During the months of February and March 2018, USCIB Staff met with Special Assistant to the President Clete Willems and Senate Finance Chief International Trade Counsel Shane Warren on our trade priorities, advocated for business interests in NAFTA on Capitol Hill and at negotiating rounds in Canada and Mexico, submitted comments to the United Kingdom on proposals regarding corporate taxation and the digital economy, briefed the new Economic and Business Bureau Assistant Secretary at State, Manisha Singh, on business issues at the OECD, highlighted member issues at ITU in a discussion with Assistant Secretary of Commerce and NTIA Administrator David Redl, and much more. Below are summaries of these and other highlights from the activities of USCIB in Washington, D.C. over the last two 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.
- 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
- Upcoming Events
- Staff List
Trade and Investment – Opening Global Markets for Trade and Investment
- USCIB Trade Committee Meets with Special Assistant to the President and Senate Finance Chief Trade Council: The USCIB Trade and Investment Committee, which is Chaired by Rick Johnston, Citigroup, met at the Citi offices in Washington, D.C. on March 6, 2018. The committee was first joined by Shane Warren, Chief International Trade Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. Shane provided his off the record view of the administration’s announcement that it would impose steel and aluminum Section 232 tariffs, the most recent NAFTA negotiating round, KORUS, the U.S.-China trade relationship, and the status of key nominations. Clete Willems, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Trade, Investment, and Development, then joined the committee to have an off the record discussion on a range of issues including the Administration’s focus on trade enforcement, improving trade agreements, and dealing with the WTO.
- USCIB Sets Up Investment Task Force: Following up on discussions at the March 6, 2018 meeting of USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee about the growing list of investment policy issues (CFIUS, NAFTA Investment renegotiation, Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) “reform”), USCIB members agreed to set up an Investment Task Force, under the overall Trade and Investment Committee. Unfortunately, some of these challenging issues seem to be moving in the wrong direction for business, so it is a critical time for USCIB to be engaged. If you or a colleague has an interest in investment issues, or might just want to learn a bit more about these issues, please let Shaun Donnelly (firstname.lastname@example.org), Eva Hampl (email@example.com) or Chris Olsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) know.
- USCIB Advocates for Member Interests at NAFTA Rounds in Canada and Mexico: USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services Eva Hampl was on the ground for the sixth and seventh rounds of NAFTA negotiations in Montreal and Mexico City, coordinating with member companies and associations, and meeting with negotiators from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. A delegation of the House Ways & Means Committee was on the ground in Montreal as well as Mexico City, participating in a range of meetings and events, showing bipartisan support of NAFTA. The sixth round saw progress made on a technical level in several chapters, including digital trade and telecom, and the closing out of the anti-corruption chapter. The four “poison pill” proposals, which refer to automobile rules of origin, investor-state dispute settlement, government procurement, and sunset provision remained contentious, though Canada and Mexico presented new and creative ideas in an attempt to work within the U.S. proposals. The seventh round concluded on March 5 with three new chapters and two sectoral annexes closed out. While valuable progress continued to be made on modernization chapters such as customs and digital trade, there continued to be very little progress in the poison pill or rebalancing proposals the United States has put on the table. On investment protection, Canada and Mexico have begun negotiating among themselves, and have similarly begun to do so on government procurement, which was a new development during the Mexico round.
- USCIB Partners with Keidanren on NAFTA Letter to Governors: Rob Mulligan, USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, coordinated with representatives of the Japanese Business Group, Keidanren, in developing a joint letter to the governors of every state expressing support for keeping and modernizing NAFTA. The letter stressed the view that USCIB has urged from the beginning that negotiations should “do no harm” to the existing NAFTA framework and reinforced key messages related to ISDS, rules of origin, government procurement, and any sunset provision. It also noted the importance of NAFTA to encouraging foreign direct investment as evidenced by the number of jobs in each state that are accounted for by Japanese-owned firms. The letter was sent in advance of the National Governors Association that was held in Washington, D.C. at the end of February so governors would highlight our issues in their meetings with the Administration.
- Hampl Speaks on ISDS at Program During NAFTA Round in Mexico: During the NAFTA round in Mexico, Eva Hampl participated in an event entitled “NAFTA Negotiations Status – Current Situation & Impact Analysis” hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico. Hampl’s remarks at this event addressed the business perspective and priorities, covering the current status of the negotiations, highlighting the substantive and political difficulties, and outlining what these various developments mean for U.S. business especially with regard to ISDS. Hampl was joined by Salvador Behar, director for North America in the Secretariat of Economy, part of Mexico’s negotiating team and Jean-Dominique Ieraci, minister-counsellor for trade for the Embassy of Canada, and part of Canada’s negotiating team. The off-the-record remarks were followed by a discussion with the three speakers, joined by Jennifer Haworth McCandless, partner at Sidley Austin and international arbitration and trade expert. The discussion was moderated by Armando Ortega, president of the CanCham Mexico.
- USCIB Leads Group of Companies and Associations at NAFTA House Lobby Day: Leading up to the seventh round of NAFTA negotiations in Mexico City, Eva Hampljoined more than 100 representatives from the business and agriculture community on Wednesday, February 21, for a second NAFTA House Lobby Day. The Lobby Day gave business representatives the opportunity to talk about business concerns and perspectives regarding the ongoing negotiations to modernize NAFTA and to increase support in the leadup to the Mexico round, which took place February 26 to March 6. Hampl led one of the groups on the Hill, which included representatives from other associations and companies from the business and agriculture community. The diversity of sectors represented was extremely helpful in getting the business message across. Hampl’s group alone met with 9 offices throughout the day, receiving generally positive feedback about supporting our issues and concerns, including interest in signing on to a House NAFTA letter.
- Peter Robinson Pushes USCIB Agenda on International Organizations at State Department: USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson met with the senior leadership of two key State Department bureaus on February 28, 2018, to press our agenda for private sector access, sound economic policies, and management reforms in the OECD and key UN agencies. Peter emphasized the need for strong U.S. Government action to confront increasing efforts by NGOs, some foreign governments, and parts of the UN bureaucracy in the World Health Organization, International Labor Organization and other UN organizations to restrict private sector access and public/private partnerships. With new Economic and Business (EB) Bureau Assistant Secretary Manisha Singh, Peter focused on challenges confronting the OECD, including restricted access for business and apparent anti-business policy bias in some key OECD committees and programs.
- Mulligan Joins Podcast on Trade Models That Work for Everyone: ICC United Kingdom invited Rob Mulligan to participate in a podcast discussion on trade models that work for everyone on February 15. The discussion was moderated by Chris Southworth, Secretary General for ICC UK and included Jean Blaylock, Coordinator at the Trade Justice Movement. Mulligan described the many layers of consultation with stakeholders that are part of the U.S. process for negotiating trade agreements including Trade Promotion Authority requirements, solicitation of comments through the Federal Register and the formal Trade Advisory Committees. All of these and more provides a basis for broad stakeholder input into the U.S. government as it pursues trade agreements. As the UK is preparing for trade negotiations post-Brexit, it does not have these types of processes in place and is exploring best practices among different countries.
- USCIB Leads U.S. Business Advocacy Effort on Colombia’s Accession Process to the OECD: The week of March 5, 2018, USCIB was actively involved in various meetings with the Colombian government, business community and civil society on the issue of Colombia’s accession process to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In anticipation of the April meeting of the OECD Trade Committee which will consider Colombia accession, Rob Mulligan and Eva Hampl met with Colombia’s Minister of Trade Maria Lorena Gutierrez to discuss outstanding issues on pharmaceuticals, distilled spirits and truck scrapping, as outlined in the Business at OECD (BIAC) Pre-Accession Recommendations. Also part of the delegation was Colombia’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit Mauricio Cardenas Santamaria, who advocated strongly for Colombia to accede prior to the end of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santosterm this summer. USCIB also had a meeting with ANDI, the National Business Association of Colombia, to discuss outstanding issues for business. Bruce Mac Master, president of ANDI led a delegation of Colombian CEOs in an effort to make progress on issues like trucking and pharmaceuticals. Hampl also addressed these critical issues to U.S. business with Colombian civil society in an interview on Colombian radio.
