USCIB Issues ATA Carnet Advisory on Brazil; Brazil to Terminate Carnet as of January 1

New York, N.Y., December 22, 2021 — As the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association (NGA and IA) for ATA Carnet in the United States, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) is issuing the following guidance for holders (users) of U.S. ATA Carnets to Brazil (BR) or “BR ATA Carnets” for entry into the United States.

As of January 1, 2022, Brazilian customs will terminate their ATA Carnet operations.

Brazil will no longer issue or accept ATA Carnets. The National Confederation of Industry (CNI) initially ended its role as the sole NGA role in Brazil in June 2021 and was subsequently extended to December 31, 2021. During this time, Brazil Customs went through a solicitation process for a new NGA and IA, but the process conducted on September 17 and November 5, 2021, was not successful. At this time, Brazil has not been able to appoint a new entity to guarantee and issue Carnets.

As a result, U.S issued ATA Carnets currently in circulation should not be used for entry into Brazil on or after January 1, 2022. Likewise, ATA Carnets issued by Brazil for entry into the United States will be rejected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Details of this announcement can be found at the Brazilian Customs’ website.

“Specific questions or assistance on U.S. ATA Carnets with regards to this announcement should be directed to our authorized service providers, Boomerang Carnets and Roanoke Insurance Group,” advised USCIB Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Declan Daly.

ATA Carnets are honored in over eighty customs countries and territories and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period. The global ATA Carnet system is overseen by the Paris-based World Chamber Federation of the International Chamber of Commerce. USCIB administers the Carnet system in the United States.

More on USCIB’s Trade Services.

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 U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

Vietnam to Join Global “Merchandise Passport” System in Spring 2022

New York, N.Y., December 20, 2021 — Vietnam is set to become the seventy-ninth member country to accept ATA Carnets for the temporary, duty-and tax-free importation of various types of goods, beginning May 1, 2022, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA system in the United States.

ATA Carnets are critical tools of trade facilitation known as the “merchandise passport” or “passport for goods” that simplify customs procedures for the temporary movement of goods and permit goods to enter a party to the System duty and are tax free for up to one-year. They provide users with many benefits, including being easy to use and eliminate surprises at the border; one document allows many country visits during a year of validity; streamline processes at border crossings; and they save time and money (duties & taxes).

ATA Carnets cover import of professional equipment, commercial samples and items for display at exhibitions and fairs. When countries join the ATA system they determine their scope of coverage. As of May 1, Vietnam will allow ATA Carnet covering only exhibitions and fairs (E&F).

The worldwide ATA Carnet system is overseen by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – World Chamber Federation (WCF). USCIB is the sole U.S. National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association for ATA Carnets.

“Vietnam has an export market of nearly ten billion dollars,” said USCIB Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Declan Daly, who oversees USCIB’s ATA Carnet operations. “ATA Carnets are tools of export promotion as well. They will allow American and other foreign companies to explore the market and conduct business deals with the country, while enabling Vietnamese businesses easier access and exploration to the U.S. and other global markets.”

The ATA System is in place in over eighty-five countries and territories and provides duty-free and tax-free imports on goods that will be re-exported within twelve months.

Please visit the Vietnam ATA Carnet page for more info.

 

USCIB Supports OECD’s Launch of Report on ‘E-Commerce Challenges in Illicit Trade in Fakes’

USCIB Anti Illicit Trade Committee (AITC) Chair David Luna, who also chairs the Business at OECD (BIAC) Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group (AITEG), made remarks at the December 13 launch of the OECD report “E-commerce challenges in illicit trade in fakes.” The launch of the report took place at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National IPR Coordination Center in Virginia. This important report is also the first outcome of a Special Project on illicit trade between the AITEG and the dynamic public-private partnership (PPP) established under the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT).

“On behalf of Business at OECD, we are especially proud to have actively participated in the work leading up to this final report through sharing information and market data insights, best practices, and other industry perspectives to shed greater light on the booming trade of counterfeits across global supply chains and online marketplaces,” said Luna.

