WATAC Raises Awareness About Carnets Among Indian Exports and Customs

USCIB Senior Vice President and CFO Declan Daly, who oversees USCIB’s ATA Carnet department, attended the meetings.
WATAC discussed and reviewed the operation and administration of the ATA Carnet System in member countries with the aim of spreading awareness about ATA Carnet among Indian exports and Indian customs.

 

Meetings of the World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC), were held in Jaipur, India on November 15-16 at Hotel Jai Mahal Palace and SMS Convention Centre respectively. USCIB Senior Vice President and CFO Declan Daly, who oversees USCIB’s ATA Carnet department, attended the meetings. WATAC discussed and reviewed the operation and administration of the ATA Carnet System in member countries with the aim of spreading awareness about ATA Carnet among Indian exports and Indian customs.

“Being that this was my first WATAC meeting, it was a great opportunity to meet member colleagues from all around the world,” said Daly.

The meeting was jointly organized by WATAC, which is part of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry under the aegis of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), which is part of India’s ministry of finance.

The ATA Carnet is the global gold standard for temporary admissions under the auspices of the World Customs Organization. ATA Carnets are international tools of trade facilitation, which serve as a temporary export-import documentation. The ATA System is in place in 87 countries and territories, and provides duty-free and tax-free imports on goods that will be re-exported within 12 months.

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.

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USCIB Welcomes Trilateral Update of NAFTA

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

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

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

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

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

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

USCIB Contributes to Setting Principles in APEC Transit Guidelines

USCIB represented industry at a workshop that was organized by Chilean Customs addressing Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transit Guidelines. USCIB Director Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin attended the workshop which was held in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, September 11 – 12, 2018.

Giblin participated in a panel with Chilean and Chinese Customs as well as World Customs Organization (WCO) representatives addressing the challenges and gaps on implementation of the APEC Customs Transit Guidelines. Overall the event was well attended and included participants from several APEC economies, including Chile, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam, as well as a handful of domestic Chilean industry representatives.

“USCIB participation in this event was critical in providing industry inputs into the process and is consistent with our longstanding engagement and leadership on customs and trade facilitation matters within APEC,” said Giblin. “The dialogue resulted in a positive discussion and general consensus on the ‘guidelines.’ These ‘guidelines’ are now viewed as ‘guiding principles’ and next steps among all parties, as well as secured a path forward for this issue as Chile takes on the APEC presidency in 2019.”

 

USCIB Decries Further Escalation of China Tariffs

“American companies and consumers are already feeling the impact of earlier tariffs. The administration’s latest moves will only make matters worse.”

Washington, D.C., September 17, 2018 – Responding to the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most competitive global companies, issued the following statement:

“American business reiterates its call for the U.S. and China to take immediate steps to de-escalate their trade conflict, which risks upending financial markets and doing lasting damage to the U.S. and global economies.

“As we have stated on numerous occasions, including the recent U.S. public hearings on these tariffs, American companies and consumers are already feeling the impact of earlier tariffs, in the form of rising costs and operational disruptions. The administration’s latest moves will only make matters worse.

“While we support efforts to compel China to change its discriminatory trade practices negatively affecting U.S. companies, these new tariffs are unlikely to achieve such a goal, as we fully expect the Chinese government to retaliate, with American consumers and small businesses bearing a significant portion of the cost.

“We continue to believe that a better solution is for the United States and its trading partners to apply concerted pressure to address China’s unfair trading behavior, especially via the WTO, in ways that do not place the primary burden on America’s consumers, workers, farmers and companies.”

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

USCIB Submits Comments on China 301 Tariffs

Tariffs of 10-25 percent are contemplated
Negative impact could exceed actual harm from Chinese trade abuses

On September 6, USCIB submitted extensive comments on the Trump administration’s proposed $200 billion list of tariffs on imports from China, following up on earlier submissions in response to the quickly escalating trade conflict between the United States and China.

“USCIB and its members continue to be very concerned about the potential unintended consequences these proposed tariffs of 10 or 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are likely to have, affecting many sectors vital to the U.S. economy and jobs,” the USCIB statement said. “Particularly if [the U.S. Trade Representative’s office] imposes 25 percent tariffs on this broad list of products, these tariffs will impact consumers and will severely impact U.S. competitiveness. The negative impact of such tariffs to U.S. consumers and industry appears disproportionate to the intended purpose.”

The statement said that, while China’s forced technology transfer requirements and other abusive practices harm U.S. competitiveness, the administration’s “sweeping tariffs endanger the U.S. economy in similar ways.” USCIB said its members are “very concerned that these proposed tariffs will stifle the U.S. economy, and not achieve the important goal of changing China’s behavior.”

The statement also recommended a number of changes to the list of tariffs being proposed by the administration. USCIB also signed on to a broader industry statement appealing to the Trump administration not to proceed with the proposed tariffs, saying the effort would likely backfire against U.S. businesses and workers.

In August, USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony to the 301 Committee chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, expressing concern about the proposed tariffs’ potential unintended consequences.

Hampl Urges USTR to Remove Products from China Tariff List

Hampl expressed concern about consequences proposed tariffs are likely to have on sectors vital to the U.S. economy and jobs
The Administration is also considering increasing tariffs to 25 percent.

 

With a new set of proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, USCIB has been actively advocating on the effect these tariffs will have on the competitiveness of U.S. companies. USCIB Senior Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl provided testimony to the 301 Committee chaired by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on August 20, expressing concern about the potential unintended consequences these proposed tariffs of 10 percent are likely to have, affecting many sectors vital to the U.S. economy and jobs. The Administration is also considering increasing tariffs to 25 percent.

