, the Wolfsberg Group and the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT) recently announced the publication of a revised guidance document on Trade Finance Principles. This broader industry edition now addresses the due diligence required by global and regional financial institutions of all sizes in the financing of international trade.

The document was updated to reflect the growing regulatory expectations, as well as the more stringent application of existing regulations faced by the industry today. The collaborative effort will help standardize the practice of financial crimes compliance for trade transactions.

The publication of this document is the culmination of more than two years of work undertaken by the organizations and their members.

“In keeping with the traditional work of the ICC Banking Commission, this guidance on sound financial crimes risk management for the traditional trade products follows in the steps of the UCP, URC etc. in setting standards by which banks should conduct their trade business and to provide a sound basis for the continuation of the finance of international trade by banks, said Olivier Paul, head of policy of the ICC Banking Commission.

You can download the paper here.

New Survey Finds Worsening Global Shortage of Trade Finance

2016 ICC Global Survey on Trade Finance shortfall_sourceBusiness executives have identified a sharp decrease in the availability of financing for cross-border trade, according to the latest annual survey of global trade finance from the International Chamber of Commerce. According to the survey — which received 357 responses from 109 countries worldwide — 61 percent of respondents reported a global shortage of trade finance . Only 52 percent of respondents reported an increase in trade finance activity, compared to 63 percent in 2015 and 80 percent in 2012. Furthermore, the perceived shortfall came predominantly from regional and global banks — 78 percent and 56 percent respectively, compared to 41 percent of national banks.

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said: “We must emphasize the importance of trade finance. It is often forgotten – trade finance has dropped off the international agenda. We need to do more to communicate its central importance to the global economy.”

Read more and download the survey on the ICC website.