At B20, Robinson Stresses Need for International Cooperation

Peter Robinson at the B20 in Japan

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson was in Japan the week of March 11 for the B20 Summit, alongside other business leaders such as John Denton, secretary general and Paul Polman, chair of the International Chamber of CommercePhil O’Reilly, chair and Russell Mills, secretary general of Business at OECD, as well as Erol Kiresepi, chairman of the International Organization of Employers.

Robinson spoke on a panel titled, “Global Economy for All: International Cooperation for Global Governance.” In his remarks, Robinson proposed looking at international cooperation from two perspectives: strengthening global institutions and rules, while also encouraging bottom-up approaches and a general spirit of cooperation, rather than confrontation, in international economic relations.

“For the foreseeable future, we will need to accept that many electorates and governments view the world through a more nationalistic, mercantilist lens,” said Robinson. “We need to demonstrate the value in international cooperation, not just through new binding rules and official structures, but through voluntary, bottom-up initiatives. Efforts such as the Paris Climate Agreement, or the plurilateral agreements being pursued by WTO members on several issues including digital trade, should be welcomed and encouraged.”

Throughout the course of the panel, Robinson also touched upon trade conflicts with China, WTO modernization, and the need to radically reform education, job training and retraining approaches around the world.

Robinson also called out climate change as being a crucial long-term global challenge. “Climate impacts everything – economic growth, jobs, health care, where people live,” stressed Robinson. “We therefore need to view climate and energy policy in a more holistic manner.”

The Japan Times covered the B20 and quoted Robinson in their piece, “At B20 in Tokyo, World Business Leaders Urge Stronger Cooperation on Looming Challenges.” The Japan Times quoted Robinson emphasizing that “The American business community still believes in open trade, globalization and multilateralism.”

Robinson also applauded the B20’s prioritization of adoption and dissemination of artificial intelligence to ensure that AI development deployment remains “human-centric”. This issue will be a big focus of the digital economy conference that USCIB is organizing with Business at OECD (BIAC) and the OECD on March 25 in Washington, DC.

USCIB Co-Sponsors China-US Foreign Policy Association Panel

USCIB co-sponsored a recent Foreign Policy Association event titled, “U.S.-China Trade: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead” on February 28. The event, hosted by Citi in New York, featured a panel of experts who discussed the state of trade between the two countries, including the geopolitical and economic implications of the trade war, the 90-day truce, and the negotiations currently taking place.

USCIB member Citigroup’s Global Head of Subsidiaries Marc Merlino moderated the panel. Experts included Bloomberg’s Chief Economist Tom Orlik, Director of CSIS’ Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy Scott Kennedy and Global Head of Research for JP Morgan Joyce Chang.

Technology issues, particularly as they relate to data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), were a common theme of discussion across all panelists. AI is a necessary investment for China due to their demographics and life expectancy. However, while China is focused on AI and data, they lag in the quality of their commercial aircraft and semiconducters, making economic partnerships with the United States a necessity, particularly as China’s debt continues to grow.

USCIB Participates in Business Coalition Fly-in on China Tariffs  

USCIB Senior Director Eva Hampl participated in the Fly-In organized by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland the nationwide campaign against tariffs, combining the efforts of Farmers for Free Trade and Americans for Free Trade, of which USCIB is a member. Groups of representatives from associations and companies covered over 150 meetings with Senate and House offices from both sides of the aisle over February 6-7.

“There is general concern about the tariff actions, with many members of Congress having signed on to letters either on the section 232 tariffs or on the section 301 exclusion process,” stated Hampl. “However, there is also still a lot of apprehension about publicly pushing back against the President’s actions on tariffs. To those who expressed a desire to wait and see what happens on March 1 – the deadline for reaching a deal with China, to prevent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports increasing from 10% to 25% — we repeatedly made the point that the time to act is now, as the damage to US industry and consumers increases with every day these tariffs are in place.”

To underline these points, a new study launched showed that in the event that tariffs of 25% go into effect on March 2 on List 3, combined with various other tariffs and retaliation already in place, the net impact on U.S. jobs will be over 900,000 and the annual impact on a family of four over $750. For the complete study, please click here.

There are two pieces of legislation that were introduced in in the Senate the week of February 4, both of which have House companion bills: (1) the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act and (2) the Trade Security Act. Both attempt to push back against the President’s authority on tariff actions.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing for principal-level meetings on February 14 and 15, and these meetings will be preceded by deputy-level negotiations beginning on Monday, February 11.

 

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Group Warns of Impacts on Economy

USCIB Senior Director Eva Hampl will be taking part in a “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland” fly-in on Capitol Hill February 6-7. This fly-in is organized by a broad coalition of business groups that warned about the detrimental impacts of tariffs on Chinese imports on the U.S. economy in a recent press release. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is the nationwide, non-partisan campaign opposing tariffs that is supported by over 150 trade associations from every industry, including USCIB.

The press release emphasized that new auto tariffs and tariffs on all Chinese imports would lead to 2.2 million job losses, cost the average family over $2,300 and reduce GDP by over 1%. Moreover American workers will lose nearly one million U.S. jobs if tariffs rise to 25 percent on March 1.

The report, which served as the basis for the press release, was prepared by Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC.

Application of ATA Carnet System Expands in China

New York, N.Y., January 23, 2019 – China has significantly expanded its use of ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-free importation of various types of goods. As of January 9, the country is now accepting the widely used “merchandise passports” for professional equipment and product samples, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

Previously the country honored ATA Carnets just for goods destined for trade shows and exhibitions. China also extended the period for which goods may be brought into the country under ATA Carnets to a full year, from six months as had previously been the case.

“We expect China’s decision to accept Carnets for the full range of uses to significantly expand American exports to the country,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “Carnet usage is often a leading indicator of future exports, and this move will make the process of getting goods to and from the country much smoother.”

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. They are used by a wide variety of exporters and businesses as a simple, cost-effective means of moving goods temporarily to 78 countries and customs territories around the world. Additional information on developments related to the use of ATA Carnets in China is available on USCIB’s website here.

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.

US-China Trade: Hampl Speaks With BBC Radio

USCIB’s Eva Hampl

As talks between the United States and China aimed at de-escalating their tariff war ended their first day, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl spoke with BBC World News on what American business wants out of the negotiations.

Hampl said the business community wants to see progress on fundamental market-access concerns they face in China, and would be disappointed with more cosmetic takeaways from the talks. But she warned that the Trump administration’s strategy of applying tariff pressure across the entirety of U.S.-China trade could prove counter-productive.

“We see this as a very heavy-handed approach” said Hampl. “We would prefer a more targeted approach to address the underlying issues of IP and forced tech transfer.”

Click here to listen to the full report on the BBC website.

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 Washington Update: September, October, November 2018

Highlighting Key Activities, September, October, November 2018

During the months of September, October, and November 2018, USCIB Staff met with Alan Wolff, WTO Deputy Director General, Andrew Haviland, Charge d’Affaires, U.S. Mission to the OECD Katherine Tai, House Ways and Means, Nasim Fussell, Senate Finance, Christina Kopitopolous, USTR, submitted significant comments for the National Trade Estimate/1377 Report and on China’s WTO Compliance, launched a new Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, weighed in on the proposed European Digital Services Tax across Europe, and much more. Below are summaries of these and other highlights from the activities of USCIB in Washington, D.C. over the last three months. If you have any questions or comments, or want more information on a specific topic, please contact any of the staff members listed at the end of this brief.

Table of Contents:

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

Anti-Illicit Trade – Promoting Strong International AIT Leadership and Advocating a Comprehensive and Multi-Disciplinary Approach to AIT

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

Competition – Creating Global Legal Practices for an Open and Competitive Business Environment

Membership

Upcoming Events

Staff List

Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment

USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Meets with Katherine Tai, Ways & Means: At the September 13 meeting of the USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Katherine Tai, Chief Trade Counsel, Democratic Staff, House Committee on Ways and Means, provided an off-the-record overview of where things stand in the House on NAFTA, 232 tariffs, 301 tariffs and China trade issues more broadly, the WTO, and other potential trade agreements. The Committee was also joined by Nasim Fussell, Deputy Chief International Trade Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. Nasim provided the Senate’s perspective on NAFTA negotiations timing, 232 and 301 tariff issues, the second phase of the MTB process, and the WTO. At the meeting, Rob Mulligan also began a discussion on the development of a USCIB Trade and Investment Agenda for 2019, as well as a draft paper on WTO reform.

WTO Deputy DG Alan Wolff Meets with USCIB Members: On October 19, 2018, Ambassador Alan Wolff, Deputy Director General of the WTO, met informally with USCIB member companies to review the full range of issues, developments and challenges around the World Trade Organization. Amb. Wolff, an active member of USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee in his days as a leading Washington trade lawyer, was, as always insightful, relevant, and candid in his remarks. Issues discussed included WTO reform, China’s role in the WTO, the impact of US Government approaches to the WTO, and possibilities for negotiation breakthroughs.

USCIB Submits Comments on China 301 Tariffs and Testifies: On September 6, 2018, 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. 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 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. At the end of 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 member concerns.

Members Meet with Andrew Haviland, Charge d’Affaires, U.S. Mission to the OECD: On October 11, 2018, Andrew Haviland, Charge d’Affaire, U.S. Mission to the OECD, met with a large group of USCIB member representatives from various committees. Following an update on the OECD’s ongoing work and U.S. priorities from Mr. Haviland, members were able to ask questions regarding the positions and work of the U.S. Mission, as well as the role of Business at OECD when engaging with the OECD and other OECD members on business priorities.

USCIB Advocates for Digital Trade and Foreign Investment at OECD: USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl was in Paris the week of October 22, 2018, participating in investment and trade related meetings at the OECD. On October 22, the OECD hosted its annual Global Forum on Trade, which focused on Trade in the Digital EraThe agenda included sessions on digital transformation and what it means for trade, measuring digital trade, digital trade and market openness, data flows, and discussing priorities for trade policy makers. Hampl participated in the event as a panelist in the session on data flows, which also included Deputy Assistant USTR for Telecommunications Policy Jonathan McHale. The following day Hampl has several speaking roles starting with the Business at OECD consultation with the OECD Investment Committee. Business at OECD had submitted three short papers covering issues such as investment policies related to national security, the importance of a well-designed investment protection mechanism and foreign direct investment qualities. Hampl also attended a joint meeting of the OECD Trade and Investment Committees, which included a presentation on the OECD Digital Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) by the OECD. At the consultation, Hampl made an official intervention on behalf of Business at OECD, expressing USCIB’s support of the joint meeting, and raising some of USCIB’s priority issues, including the multilateral trading system (WTO reform), state-owned enterprises, and digital trade. Additionally, Hampl served as a discussant on behalf of Business at OECD at a Policy Network Meeting on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Qualities, during which she expressed general support for the project and underlined the importance of investment. Hampl also had the opportunity to underline the importance of an open investment environment and concern that recent trends of protectionist policies are harmful to business during her role as discussant in the First Roundtable on Investment and Sustainable Development.

Donnelly on Front Lines at UNCTAD Defending Pro-Investment Policies and ISDS: Shaun Donnelly was one of only three hearty business reps to spend part or all of the week of October 22-26, 2018, in Geneva at the World Investment Forum (WIF), hosted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD. Shaun was the keynote speaker for business in the important High-Level Experts group meeting on International Investment Agreements (IIAs) where he forcefully defended strong investment agreements and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. His remarks can be read here. He also was the single business panelist on a side event organized by the World Bank affiliate International center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on proposed reforms of ICSID’s rules and procedures. Shaun was also able to offer sharp question and criticisms of the EU’s much-ballyhooed Multilateral Investment Court proposal as a proposed but deeply flawed alternative to ISDS. Not clear how may converts Shaun might have made among developing country officials but he was able to give them some alternative perspectives on important and challenging investment policy issues. The UNCTAD Secretariat expressed great appreciation for USCIB attending and offering clear, candid business perspectives.

USCIB Consults with U.S. Investment Policy Leaders: Shaun Donnelly and Eva Hampl have stayed in close contact with key investment policy officials at State and USTR over the fall season. They met September 20 with Deputy Assistant USTR for Investment policy Lauren Mandell to NAFTA and Korea KORUS investment negotiations. Shaun and Eva met twice this fall with State department Office of Investment Affairs (“OIA” in State’s Economic and Business Bureau) leading up to and then following up afterwards on the mid October OECD investment Committee meetings as well as other international investment policy issues including the review of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions underway in the UN Commission on International Trae Law (UNCITRAL). Those senior investment policy officials have been consistently open to our views and questions.