“We believe it is crucial to take into account the input from private sector since it ultimately contributes to gain a more detailed perspective of the adverse impacts emerging from illicit trade in e-commerce,” he added.

“USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of Business at OECD (BIAC), the industry voice of the OECD. USCIB members Pfizer, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Nike, Walt Disney, ABinBev, PMI and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Canter (GIPC) have been active in the BIAC AITEG and the good work of the TF-CIT tied to COVID, e-Commerce, and more,” said Megan M. Giblin, USICB director of customs and trade facilitation, and trade policy manager for USCIB AIT work.

Luna added that many other BIAC federations and partners worked on these important thematic streams in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Luna, the report is timely given the breadth and scale of nefarious actors and criminal networks exploitation of the openness of the internet and anonymity of transactions on e-commerce to evade detection and circumvent law enforcement to distribute and trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, and other illicit goods and contraband, across the digital world. The pandemic has further accelerated illicit trade but especially across online platforms including fraudulent COVID-19 related products.

“As we learned through our series of TF-CIT webinars over the past year, COVID-19 also created unprecedented opportunities for criminals to increase their already significant illicit activities, such as counterfeit pharmaceutical products and personal protective equipment (PPE), frauds, and coronavirus-phishing scams. Illicit trade has further hampered economic development by preventing the equitable distribution of resources that provide for sustainable futures,” said Luna. “Moving forward, the AITEG remains committed to continuing our partnership with the TF-CIT on Phase 2 of the E-Commerce project including more in-depth analyses of the institutional and governance gaps exploited by criminals, and encouragement of more national assessments and country studies.”

Giblin noted that USCIB and its members look forward to continued work with the BIAC AITEG in support of the OECD TF-CIT work streams.

USCIB Presses USTR for Section 301 Tariff Relief

USCIB sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai urging for full reinstatement of the Section 301 product exclusion process and calling for a negotiated solution to put an end to the tariffs.

According to USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, the letter was dispatched December 1 as USCIB’s response to the recent USTR request for comment on the possible reinstatement of certain product exclusions subject to the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation (86 FR 56345).

“While reinstatement of the product exclusion process is an important first step, we urge USTR to grant exclusions to all 549 products currently under review, to broaden the Section 301 product exclusion process, and to intensify high level engagement with the Chinese government and U.S. allies on a negotiated solution that ends these harmful tariffs,” said Clark. The letter advocates for retroactive recuperation of duties, long term extensions and a full and transparent Section 301 product exclusion process. It also urges caution when considering any future unilateral actions or remedies, as Ambassador Tai has indicated an interest in launching a new Section 301 investigation into Chinese industrial subsidy policies.

The letter further emphasizes that, while USCIB remains wholly committed to U.S. efforts to confront unfair trade practices, “we are concerned that the Section 301 tariffs imposed against Chinese imports have done more harm than good. Today, the tariffs cover over $370 billion in goods, levying tariffs of up to twenty-five percent on almost every Chinese import into the United States, including USCIB member products across the entire scope of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). The tariffs have raised the cost of doing business in the United States and increased prices for U.S. families without addressing or improving the practices identified by the Section 301.” This outcome runs counter to the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better agenda and goals for U.S. economic recovery.

USCIB Advocates Strong Investment Policies at OECD Investment Committee Sessions

USCIB and its international affiliate partners through Business at OECD (BIAC) remain on the front lines, defending solid, pro-investment policies at multilateral fora this fall.  

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson participated in the UN Committee on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) seventh World Investment Forum (WIF) as part of the Global Leader’s Investment Summit on October 19. “Now more than ever, it is important for international organizations like the UN and its member governments to provide the necessary welcoming environment for foreign direct investment in quality industry and infrastructure projects that help with pandemic relief and sustainable economic growth,” said Robinson. Otherwise, the pandemic exacerbated investment gap will persist with the developing world most at risk.”   

Robinson also called for a strong and sustained role for industry, as a key stakeholder, in the discussion on investment at UNCTAD, the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the OECD or elsewhere. His remarks were echoed by other industry representatives and welcomed by some developing countries like Egypt. Opposing views were led by development economist Jeffrey Sachs and countries like Pakistan that would like to see radical reform of the investor state dispute settlement mechanism and reduction or elimination of protections for foreign investors.   

USCIB Senior Advisor Shaun Donnelly was a lead private sector speaker at a parallel “experts meeting on International Investment Agreements in the same virtual UNCTAD World Investment Forum week. Donnelly forcefully defended investor protections, including a strong Investor-State Dispute settlement System (“ISDS”) as necessary protection against host government discriminatory or unfair treatment of foreign investors.  

There was discussion at WIF of establishing a multi-stakeholder “World Investment for Development Alliance” to facilitate greater collaboration between intergovernmental organizations, business entities, academic initiatives and civil society groups and to develop enabling frameworks to address international investment and sustainable development outcomes. USCIB will follow this proposal closely to ensure our active participation.

Donnelly and BIAC Investment Committee Chair Winand Quaedvlieg (Netherlands) led BIAC’s participation in the OECD Investment Committee’s semi-annual fall meetings. In a free-wheeling brainstorming session on investment treaties on October 28, Donnelly made a major intervention that a government’s right to regulate is not a right to discriminate or abuse investors, to be arbitrary or to be non-transparent.  He pointed out that “policy space” promoted by some governments and NGO participants should not translate into a “carte blanche” for governments to treat investors badly.  But unfortunately, according to Donnelly, some governments continue to do just that, underscoring the need for strong investor protections.   

Donnelly also joined Chairman Quaedvlieg on October 27 at a formal “stakeholder consultation” with the OECD Investment Committee leadership.  That session, where BIAC joins with labor union representatives from the Trade Union Advisory Council (TUAC) as well as civil society group OECD Watch, was an opportunity for each of the stakeholders to lay down priorities and basic positions on future work in the OECD Investment Committee.   

Donnelly and USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, remained engaged this fall in informal consultations with U.S. government leaders to press the importance of investor state dispute settlement and positive Biden Administration messaging on the investment climate. The messages built on the above, encouraging conducive taxation frameworks, facilitation of administrative procedures, complementary public investments in modern infrastructure and the right mind- and skill sets, and sound investment protection and general predictability. 

Finally of note, USCIB continues to work with BIAC to share business views with respect to development of the OECD Foreign Direct Investment Qualities toolkit, designed to help policymakers create an enabling environment for attracting Foreign Direct Investment that safeguards key sustainability goals: productivity and innovation; employment, job quality and skills; gender equality; and, low-carbon transition. The toolkit is earmarked as a key deliverable for next fall’s OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. 

According to Clark, “All of these interventions provided a great opportunity for USCIB to remind government officials at the national and international level of the importance of foreign direct investment to economic development, recovery and sustainability, particularly in the face of a pandemic induced downturn.  As such, we must continue to maintain strong investor protections in international investment agreements.”   

USCIB Leads Business Policy Roundtable as Part of Brazil’s Accession to OECD 

The Brazil OECD Business Policy Roundtable brought together U.S. and Brazilian government officials, the OECD and industry representatives in early November to discuss taxation reform and best practices as Brazil seeks to accede to the OECD.  According to USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, this is the latest of the several forums held by the Brazil Roundtable to explore changes to policy and practice – in line with OECD standards and best practices – that benefit businesses and employees while driving inclusive economic growth in Brazil.

Isaias Coelho, special advisor to Brazil’s Ministry of Economy, and Sandro de Vargas Serpa, undersecretary of Taxation and Litigation at the Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB), detailed the regulations and legislative proposals under consideration that would simplify taxes at the state, federal and municipal levels, reforming consumption, income and international taxation practices.

“Brazil is currently undertaking significant regulatory reforms consistent with OECD guidelines including Recommendations of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance,” said Coelho. The ultimate hope, according to Mario Sergio Carraro Telles, executive manager of Economics for the Brazil Industry Association, is to adopt laws that simplify the tax system and reduce costs and uncertainty for companies.

Brazil has been working since 2018 in a dialogue with OECD on transfer pricing, which has evolved into a project aimed at aligning the existing transfer pricing regime with the OECD standard.  This joint project was made possible with the support of UK Prosperity Fund and other OECD countries who share their experience and best practices with Brazil. The United States has bolstered this process through technical assistance and training, asserted John Hughes, director of Advanced Pricing and Mutual Agreement Program of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

According to OECD Senior Advisor Tomas Balco, current policies in Brazil end up double taxing multinationals, deterring foreign investment and preventing Brazil from participating fully in global value chains. Luiz de Medeiros, Brazil country manager for IBM and a USCIB member, provided details from an industry perspective, expressing “great hope” that Brazil laws can be aligned with OECD norms.  Toward that end, Flávio Antônio Gonçalves Martins Araújo, head of the International Relations Office at RFB, reported that Brazil Administration currently is working on a legislative proposal to submit to Congress and start a political discussion in 2022 on a new transfer pricing law.

“It is clear from the speakers that the mood is right for reform in Brazil, and efforts are being made despite the economic challenges posed by the pandemic,” said Clark. “We hope these roundtables can inform and inspire in that regard, offering solutions for change that ease the economic burden for all.”

USCIB led the meeting, along with cohorts from the Brazil-U.S. Business Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Brazil’s National Industry Confederation (CNI). As the official U.S. representative to Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB has been actively monitoring Brazil’s accession request to the OECD in order to advance business interest.

Additional roundtable discussions will be held throughout 2022, covering investment and trade, environment and sustainable development, as well as innovation and intellectual property.  Digital and regulatory issues were discussed earlier this year.

USCIB Staff Meet With New Zealand Ambassador; Discuss Trade and Investment Agenda

Left to right: Hannah Lee-Darboe, Ambassador Rosemary Banks, Peter Robinson

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson welcomed New Zealand Ambassador Rosemary Banks and her New York-based colleague the New Zealand Consul General and Trade Commissioner Hannah Lee-Darboe to USCIB’s New York office on November 15.

Robinson was joined by USCIB Senior Vice President Brian Lowry and Senior Director Alice Slayton Clark, both of whom tuned into the meeting remotely from USCIB’s Midwest and Washington, DC, offices, respectively.

“We greatly welcomed the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Banks and her colleague, who were interested in discussing perspectives on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and future U.S. trade policy directions,” said Robinson. “We stressed our interest in and commitment to revitalizing the trade and investment agenda, specifically at the Asia-Pacific regional level, and more broadly at the multilateral level with a stronger World Trade Organization. My colleagues and I also provided insights into the divergent U.S. public views on trade depending on geographic location, political views and direct personal relevance of international trade.”

USCIB staff also expressed general appreciation for New Zealand’s role as host of APEC in 2021 and its global leadership in the trade space.

USCIB Leads Effort in Letter to USTR Tai on Reforming WTO Dispute Settlement System

USCIB led an effort along with nearly a dozen other leading business and trade associations to send a letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai regading the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial and in reforming its dispute settlement system.

The letter welcomed USTR Tai’s recent remarks affirming the U.S. commitment to the WTO and to successful outcomes at the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12).

The letter stated: We agree that the WTO can fulfill the promise of the Marrakesh Agreement by supporting market-based principles, promoting inclusive growth and addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The letter also emphasized that the U.S. and global economy, and the livelihoods of workers around the world, depend on an effective WTO. A level multilateral playing field helps American manufacturers, services suppliers, innovators and farmers – large and small – by enabling workers and communities to compete more fairly in markets around the globe. Since 1948, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the WTO, world trade increased forty-fold in real terms to more than twenty-five trillion dollars today. More than thirty percent of U.S. GDP today is derived from trade, and over forty million American jobs – one in five – depend on trade and trade lowers costs for American families.