- USCIB Moderates Panel on Trade and Corruption in Paris: The week of March 26, 2018, Eva Hampl was in Paris, participating in the OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum. On March 27, Hampl moderated a panel titled “Integrity & Trade: No Need to Grease the Wheels”, which focused on the relationship between trade facilitation and opportunities for corruption at the border. The speakers were Evdokia Moise, Senior Trade Policy Analyst at the OECD; Benedicte Fleischer, Policy Director of Trade Negotiations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway; Ernani Checcucci, Capacity Building Director at the World Customs Organization (WCO), and Gonzalo Guzman, Director, ABAC Governance and External Engagement at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Hampl noted the importance of trade running smoothly to our companies. Corruption is a cost to business and companies invest in compliance systems, however there are limitations to what business can affect internally. OECD presented preliminary work addressing issues like automation and the relationship to corruption. Following the presentation, a lively debate ensued covering various issues and concluding that while much is already being done, still more must be achieved, particularly when it comes to collaboration between governments, business, and civil society.
- Hampl Advocates on SOE Issues at OECD meetings: While in Paris the week of March 26, 2018, Eva Hampl also participated in various meetings surrounding the work of the OECD Working Party on State Ownership and Privatization Practices. The consultation with the SOE working party took place on March 27. BIAC presented comments on global reporting standards for internationally active SOEs, integrity and anti-corruption in state-owned enterprises, as well as the OECD working party’s program of work for 2019-20. Hampl made specific comments addressing the importance of stakeholder and particularly business involvement, the importance of the adherence to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to ensure government backing, the benefits of privatization, and the importance of a horizontal OECD work program. The SOE issue has been addressed in turn by various Committees of the OECD. During the consultation, BIAC learned that such horizontal activity is being pursued by the OECD. On March 28, BIAC participated in a discussion with members of the Working Party on the follow up to the special roundtable on SOEs and Integrity in October, and on the “building blocks” of future OECD Anti-Corruption and Integrity Guidelines for the state as owner of SOEs.
- USCIB Continues to Push for More Openness to Stakeholder Input at the OECD: While in Paris for meetings, Eva Hampl had several meetings pushing the importance of stakeholder input and corresponding necessity to open OECD meetings more to business input. Hampl met with several officials at the U.S. Mission to the OECD, including Andrew Haviland, Chargé d’Affaires and Melissa Kehoe, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission. In addition, Hampl spoke with Nathan Anderson, who covers investment, anti-corruption, and governance issues among other portfolios, and closely follows concerns relating to stakeholder input and other structural issues. USCIB is encouraged to see strong support for U.S. business and a desire to support our push for increased access to relevant discussions in areas of importance to our companies.
- USCIB Advocates for Business on Anti-Corruption Issues at State and Commerce: On February 20, 2018, Eva Hampl participated in an off-the-record Roundtable on Anti-Corruption Priorities and G20 Engagement at the State Department. A small group of business and civil society received an update and engaged in discussion with various State Department officials covering different parts of the U.S. anti-corruption agenda. Topics covered included 2018 Multilateral Priorities, Priorities for the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, and Visa Denial Authorities. USCIB engages on the G20/B20 anti-corruption work via the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). This roundtable provided an opportunity to raise some of our issues of concern in the anti-bribery space and provide input on work going forward. The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, co-chaired by Argentina and France, had their first of three meetings in Buenos Aires February 28 – March 1. The next two meetings will be held in Paris June 27-28 and October 11-12. In addition, on February 22, Hampl joined a meeting on anti-bribery business priorities with Department of Commerce General Counsel Peter Davidson. USCIB provided input on how the Commerce Department should be addressing international corruption issues affecting trade and U.S. exports. The Commerce Department also participates in the OECD Working Group on Bribery.