USCIB Discusses Anti-Corruption Issues with State Department: On October 2, 2018, USCIB joined a group of business associations as well as the AFL-CIO and Coalition for Integrity in a meeting with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Brian McFeeters to discuss our efforts in expanding the signatories to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to all G20 countries. The meeting was a follow up to a joint letter sent to president Trump in August, requesting that the Administration take major steps this year to combat international bribery and corruption. The message of the group was to underline the importance of the Convention, noting that it needed to be strengthened in two ways. First, though enforcement of the Convention in some countries has been gradually increasing, the overall level of enforcement is not uniform and is weaker than by the United States. Second, countries that have become major players in the international economy, notably China and India, are not signatories.

Hampl Discusses OECD Accession at PhRMA Meeting: On November 1, 2018, Eva Hampl, Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services, presented on OECD accession issues to a group of pharmaceutical companies and associations. Hampl highlighted USCIB’s advocacy role at the OECD as a member of Business at OECD, provided an update on the recently concluded accession process of Colombia, as well as on upcoming countries, which include Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia. At this time, none of the six countries have officially been invited to begin the accession process, which will require the approval of 25 OECD Committees. USCIB has been actively involved in providing input into Colombia’s accession process via Business at OECD (BIAC), the official business voice at the OECD. Moving forward, USCIB will play an active role in providing U.S. business input to the OECD on any upcoming accession processes.

Donnelly Keynotes AmCham Annual Dinner in Vancouver: USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly was the keynote speaker at AmCham Canada /Pacific’s first-ever annual dinner in Vancouver October 16. Donnelly offered an inside-the-beltway business perspective on the long-running NAFTA modernization negotiations and the resultant new “U.S. /Mexico /Canada” agreement or USMCA. Canadian business leaders in the vibrant new Vancouver AmCham are generally supportive of NAFTA and hopeful about the new USMCA, though clearly worried about the “section 232” U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Former Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day, now a leading Vancouver-based trade lawyer joined Shaun in a post dinner Q and A session to round out the evening. While in Vancouver, Shaun was also guest of honor at a reception hosted by the U.S. Consul General where he delivered an abbreviated, informal version of his NAFTA/USMCA comments.

USMCA Investment Provisions Under the Microscope at Sidley: Shaun Donnelly was the business speaker, joining senior Canadian and Mexican Government investment negotiators on an off-the-record panel co-hosted by USCIB member law firm Sidley Austin and the American Society of International Law (ASIL) on October 18. The panel “USMCA – What Does NAFTA 2.0 Mean for Investor Protection in North America and Beyond?” drew a full house of trade people, diplomats, and lawyers. Sidley Partner Marinn Carlson moderated the session and kept it moving with some very challenging questions. Shaun was candid in pointing out USCIB and more general business concerns with some of the changes in investment provisions from NAFTA to USMCA. The U.S. government declined invitations to participate.

 USCIB Talks Trade and Essential Security at Hudson Roundtable: Shaun Donnelly was an active participant in a very interesting Hudson Institute roundtable discussion November 28, focused on trade and national security, more specifically on the U.S. Government’s use of “Section 232” trade sanctions (thus far imposed on imported steel and aluminum but threats on imported autos are intensifying) based on threats to U.S. “essential security.” Senator (and former USTR where Shaun was a key Assistant) Rob Portman and EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan offered great keynote remarks. Shaun reflected USCIB’s strong positions on opposing any abuse (by the U.S. government or others) of these essential security provisions in the WTO, other agreements or in U.S. trade law. The group also discussed prospects for U.S.-EU trade agreement, perhaps limited to industrial good or perhaps much broader. Views on prospects for such agreements ranged widely around the table. Drawing on his experience as Assistant USTR for Europe under USTRs Portman and Schwab, Shaun was among the more cautious commentators on prospects for quick, easy U.S.-EU deals.

ICT Policy – Promoting Sound Policies for New Technologies

USCIB Members Engage U.S. Government Officials in Discussions about Policies Related to Artificial Intelligence, Privacy, Cybersecurity at the OECD, G20/B20, and ITU Plenipotentiary Meeting: The ICT Policy Committee Meeting on September 27 featured discussions with U.S. Government officials from the Departments of State, Commerce, and the White House Office of Science and Technology. The wide-ranging dialogue focused on policy priorities with respect to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in work underway at the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy as well as the horizontal OECD Going Digital Project. Members also discussed their inputs to the B20 Digital Economy and Industry 4.0 Task Force Report and how those would be reflected in the October 4-5 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Concerning the request for comments on Consumer Privacy Protections by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), members emphasized the importance of realizing greater interoperability in global privacy regulations. Finally, members discussed the importance of coordinating with Inter-American countries at the ITU Plenipotentiary, October 29-November 16 in Dubai, UAE on issues pertaining to governance of the ITU, Internet-related issues, and cybersecurity.

USCIB Catalogs 90 Pages of Foreign Trade Barriers for Annual National Trade Estimate/Section 1377 Report to USTR: On October 17, USCIB submitted comments concerning significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment for inclusion in the annual National Trade Estimate (NTE) report. Pursuant to Section 1377 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1998 (19 U.S. C. Section 3106) and as requested by USTR’s Federal Register notice, we also included comments concerning the operation and effectiveness of U.S. telecommunications trade agreements. This 90-page catalog details foreign trade barriers to U.S. exports to the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, European Union, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Gulf Cooperation Council, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Latin America Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East and North Africa, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

USCIB Members Continue to Advocate for GDPR-Compliant Policy Framework and Data Access at ICANN 63: ICANN 63’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) wrapped up on October 25 in Barcelona, Spain. Barbara Wanner, USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy, and members from AT&T, Amazon, BT, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, Verisign, and Verizon joined some 3,000 stakeholders to address key issues in management of the domain name system. In particular, USCIB members actively contributed to work underway to develop a formal policy to ensure that ICANN and the industry of more than 1,000 generic top-level domain (gTLD) registries and registrars meet existing ICANN contractual requirements concerning the collection of registration data as well as comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). ICANN’s proposed Draft Framework for a Possible Unified Access Model for Continued Access to Full WHOIS Data (UAM) also was in the spotlight. Under pressure from ICANN’s Business Constituency and Intellectual Property Constituency – both of which include USCIB members — governments, and other stakeholders, ICANN developed the UAM as a possible approach to enable third-party access to non-public WHOIS data for legitimate law enforcement, consumer protection, brand management, and intellectual property (IP) protection purposes. Wanner serves on the Business Constituency’s Executive Committee.

USCIB Urges the Administration to Pursue Greater Interoperability Among Global Privacy Regimes: On November 8, USCIB responded to a request for comments on Approaches to Consumer Privacy from the Commerce Departments National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). USCIB members supported the administration’s high-level goal to develop mechanisms that realize greater interoperability among international privacy regimes. Specifically, members applauded NTIA for recognizing the need to bridge regulatory differences so there is less fragmentation, data flows seamlessly, and the digital economy continues to evolve. In pursuing development of an interoperable approach, however, it is imperative that we realize an appropriate balance so that privacy frameworks promote consumer/user trust in data-driven technologies while at the same time enabling companies and organizations to use and transfer data in innovative ways that benefit society, USCIB members urged.

USCIB Members Push Back on Top-Down Cybersecurity-Related Regulation, Advocate a Risk-Based Approach in IGF Workshop: French President Emmanuel Macron opened the three-day IGF on November 12 at UNESCO, depicting a digital economy fraught with danger from cyber-attacks, the proliferation of hate speech, and anti-democratic forces. He urged development of a “better model” featuring regulation of the Internet and its actors. USCIB members pushed back on this top-down approach in a special security-focused workshop on November 14, “Approaches to a Wicked Problem: Stakeholders Promote Enhanced Cooperation and Collaborative, Risk-Based Frameworks of Regional and National Cybersecurity Initiatives,” co-organized by USCIB and Oxford Martin School. The overall aim of the workshop was to provide insights into how to build national and regional cybersecurity capacity that is risk-based to enable nimble responses to security challenges. USCIB members Claudia Selli (AT&T) served as moderator and Amanda Craig (Microsoft) contributed expert commentary, emphasizing that a risk-based, whole of government approach is most effective and necessary for development of a national cybersecurity strategy.

OECD’s CDEP Moves Going Digital Project Toward Completion, Advances AI Work: The November 14-16 meetings of the OECD’s Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) focused on advancing the OECD’s Going Digital project, showcasing the OECD’s analytical report on Artificial Intelligence as well as the work of a special AI Experts Group (AIGO), and featuring an intense and animated review of the Online Platforms Report and a Roundtable discussion on online platforms. Working under the aegis of Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB members have been shaping development of the Going Digital Project for the past two years, offering insightful guidance on the project’s all-important Integrated Policy Framework. USCIB members from Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft also are playing influential roles in the AI Experts Group to ensure that the group’s eventual policy recommendations align with USCIB members’ interests. The final outcomes of the Going Digital Project will be unveiled at a high-level summit on March 11-12, 2019 in Paris.

USCIB Members Uphold Multistakeholder Model for Internet Governance in Comments to UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation: At a time when the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance increasingly is under fire in some multilateral organizations, USCIB members underscored that the multistakeholder model continues to be the best method to enable whole-of-society/whole-of-government consideration of digital economy issues. This will continue to ensure that discussions are grounded in values of free speech and respect for human rights and the principles of transparency, accountability, and consensus will guide stakeholders, according to USCIB. On November 30, USCIB included these comments in its submission to the U.N. High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (HLPDC) aimed at informing the HLPDC’s deliberations. The HLPDC was established by the UN Secretary-General in July 2018 to advance proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital realm and contribute to the broader global dialogue on how interdisciplinary and cooperative approaches can help ensure a safe and inclusive digital future.

Tax – Advancing Tax Policies that Promote U.S. Competitiveness

USCIB Continues Efforts to Oppose the Adoption of the Draft Directive on Digital Services Tax:  USCIB further engaged with the OECD and various European countries on the tax challenges of the digitalizing economy and the European Digital Services Tax. The OECD organized a “digital day” in Paris to further discuss business models and the direction of the OECD’s work on a long-term solution. Many USCIB members participated in this discussion. USCIB members have also met with this fall with a number of high-level European government officials to discuss the EU digital directives. These included meetings with Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. We have also engaged with business representatives at our peer organizations in other countries. We are encouraging those organizations to continue to work with their governments to ensure continuing opposition to the DST. We have also had ongoing discussions with the U.S. Treasury and the Senate Joint Economic Committee, including participating in a panel organized by the JEC to brief Hill staff on the issues and concerns of U.S. business.

USCIB will be continuing to pursue opportunities to express our concerns and ensure that any changes to the standards applicable to taxation of the digitalized economy reflect the concerns of U.S. business. While many countries have objected to the draft directives and the EU requires unanimity to proceed, it is important that USCIB continue to make its case about the potential damage from these directives. The OECD is working on a long-term solution. Many countries expressed a willingness to work within the OECD to achieve a long-term solution. USCIB also supports a consensus approach and believes that the OECD is the best place for working on such a consensus. The EU will be holding an Ecofin meeting on December 4th to consider this issue again (agreement was not reached at the Ecofin meeting held on November 6th). If agreement is not reached on December 4th, that will likely give the OECD some space to work on a long-term solution, since agreement on the EU directive is less likely in 2019 for a variety of political reasons.

USCIB Submits Comment Letters to Regulators: The Tax Committee dedicated significant resources to providing comments on a variety of topics. (See the recent accomplishments section of the USCIB Tax Committee page.) These comments included letters on: proposed regulations concerning the repatriation tax under section 965; proposed regulations concerning Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income under section 951A; the Platform for Collaboration on Tax’s toolkit on Offshore Indirect Transfers; and the OECD’s consultation on Financial Transactions.

USCIB Participates as an Observer in the UN’s Committee of Tax Experts: The UN Committee of Tax Experts held its seventeenth session in Geneva from October 16th through the 19th. The agenda covered updates to the UN Manual on Transfer Pricing; updates to the UN Model Income Tax Treaty (including, the taxation of software royalties, and the taxation of CIVs); development of a handbook on dispute avoidance and resolution; environmental tax issues; updates to the Extractives Handbook; the tax consequences of the digitalizing economy; updates to the manual on treaty negotiation; capacity building; and the taxation of development projects. The background papers presented and discussed at the meeting are here. USCIB is providing input on areas of interest to the USCIB Tax Committee including: the taxation of the digitalizing economy, the taxation of software royalties and taxation of carbon.

Customs and Trade Facilitation – Reducing Barriers and Costs from Customs and Border Control Practices

USCIB Customs E-Commerce Sub-Committee Meets for First Time: On Thursday, October 18, 2018, members of the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee met under the auspices of a new, USCIB Customs E-Commerce Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee will focus on customs related e-commerce issues and serve as a way to screen and discuss e-commerce issues informally before bringing problems and recommendations to the broader Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee. If you are interested in participating in this group, please let Megan Giblin know at mgiblin@uscib.org.