Regarding reform, the letter emphasized: “building off MC12, the WTO needs reform to meet the demands of today by modernizing its agreements and ensuring members follow existing rules and commitments. We support advancing a comprehensive WTO reform agenda that tackles dispute settlement, special and differential treatment, distortive non-market industrial subsidies, and state-owned enterprises. Reforms should also cover emerging services and technologies, enhance inclusivity, and help harness trade to address climate change. A modern WTO should expand plurilateral pathways to trade liberalization, update institutional rules and procedures, improve monitoring, promote greater transparency through notifications, and involve more stakeholders.”

The full letter can be viewed directly below.

Organizations leading the effort included USCIB, Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NFTC, American Chemistry Council, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, the Business Software Alliance and the Coalition for Services Industries.

Dear Ambassador Tai:

We welcome your recent remarks affirming the U.S. commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to successful outcomes at the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). We agree that the WTO can fulfill the promise of the Marrakesh Agreement by supporting market-based principles, promoting inclusive growth and addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The U.S. and global economy, and the livelihoods of workers around the world, depend on an effective WTO. A level multilateral playing field helps American manufacturers, services suppliers, innovators and farmers – large and small – by enabling workers and communities to compete more fairly in markets around the globe. Since 1948, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the WTO, world trade increased 40-fold in real terms to more than $25 trillion today. More than 30 percent of U.S. GDP today is derived from trade, and over 40 million American jobs – 1 in 5 – depend on trade and trade lowers costs for American families.

A successful MC12 will require urgent U.S. leadership to secure concrete deliverables that advance U.S. interests and competitiveness in areas such as fisheries, domestic regulations, agriculture, e-commerce, trade facilitation and pandemic response. Such results will demonstrate that the WTO can produce meaningful outcomes and can set a foundation for future reforms and commitments. Outcomes that weaken WTO rules, however, such as by undermining longstanding disciplines on subsidies, electronic transmissions or intellectual property, would instead weaken core WTO principles and commitments as well as support for the institution.

Building off MC12, the WTO needs reform to meet the demands of today by modernizing its agreements and ensuring members follow existing rules and commitments. We support advancing a comprehensive WTO reform agenda that tackles dispute settlement, special and differential treatment, distortive non-market industrial subsidies, and state-owned enterprises. Reforms should also cover emerging services and technologies, enhance inclusivity, and help harness trade to address climate change. A modern WTO should expand plurilateral pathways to trade liberalization, update institutional rules and procedures, improve monitoring, promote greater transparency through notifications, and involve more stakeholders.

WTO dispute settlement holds parties to their commitments. Reforming the WTO dispute settlement system will require the United States to offer concrete and detailed proposals that address longstanding process and appellate body overreach concerns to enable the system to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively. The United States has successfully used WTO dispute settlement to challenge WTO violations without resorting to unilateral measures that draw retaliation and tit-for-tat escalation. Reforming and restoring the system will support U.S. interests and can hold WTO members accountable to their commitments.

The Administration can best support the international rules-based system and the WTO by making concrete proposals and partnering with allies who share market-based trade liberalization, modernization, and reform principles. Moreover, scheduling more frequent Trade Ministers meetings could help overcome impasses, support reforms and foster progress. We will continue to work with you and your team to advance our shared goals for the WTO. U.S. companies, workers, and families will all benefit when the WTO achieves what it was established to do.