- Hampl and Donnelly Talk Investment and ISDS with API’s Trade Working Group: On February 20, 2018, Eva Hampl and Shaun Donnelly met with the Trade Working Group of the American Petroleum Institute (API), comparing assessments and priorities on investment issues in the NAFTA negotiations and the Administration’s efforts to weaken investment protections and ISDS enforcement procedures in NAFTA and more generally. The API team included several USCIB member company representatives so there was clear consensus on the challenges ahead and a commitment to keep working together.
- Illicit Trade Issues Heat Up: The OECD’s Task Force on Illicit Trade (under the auspices of OECD’s Governance committee and division) came to Washington to roll out its major new report “Governance Frameworks to Counter Illicit Trade” at the OECD Washington Center on March 1, 2018. USCIB Vice President, Investment and Financial Services, Shaun Donnelly represented USCIB at that session and consulted with key OECD secretariat staff and with Christa Brzozowski, Deputy assistant Secretary at DHC, the new co-chair of the OECD Task Force. Two weeks later, on March 15-16, Shaun was in Paris representing USCIB at the OECD Illicit Trade Task Force’s annual conference along with a cross-sectoral group of USCIB member companies active in combatting Illicit Trade around the world. With member companies from consumer goods, IT, pharmaceuticals, package delivery and beyond increasingly concerned with and active in combatting illicit trade issues at the OECD, ICC and elsewhere, USCIB is developing a coordinated approach which will likely touch on multiple current committees. “Illicit Trade” is a broad, elastic and still-evolving term covering counterfeiting and piracy, gray market goods, illicit or unauthorized e-commerce, and all forms of smuggling (from cigarettes and luxury goods to arms, drugs, currency, antiquities, endangered species, and human trafficking).
- Donnelly Talks Stakeholders at State Department’s Training for U.S. Government Delegates to OECD Committees: Shaun Donnelly represented USCIB as a Stakeholder panelist at the annual day-long training session for U.S. Government staffers across the government who represent the U.S. at various OECD Committees and other sessions in Paris. Shaun (representing business and the BIAC consultation process) joined representatives from the AFL-CIO (for the Trade Union Advisory Committee or “TUAC”) and the Accountability Council (for “OECD Watch”/civil society). Shaun emphasized the value of business/BIAC input (representing real world practitioners) to OECD committees and urged U.S. Government representatives to push to maximize access for BIAC and other stakeholders in OECD committees and other fora. BIAC still faces real barriers to participation in or even real dialogue with some important OECD bodies. Shaun challenged USG reps in those committees to take the lead in pressing to open up those sessions.
- Claman Speaks for USCIB/BIAC at OECD Investment Treaties Conference: Citi’s Kimberley Claman joined Shaun Donnelly at the semi-annual OECD and BIAC Investment Committee meetings in Paris March 12-13, 2018. Claman is Vice-Chair of the BIAC Committee. She represented BIAC on the closing panel of the OECD’s all-day Investment Treaties Conference on March 12, effectively emphasizing the business perspective and challenging some unhelpful points made earlier in the day by academics and investment critics. Shaun helped lead the BIAC team in the formal consultation where we pressed OECD to work from BIAC’s proactive investment policy agenda. In large part due to BIAC’s steady pressure for more access to OECD investment Committee substantive session, all stakeholders were included in an interesting debate on “National Security” provisions in international investment agreements – an important and timely topic (especially with the U.S. Administration’s recent steel and aluminum tariff decisions being justified on Section 232 national security grounds).
- USCIB Holds Useful Side Meetings in Paris with U.S. Mission: Shaun Donnelly was able to squeeze in some important side meetings while in Paris March 12-16, 2018, for the OECD Investment Committee and Illicit Trade Task Force meetings. He had very useful meetings with the new Acting Head of the U.S. Mission to the OECD (“Charge d’affairs”) Andrew Havilland and his Acting # 2, normally the Economic Counselor, Melissa Kehoe, focused on OECD management and budget issues and ongoing problems with business/BIAC access to some important OECD bodies. Both Andrew and Melissa are former colleagues from Shaun’s earlier life in the U.S. Foreign Service. Shaun also met with Nikolaus Schultze, the new Policy Director at the International Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Paris. Shaun was Mr. Schultze’s first outside visitor at ICC. Shaun also had a very useful meeting with Christine LePage, the head of the International Division of MEDEF, the largest and most influential French business group and our French counterpart organization in both BIAC and the International Organization of Employers (IOE).
- USCIB Promotes Business Priorities at ICANN Intersessional Meeting: Los Angeles, California served as the venue for the 5th Intersessional Meeting of ICANN’s Non-Contracted Party House (NCPH) on February 1-2, 2018. The two-day gathering brought together seven delegates from each of the six Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) and Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) constituencies. It was facilitated by ICANN staff and featured Business Constituency (BC) Chair Claudia Selli (AT&T) and BC Executive Committee member Barbara Wanner (USCIB), among others. The NCPH Intersessional meeting served as a dedicated forum for discussions about DNS policy and procedural issues that regular ICANN meetings often cannot accommodate. Importantly, the February meeting enabled the two houses to explore with ICANN CEO Göran Marby and members of the Board many concerns – both shared and differing – about the implications of the May 25, 2018 implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on ICANN’s WHOIS database policies and the contractual obligations of companies providing domain names.
- USCIB Members Explore 2018 Challenges in Digital Trade: On February 13, 2018, USCIB’s Digital Trade Working Group (DTWG) convened for a wide-ranging discussion about e-commerce initiatives underway in APEC, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). USCIB members Daniel Crosby, Partner, King and Spalding, who heads the firm’s Geneva office, and Hamid Mamdouh, Partner, King and Spalding, who is the former Director of the Trade in Services Division, WTO, provided insights into likely elements of the WTO’s Enabling E-Commerce Initiative. OECD’s Julia Nielson, Head of Development Division in the Trade and Agriculture Directorate, and Javier Lopez Gonzalez also from the Trade and Agriculture Directorate, updated members on the OECD’s digital trade work, which will feed into the broader OECD Going Digital project. Michelle Sylvester-Jose, Commerce Department, previewed what to expect at the SOM 1 meetings in Papua New Guinea of APEC’s Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG), which were held February 26-March 2. Eva Hampl shared developments at the late-January round of NAFTA negotiations in Montreal.
- USCIB Members Showcase Privacy, Domain Name Expertise at ICANN 61: USCIB member representatives from Amazon, AT&T, BT America, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, VeriSign, and Verizon made key contributions to discussions at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 10-15, 2018, (ICANN 61). In view of the fast-approaching May 25 implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), USCIB members, working through both the Commercial Stakeholders Group and the Registry Group, seized the initiative to provide critical feedback about an interim model proposed by ICANN. The model is aimed at ensuring that ICANN and its contracted parties comply with existing ICANN contractual requirements concerning the collection of registration data (the so-called WHOIS database) as well as meet the GDPR privacy protection requirements. Importantly, USCIB participants in the ICANN Business Constituency surfaced a proposal to establish an accreditation mechanism to enable third party access to restricted data for law enforcement, consumer protection, and brand management and intellectual property protection purposes. Barbara Wanner, USCIB Vice President, ICT Policy, participated in these meetings in her capacity as the Business Constituency representative to the Commercial Stakeholder Group.
- Commerce/White House Officials Brief USCIB Members on the Multilateral ICT Agenda, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Issues: At the USCIB ICT Policy Committee Meeting on March 26, 2018, David Redl, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), provided an overview of NTIA’s multilateral ICT agenda, noting key issues that will be addressed at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary (PP-18), October 29-November 16, in Dubai, UAE. He encouraged USCIB to continue to engage with NTIA and other U.S. Government agencies in shaping the PP-18 outcome. In addition, Abigail Slater, Special Assistant to the President for Technology, Telecommunications and Cybersecurity Policy, National Economic Council, The White House, discussed the potential impact on U.S. companies of the pending implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as key cybersecurity initiatives under development. ICANN officials Christopher Mondini, Vice President, Global Business Engagement, and Matt Larson, Vice President of Research, Office of the CTO, explored ICANN’s ongoing efforts to maintain the safety, security, and resilience of the domain name system (DNS) and expand global engagement on DNS and internet governance issues.
- USCIB Participates in Pacific Rim Tax Conference: Carol Doran Klein, USCIB VP and International Tax Counsel, participated in a panel on dispute resolution with Doug O’Donnell, Commissioner, Large Business and International, Internal Revenue Service and Mark Konza, Deputy Commissioner International, Australian Taxation Office at the recent Pacific Rim Tax Conference in California. This conference provides a good opportunity to engage with governments, companies and advisors from this part of the world. At the Conference, Carol emphasized that dispute resolution not only requires good processes, but also consensus on underlying principles, so that unilateral measures such as the Australian Multinational Anti-avoidance Law and the Diverted Profits Tax undercut the ability of countries to improve dispute resolution.
- USCIB Submits Comment Letters to the United Kingdom: USCIB submitted two comment letters to the UK on recent proposals on the taxation of royalties and corporate income taxation and the digital economy. The taxation of the digital economy is likely the main tax topic at the OECD, the EU and the UN this year (and perhaps beyond). Many of the proposals for taxing the digital economy (not just these from the UK) would result in significant shifts in taxing jurisdiction and may have a negative impact on U.S. based businesses. It is, therefore, important for USCIB to keep an eye out for new unilateral proposals and respond appropriately to those proposals. Historically, the UK has been a strong supporter of residence based taxation, but in recent years has shifted to much lower rates, patent boxes, weak CFC regimes, combined with anti-abuse rules (such as the DPT) designed to preserve this reduced level of taxation. Some of these proposals (including the DPT) have been picked up in other countries. The UK recently released an updated position paper on corporate income taxation and the digital economy. That paper seems to take a step back from the earlier paper, but continues to press for recognition of user contributions to the determination of corporate income tax.
- USCIB Holds Tax Committee Meeting: USCIB held a Tax Committee meeting on February 22, 2018. Some of the topics covered included the USCIB’s response to U.S. tax reform, the work at the OECD and the UN and the Platform for Collaboration on Tax. Kevin Nichols addressed the members of the committee on issues arising under the BEAT.
- New U.S. Brussels Attaché Gets Briefing on USCIB and its Work: There is a new U.S. attaché in Brussels covering the EU Commission, Brussels Mission, and the World Customs Organization. On February 1, 2018, Megan Giblin, USCIB Director, Customs and Trade Facilitation met with Ms. Christina Bell to introduce USCIB, key issues of interest to USCIB in the customs arena (e.g., WCO E-Commerce Working Group, Temporary Admissions and the ATA Carnet System, Container Convention Virtual Working Group), and to lay the ground work for future USCIB engagement and coordination. USCIB and the Customs Committee look forward to working with Ms. Bell and serving as a subject matter, content, and practitioner information source as the U.S. defines government positions on issues under discussion at the WCO.
- USCIB Customs Committee Finalizes and Shares Comments on Draft WCO Cross-Border E-Commerce Framework: After several content focused meetings to review draft USCIB Customs Committee comments and collect additional member inputs on the V2 WCO Draft Cross-Border E-Commerce Framework, USCIB Customs Committee comments were finalized on March 9, 2018. These comments were shared with government partners including CBP, Dept. of Commerce, Dept. of State, Treasury and USTR. USCIB comments were also shared with the ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation E-Commerce Working Group to be included in the ICC Commission formal comments to the WCO.
- Colombian Customs and Trade Attachés Hear from USCIB Customs Committee: In follow-up to late 2017 meetings with Trade attaches in Washington, DC, Megan Giblin met with Colombian Trade and Customs attaches in Brussels to discuss Customs Committee concerns related to, among others: TFA package status, formal Customs – Industry engagement mechanisms, adequate time for review and comment of proposed regulations, implementation of the 2016 Customs Law, and Customs Valuation. The meeting was positive and built on our open dialogue regarding member concerns and looking for creative resolutions. Follow-up meetings with U.S. attaches in Colombia will take place on Customs Valuation issues in the future.
- Giblin Represents ICC at 61st Session of the WCO HSC Meetings in Brussels: Megan Giblin served as an ICC delegate, along with CompTIA’s Stefanie Holland, at the 61stst Session of the WCO HSC, where several issues of member concern were on the agenda for opinion finalization or global classification including: peanuts, drones, monitors, tobacco capsule, crab flavour, iPhone6, Play-doh kits, and more. The first day of the full Committee served as a platform for the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Harmonized System Nomenclature, which brought together past WCO Directorate leadership, UN representatives, and under the ICC umbrella USCIB Customs Committee member Carlos Halasz of HP to present on the importance of the common language of international trade.
- USCIB Customs Committee Hosts Dept. of State, CBP, and Industry Experts: The USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee held an in-person meeting on March 14, 2018. This well attended event was hosted at the offices of Sandler, Travis & Rosenburg. The Committee heard from Randy Rotchin, CEO and President of C3E Technologies to discuss GTIN and GSI. Manuel Garza, Director, Manifest & Conveyance Security – U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Joseph Reese, Chief, International Postal Policy Office of Specialized and Technical Agencies (IO/STA) Bureau of International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State to continued our ongoing dialogue related to advanced electronic data and international postal shipments.
- Membership Meetings: The USCIB membership department and policy staff met with representatives from member companies Applied Materials, CenturyLink and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson met with representatives from member companies DHL, Exxon, Ericsson and Verizon 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.
- New Members: USCIB has recently welcomed Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Holland & Hart LLP and Nike as new members
- USCIB Competition Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – April 9, 2018
- UNCTAD E-Commerce Week, Geneva, Switzerland – April 16-20
- USCIB Environment Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – April 19, 2018
- ICC Digital Economy Commission (ICC-DEC) Meeting, Paris, France – April 19-20
- USCIB Geneva Week, Geneva, Switzerland – April 23-26
- BIAC Trade Committee Meeting, Paris, France – April 23
- OECD Trade Committee Meeting, Paris, France – April 24-25
- UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group (Investor-State Dispute Settlement), New York, April 23-27
- USCIB CSR/Labor Affairs Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C. – May 2-3
- ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 2-4
- USCIB-AmCham EU Webinar: International Health and Environment Policy Linkages – Thursday, May 3, 2018
- NGA North American Summit, Scottsdale, Arizona – May 4-6
- Meetings of the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) and its Working Parties, Paris, France – May 14-18
- ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption Meeting, Paris, France – May 30
- 2018 OECD International Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. – June 4-5
- ICANN 62, Panama City, Panama – June 25-28
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 Membership Upcoming Events: USCIB Policy and Program Staff Rob Mulligan Erin Breitenbucher Norine Kennedy Shaun Donnelly Elizabeth Kim Megan Giblin Carol Doran Klein Ronnie Goldberg Mia Lauter Eva Hampl Mike Michener Alison Hoiem Chris Olsen Gabriella Rigg Herzog Barbara Wanner Jonathan Huneke Kira Yevtukhova
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