Customs Committee Meets with Christina Kopitopolous, USTR, Ken Kennedy, DHS ICE: On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee received an update on Forced Labor issues from Ken Kennedy, Senior Policy Advisor for Forced Labor Programs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Following this discussion, the Committee heard from Christina Kopitoplolous, USTR Director for Customs and Trade Affairs. Christina provided her assessment of customs issues at the WCO, WTO, and domestically.

Anti-Illicit Trade – Promoting Strong International AIT Leadership and Advocating a Comprehensive and Multi-Disciplinary Approach to AIT


USCIB Launches Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, David Luna as Chair: On Tuesday, September 11, USCIB held the inaugural meeting of its new Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, chaired by David Luna of Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies, LLC. In addition to laying out the committee’s goals and the beginnings of a Plan of Action, the committee heard the latest on Anti-Illicit Trade work at the OECD from the OECD’s Stephanie Jacobzone, Jack Radisch, and Piotr Stryszowski. The Committee met again on Thursday, November 29. At the November meeting, members heard from Christa Brzozowski, DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary, Trade and Transport, for an update on Anti-Illicit Trade work at the OECD. Following this briefing, members heard from Steven Shapiro, FBI Unit Chief, Criminal Investigative Division, Intellectual Property Rights Unit, National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Steven provided an overview of his team’s work at the IPR Center and expressed his interest in additional engagement with the USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee.

China – Supporting Policies and Relationships that Enhance U.S.-China Business

USCIB Submits Comments on China’s WTO Commitments and Testifies: 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 commentson September 21 reflecting USCIB members’ feedback and 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. Following USCIB’s submission, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony on October 3 to the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC).

USCIB Meets with DOJ and FTC to Discuss China AML Issues: In a follow up to USCIB’s submission on China’s compliance with WTO Commitments, USCIB on November 19 met with officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to discuss current issues business faces in China in relation to the application of China’s anti-monopoly law (AML). As noted in USCIB’s public comments, Chinese antitrust enforcement authorities continue to use of the AML as a tool to advance industrial policy goals rather than to protect competition. U.S. companies have repeatedly experienced Chinese regulators using AML enforcement absent sufficient economic proof of market power or anti-competitive harm or any transparency regarding analyses that may have been conducted. In addition, anecdotal evidence indicates that the AML enforcement agencies often disregard basic norms of fairness, due process, and transparency.

Competition – Creating Global Legal Practices for an Open and Competitive Business Environment

 USCIB Holds Joint ICC/USCIB Meeting on Global Competition Policy in NY: On September 5, against the backdrop of fast-changing business and policy practices with respect to antitrust and consumer protection, the USCIB Competition Committee held a joint meeting with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Competition Commission in New York. Participants in the joint ICC/USCIB meeting represented many jurisdictions, including Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The keynote speaker was Bruce Hoffman, director of the Bureau of Competition at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Hoffman discussed the latest developments of antitrust policy with USCIB members, including for competition policy litigation and enforcement in the U.S., as well as FTC hearings on the state of competition law and policy that began in Washington, D.C. in September. USCIB Competition Committee Chair Dina Kallay (Ericsson) and USCIB Competition Committee Vice Chair Jennifer Patterson(Arnold & Porter) led participants through an agenda that included updates on issues including mergers, due process, cartels, the International Competition Network (ICN), and the Multilateral Framework on Procedures, on which USCIB and ICC recently submitted a joint statement.

Membership

  • Membership Meetings: The USCIB membership department and policy staff traveled to the Bay Area to meet with representatives from member companies Visa, Uber, Salesforce, Oracle, Intel and Ripple Labs to develop our understanding of their policy priorities for the next year and beyond, and to see how USCIB can better serve their policy needs. In addition, the USCIB membership department and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson met with representatives from member companies Citigroup, Hanesbrands, General Mills, Koch Industries, AT&T and DIAGEO.
  • New Members: USCIB has recently welcomed Astellas, Cruise Automation and Steptoe & Johnson LLP as new members.

Upcoming Events:

    • UNFCCC COP24, Katowice, Poland – December 3-14
    • USCIB Trade and Investment Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – December 4
    • 2018 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner, New York – December 11
    • USCIB ICT Policy Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – December 13
    • USCIB Environment Committee and International Product Policy (IPP) Working Group Joint Meeting, New York – December 19
    • ACEP Som-1, Santiago, Chile – February 23 – March 8
    • 4th UN Environment Assembly (UNEA4), Nairobi, Kenya – March 11-15
    • Going Digital: OECD Insights for a Changing World, Washington, D.C. – March 29
    • APEC SOM 2, Vaplaraiso, Chile – May 6-18
    • ECOSOC 2019 Session, Geneva, Switzerland – May 29 – 31
    • OECD/BIAC/USCIB Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. – June 3-4

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

 

USCIB Policy and Program Staff

Rob Mulligan
Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs
202-682-7375 or rmulligan@uscib.org

Erin Breitenbucher
Senior Policy and Program Associate and Office Manager, Washington
202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org

Norine Kennedy
Vice President, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment
212-703-5052 or nkennedy@uscib.org

Shaun Donnelly
Vice President, Investment and Financial Services
202-682-1221 or sdonnelly@uscib.org

Megan Giblin
Director, Customs and Trade Facilitation
202-371-9235 or mgiblin@uscib.org

Carol Doran Klein
Vice President and International Tax Counsel
202-682-7376 or cdklein@uscib.org

Ronnie Goldberg
Senior Counsel
212-703-5057 or rgoldberg@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy and Program Associate, New York
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

Eva Hampl
Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services
202-682-0051 or ehampl@uscib.org

Mike Michener
Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation
202-617-3159 or mmichener

Alison Hoiem
Senior Director, Member Services
202-682-1291 or ahoiem@uscib.org

Chris Olsen
Policy and Program Associate, Washington
202-617-3156 or colsen@uscib.org

Gabriella Rigg Herzog
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
212-703-5056 or gherzog@uscib.org

Barbara Wanner
Vice President, ICT Policy
202-617-3155 or bwanner@uscib.org

Jonathan Huneke
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
212-703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Kira Yevtukhova
Communications Manager
202-617-3160 or kyevtukhova@uscib.org

Top

Hampl Voices China Concerns in Public Testimony

USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony on October 3 to the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee.
Hampl took the opportunity to speak about China 301 tariffs, noting how disruptive they are to U.S. business.

Following USCIB’s submission to the annual request by USTR for comments on China’s compliance with WTO commitments and notice of public hearing, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony on October 3 to the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC).

The interagency panel was chaired by USTR and included officials from the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, State, Agriculture and Labor. The questions from the panel addressed the cybersecurity law, addressing ICT products and services as well as data flow restrictions, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), anti-monopoly law (AML) enforcement, trade secrets, agricultural biotechnology, and the import ban on recyclable materials.

“USCIB has consistently identified a number of key areas of concern, including market access, standards, transparency, subsidies, competition policy, technology transfer, and national and economic security issues,” noted Hampl during her testimony. “While small steps are occasionally made in a market opening direction, overall China appears to be ramping up its protectionism. These issues affect many U.S. sectors, including agricultural biotechnology, audiovisual, chemicals, electronic payment services, express delivery services, recoverable materials, software, and telecommunications.”

Hampl also took the opportunity to speak about the China 301 tariffs noting how disruptive they are to U.S. business. “Extensive tariff actions do not show any indication that they will in fact resolve the underlying issues and change China’s behavior regarding intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer,” warned Hampl. “In addition, as our submission lays out, there are many more issues beyond those that need to be addressed. Accordingly, high-level dialogues between the United States and China continue to be of the utmost importance.”

USCIB also submitted extensive written comments.

International Business Magazine: Fall/Summer 2018

The Summer/Fall 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, “The Myth of Private-Sector ‘Conflict of Interest’ at the UN. The issue also features news stories on how tariffs harm companies and consumers, tax reform impacts, and reinforcing US-China tie, 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.

Subscribe to USCIB’s International Business Magazine

Subscriptions to “International Business” are available free upon request to representatives of USCIB member organizations. Contact us to subscribe.

Non-members may subscribe to “International Business” and other USCIB print publications at an annual rate of $50 (U.S.) for domestic delivery, or $75 for overseas delivery. Contact us to subscribe. USCIB’s annual report, studies from the United States Council Foundation and related publications are included with your paid subscription.

Our free electronic newsletter, “International Business Weekly,” provides regular updates on USCIB’s major activities and priorities. Click here to view a sample issue. Click here to subscribe.

We welcome outside submissions and inquiries regarding our publications – send them to news@uscib.org.

We welcome advertising in International Business magazine — special discounted rates for USCIB member organizations! Contact Kira Yevtukhova (kyevtukhova@uscib.org) for more information.