Sincerely,

American Chemistry Council

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Property Casualty Insurance Association

Business Roundtable

Business Software Alliance

Coalition for Services Industries

National Foreign Trade Council

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Council for International Business

USCIB Leads Business Voices at UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum

USCIB again provided international business community leadership at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s World Investment Forum (WIF), a summit level meeting held virtually this year from UNCTAD’s Geneva headquarters. USCIB President/CEO Peter Robinson was a private sector speaker at one of the Summit leaders’ plenary panels, reprising a lead role he had taken at two earlier UNCTAD WIF sessions. Shaun Donnelly, a USCIB Senior Advisor, led the business panelists at the annual UNCTAD high-level Conference on International Investment Agreements (IIAs). Donnelly has participated, in person or virtually in Geneva in the last six UNCTAD IIA sessions. Business is often underrepresented at UNCTAD meetings, which tend to attract more participation from government officials, NGOs and academic representatives. USCIB consistently steps forward to ensure that business concerns and priorities are on the table.

In their interventions, both Robinson and Donnelly emphasized the importance of international private investment in driving global economic recovery, growth, and job creation and in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is imperative to business that investment decisions are backed by strong and enforceable international investment agreements (IIAs). Some foreign government representatives seem intent on weakening, even eliminating important “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” arbitration procedures, which can protect foreign investors from arbitrary and discriminatory treatment by host governments.

“We thought it was important to step forward again at this year’s World Investment Forum to ensure business perspectives were represented,” said Robinson. “I think we at USCIB have developed a good relationship with the leadership at UNCTAD and have helped to emphasize the importance of including business voices in their meetings. Investment is such an important issue as the world struggles for economic recovery, growth, good jobs and progress toward the UN SDGs. And forward progress will depend on strong multi-stakeholder collaboration, with UNCTAD being a key organization in bringing all relevant parties together. I also appreciated the opportunity to connect with UNCTAD’s new Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan, former Vice-President of Costa Rica.”

USCIB international partners served as panelists at the WIF, delivering similar messages. International Chamber of Commerce Secretary General John Denton spoke at the opening Summit session and Winand Quaedvlieg, a senior official from our Dutch counterpart national committee, VNO, and Chair of the Business at OECD (BIAC) Investment Committee, joined Donnelly on the important IIA panel session.

UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum continues on line virtually for the rest of the week. We will monitor sessions for important developments.

USCIB Meets With Ngozi to Enhance Synergies Between WTO and US Industry

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO and USCIB Trustee Suzanne Clark hosted a meeting of top U.S. trade association leaders on September 22 with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in advance of the WTO ministerial meeting (MC12) in December. USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson attended for USCIB, accompanied by Alice Slayton Clark, director of Investment, Trade and China. The intimate gathering provided an opportunity to enhance synergies and understanding between the WTO and U.S. industry, a goal for the new director general.

Dr. Ngozi repeated her continued concerns about the viability of the WTO, and the need to produce concrete results at the MC12 on fishery subsidies, food security, trade and health/access to vaccines, as well as the joint statement initiatives on e-commerce and services domestic regulations. Robinson noted the multifaceted challenges facing vaccine access, and urged reduction of trade and regulatory barriers to distribution and administration as the most important approach. He emphasized a letter USCIB sent to Dr. Ngozi this summer on this issue, co-signed by the Chamber and BusinessEurope, among others.

In addition, Robinson stressed USCIB interest in revitalizing and expanding negotiations on an environmental goods agreement that were sidelined in 2016 largely over concerns about the definition of products to be included. Other USCIB priorities were also raised during the meeting, including: concerns about industrial subsidies, dispute settlement procedures, and special and differential treatment; and support for the science of agricultural biotechnology and extension of the e-commerce moratorium. There was a good deal of consensus on many of these key issues among the participants.

Robinson also expressed support for the initiatives to work with the WTO in improving the global trading system that are underway in the three global business organizations with which USCIB is affiliated, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC).

USCIB’s member companies rely on the WTO as the multilateral forum for resolving trade disputes and expanding market access for selling goods and services overseas. It urges the Biden Administration to take a leadership role at the MC12 in reforming and updating the WTO so it can remain a viable source for trade adjudication and liberalization in the decades to come.