The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) continues to be a priority forum for USCIB as the region is key to accelerating regional economic integration as well as promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth. To aid private sector engagement, USCIB works with the U.S. APEC business coalition to meet with APEC officials and participate in APEC meetings throughout the year, culminating in the APEC CEO Summit, a meeting of CEOs and leaders from the APEC economies.
USCIB has compiled its annual priority issues and recommendations paper, which focuses on ICT, chemicals and customs, which can be found here. The paper will also be circulated by NCAPEC at the Executive Roundtable in advance of SOM I.
Megan Giblin, USCIB’s director of customs and trade facilitation will be attending the first APEC Senior Officials Meeting and related meetings (SOM I) in Nha Trang, Viet Nam, held February 18 – March 3. Giblin will participate in the Subcommittee on Customs Procedures meetings, under her role as co-chair for the Customs Virtual Working Group, the APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2) meetings, and several Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECGS) meetings.
Giblin will also continue advocacy work initiated in APEC 2016 related to WTO TFA. Giblin noted that “TFA implementation efforts, establishing and fostering relationships with Customs officials from APEC economies and identifying linkages to the work underway within the USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee are critical. USCIB is interested in securing tangible and measured outcomes tied to TFA articles for all member economies during Viet Nam’s host year.”
American Petroleum Institute (API), a USCIB member, will participate in the APEC Chemical Dialogue to continue supporting consistent implementation of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), which was created by the United Nations, across the Asia Pacific region. API encourages the Chemical Dialogue to build on the GHS capacity building event held at SOM III in Lima, Peru to promote efforts to reduce divergences in implementation of GHS. The Lima workshop ultimately agreed on several outcomes and recommendations for further work within the CD to build understanding of, and address divergences in. These recommendations include capacity building for UN GHS building blocks, capacity building regarding identification and classification of key products, determining best practices between different versions of GHS, and training on how adoption of the GHS in different sectors could result in various outcomes.
Several USCIB members will also be participating in the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) and the Data Privacy Subgroup (DPS) meetings at SOM I. At the meetings, there will likely be continued promotion of APEC participation in the Cross-Border Privacy Rules System (CBPR), particularly further discussion about plans by South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, and other interested APEC economies to join the CBPR. There will be a continued review of the APEC Privacy Framework, aimed at improving and refining the framework, which is over a decade old. Importantly, the ECSG will consider a draft Strategic Plan to be tabled by the U.S. Government. The plan will outline four priorities: (1) promoting cross-border data flows; (2) enhancing SME competitiveness globally; (3) increasing connectivity of APEC economies; and (4) improving infrastructure through advanced technologies.
USCIB looks forward to working with members and NCAPEC at SOM I and throughout the year.