“If the USTR follows through on the President’s request to increase the level of the proposed tariffs to 25 percent on this broad list of products, the impact to U.S. competitiveness will be severe,” warned Hampl in her testimony. “USCIB strongly urges the Administration to consider the significant negative consequences to U.S. companies and American jobs before taking further action.”

Products that USCIB requested to be removed from the list of goods affected include parts in U.S.-made wind turbines, smart technology, goods using Bluetooth technology, standalone desktop computers, bicycles, patio furniture, electric lamps, travel goods, handbags, and many others. USCIB will submit written comments to USTR with further details on all the products that should be excluded.

“Many of the goods included in this new list are innovative products where the U.S. is an industry leader,” added Hampl. “Particularly for goods that are at the cutting edge of innovation and the future global economy, it is imperative for U.S. companies to remain highly competitive and innovative. Sweeping non-discriminatory tariffs will be very damaging, particularly if they are raised to 25 percent.”

With yet a new set of tariffs on China going into effect on August 23 on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports, USCIB has also been actively advocating that the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Section 301 exclusion process will remedy some of the potential negative consequences.

 

USCIB Gathers Stakeholders to Discuss E-Commerce Framework

On July 31 and August 1, USCIB teamed up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host the second in a series of meetings tied to e-commerce and the work being undertaken by the World Customs Organization (WCO). Dubbed “Industry Days,” these meetings included robust participation from both private sector and public sector representatives from multiple U.S. government agencies aimed at continuing the established dialogue on the WCO’s E-Commerce Framework of Standards (FoS).  Last week’s meetings were conducted in a small group fashion, which were stakeholder specific (i.e., carriers, customs brokers, e-payment, marketplaces and vendors).

Per the WCO, “The Framework of Standards is intended for Customs administrations wishing to develop legislative and operational frameworks for cross-border e-commerce.” In June, the WCO Council endorsed the draft FoS that included an introduction, 15 Standards and related introductions, as well as a U.S. tabled Resolution. In addition, the Council approved a one-year extension of the E-Commerce Working Group as well as a draft Work Plan noting the need for flexibility with respect to timelines and adherence. The next meeting of the WCO’s E-Commerce Working Group will take place in October.

Currently, the U.S. government and other WCO Member administrations are working to develop and  provide inputs on such intersessional topics as Definitions, Work Plan, and Data Elements. These “Industry Day” meetings are critical to the development of the U.S. government – one government – position, and provide the opportunity for private sector stakeholders to advance general and specific comments and concerns regarding aspects of the FoS, topic specific questions (e.g., Flow Charts, Data and Data Privacy, risks, etc.,) as well as overall views related to e-commerce.

“The purpose of these meetings was to bring together relevant intermediaries to discuss and gather perspectives in efforts to assist in USG policy and position development,” said Megan Giblin who leads USCIB’s work on customs and trade facilitation.  “Overall the meetings were successful and brought together USG agencies including: Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Treasury, Department of Energy, Department of State, U.S. Postal Service, Federal Trade Commission as well as many private sector stakeholders including many who are new to the WCO E-Commerce Framework of Standards.”

USCIB Expresses Concern Over China 301 Tariffs

In light of last week’s release of two lists of China 301 tariffs by the Trump administration, USCIB Senior Director for Trade, Financial Services and Investment Eva Hampl expressed concern about the impact the China 301 tariffs will have on the U.S. economy and jobs. “In our submission to the U.S. government we highlighted a number of products of particular concern to our members, for which tariffs would have a significant effect on U.S. production and revenue. Unfortunately it appears that only a handful of consumer products were taken off the list. We are also reviewing the new list of products, and welcome the opportunity to provide input as appropriate. We are, however, troubled by the planned investment restrictions to be imposed on Chinese investments in technology later this month, where stakeholder input is not taken into account. Given the significant impact investment restrictions could have on U.S. companies and jobs, this move by the Administration is problematic.”

The first list of China 301 tariffs was a reduced version of the 1,300 tariff lines USCIB commented on in May. This list of tariffs on about $34 billion of Chinese products is set to go into effect on July 6. The second list, covering about $16 billion of Chinese goods, are products that were suggested to be added. That list will be up for a comment period, with a public hearing to be held in late July. The Federal Register Notice is not yet officially out.

“China is ready to retaliate,” warned Hampl. China has apparently reduced their initial $50 billion list to $34 billion to match what is currently the U.S. tariff list – the Ministry of Finance has apparently posted the list.

Hampl was also quoted earlier today in Politico. Full article is available here, subscription required.

USCIB Meets with Interagency Group on Customs E-commerce

USCIB and the U.S. Chamber partnered on an industry day with the U.S. Government interagency group on the  World Customs Organization (WCO) Cross-Board E-Commerce Framework of Standards (FoS) on June 14 in Washington DC, in preparation for upcoming WCO E-Commerce Working Group meetings, as well as WCO Policy Commission and Council meetings that will take place over the next few weeks in Brussels, Belgium. The event included robust representation from the U.S. government, more than 10 agencies, including Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Departments of Commerce and State, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Security Council.

The meeting provided a unique opportunity for industry to express views into the U.S.G. position development process on cross-border e-commerce at the WCO.  There have been several versions of a draft Cross-Border E-Commerce FoS since early 2018. Several WCO Members have raised concerns with aspects of the draft FoS (e.g., content, scope, transparency, and pace of the process). As a result, at the April WCO meetings, the E-Commerce Working Group convened and made significant changes to the draft FoS.  In June, the WCO Policy Commission and Council will consider the 15 standards of the WCO E-Commerce FoS, respective introductions, and Resolution as well as a request for extension to Working Group. This week, the U.S. delegation is participating in E-Commerce Working Group meetings, where they will advance its positions on the definitions, data elements, and Technical Specifications.

“Following this productive exchange, we look forward to continuing our partnership on this matter and look forward to future, productive, engagement with the interagency group,” said USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin.