USCIB Policy Experts Provided Extensive Input Into the B20

This year’s B20 Summit, held November 13-14, embraced the theme of ‘Advancing Innovative, Inclusive and Collaborative Growth’ in support of the G20 theme of ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’. The B20 Summit brought together world business leaders representing leading multinational corporations. In the lead up to the B20 Summit, USCIB policy experts worked closely with USCIB members through various B20 Task Forces, such as those focused on digitalization, trade and investment, integrity and compliance as well as illicit trade and illicit finance. 

USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner participated on the B20 Indonesia Digitalization Task Force on behalf of USCIB members. Wanner provided inputs to the Digitalization Task Force report aimed at ensuring that the substance aligned with USCIB contributions to the OECD digital work and the UN Global Digital Compact. According to Wanner, the focus of USCIB substantive inputs – which largely were taken on board by B20 Indonesia – were aimed at carrying through the themes of “data free flows with trust,” opposition to data localization requirements, risk-based and interoperable approaches to digital security, and the importance of multistakeholder participation in global digital consultations.  

USCIB Director, Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark served on the B20 Trade and Iinvestment Task Force and provided recommendations on behalf of USCIB members in four key areas: promote open, fair and inclusive post-pandemic global trade and investment policies; facilitate innovation and digitalization that supports international development and avoids future crises; encourage inclusivity in global supply chains; and ensure trade and investment drive greener and more sustainable development. USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin also played a key role in advancing inputs and securing inclusion of customs and trade facilitation language to reflect member and Committee priorities.  

Meanwhile, USCIB Senior VP, Innovation, Regulation, and Trade Brian Lowry participated as a Member of the B20 Indonesia Integrity & Compliance Task Force alongside USCIB Policy Manager for Environment and Sustainable Development Agnes Vinblad, supporting as a deputy member of the task force. Giblin also served a critical role in coordinating efforts to gather USCIB member inputs, reflecting member and Committee priorities, on the inclusion of language specifically pertaining to illicit trade and illicit finance.  

Working with David M. Luna, chair of the USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, USCIB submitted comments pertaining to Policy Recommendation 3 to foster agility in counteract measures to combat money laundering/terrorist financing risk and Policy Action 3.1 to refocus on money laundering/terrorist financing risk factors identification. USCIB’s submission on language recognizing the “link between the sustainability agenda, illicit trade/illicit finance, and financial crime” was adopted by the task force and is included in the final policy paper. Additionally, commentary submitted by USCIB to include language on environmental crime and trade-based money laundering is also reflected in the final policy paper. 

USCIB Statement on Climate COP Outcomes and US Business

New York, N.Y., November 28, 2022—The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) sought an “Implementation Plus” approach in the outcomes of the recently concluded 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, in which the international community would realize progress in advancing food and energy security alongside climate action and mobilization of resources.

As a dedicated representative of U.S. business in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), USCIB understands and supports the urgency of tackling climate change, and was concerned that economic and geopolitical challenges could hamper or even prevent a successful outcome of this important meeting.

Despite those headwinds, government delegates were able to conclude with progress in key areas, such as loss and damage, the role of agriculture and the need to advance a just energy transition. However, we were disappointed by the absence of any meaningful reference to the actions taken by and the role of business in the Sharm El Sheikh outcomes.

Attending its 27th COP, USCIB noted an unprecedented showing by its members from every sector of the American economy, on hand to offer solutions and support a successful outcome. In addition, USCIB joined the global business community in speaking out for political will and ambitious action at COP27. Throughout the COP, USCIB welcomed the opportunity to cooperate with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF). We were especially proud to have the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) join BizMEF.

USCIB attended COP27 looking forward to further encouragement and support for pro-active business action, building on pledges made last year by business at the Glasgow meeting.

Throughout COP27, the U.S. private sector demonstrated its actions to mobilize markets and investment in the areas of mitigation, adaptation and support for vulnerable countries and populations that face impacts of climate change. While initiatives, such as the Report of the High-Level Expert Group on the Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities (UN HLEG), will provide additional thoughts on how such efforts can be strengthened, further work is needed to analyze the fuller implications of the 40 recommendations to drive meaningful, practical progress. USCIB is concerned that overly prescriptive approaches to voluntary pledges and allegations of  “greenwashing” could discourage and hamper further voluntary steps on climate action and finance.

Although COP27 left much still to be done to address the risks and impacts of climate change, USCIB looks to COP28 with resolve and renewed purpose. Without businesses of every sector participating in these vital deliberations, the international community will not be able to fully harness the drive, capability and commitment of business to advance the Paris Agreement.

Across the multilateral system, USCIB will continue to champion a confluence of common interests through practical and inclusive multilateralism. USCIB will forcefully and consistently make the case for catalyzing business knowhow, experience and partnership for innovation, as well as investment and job creation as we move ahead together to deliver on the promises of the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement.

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. USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC). More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Foundation Launches Campaign to Promote Vaccine Literacy, Workplace Wellbeing

New York, N.Y., November 28, 2022—Today, the USCIB Foundation launched the ‘There’s More To Be Done’ Campaign, an initiative that seeks to maintain workplace wellbeing. Employers can encourage vaccination for COVID19 and other preventable illness by informing and educating employees on the benefit of vaccination. ‘There’s More To Be Done’ is a global movement of employers and is part of the Business Partners to CONVINCE initiative, which seeks to empower a “vaccine-literate” public.

The Campaign includes free Learning Modules for employers that incorporates training videos, action steps, learning objectives and resources.

The Campaign is simple, actionable, and vital for a safer workplace. The Campaign:

  • Focuses on the important role of employers
  • Recognizes the hard work by employers to date
  • Identifies the role of vaccines in creating a safer workplace and employee well-being.

Scott Ratzan MD, BP2C executive director, stated: “In collaboration with our partners, we created this Campaign and designed these Learning Modules to provide businesses of all sizes around the globe with free resources for developing and supporting employee vaccination. Companies of all sizes from 16 countries, representing over 250,000 employees, have joined. Employers play a critical role in the health and wellness of employees. Having a plan to inform and educate employees on the benefit of vaccination is the key to success.”

“Employers, even small to midsize employers, have a role to play given their privileged access, position of trust, and ability to address potential barriers to vaccine uptake practically,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson.

Join the movement and access a free Toolkit and Learning Modules at: businesspartners2convince.org

For more information, contact:

Kira Yevtukhova

kyevtukhova@uscib.org

ABOUT USCIB: USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility. 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.

ABOUT THE USCIB FOUNDATION: The USCIB Foundation is the research and educational arm of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). The principal purpose of the Foundation is to carry out research and educational activities designed to promote and advance the benefits of a free-market economy and to demonstrate and document the role of the corporate private sector in economic growth and social development.

ABOUT BUSINESS PARTNERS TO CONVINCE: The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), The USCIB Foundation, and Business Partners for Sustainable Development (BPSD) have launched Business Partners to CONVINCE, a global communication and education initiative to promote COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among private sector employers and employees. The new partnership will play an integral role in a broader, global CONVINCE (Coalition for Vaccine Information, Communication, and Engagement) campaign to advance vaccine literacy and help ensure a strong and swift recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through widespread acceptance of safe, effective and accessible vaccines.

USCIB Competition Meeting Focuses on ICN, Antitrust Enforcement Priorities in Brazil

The USCIB Competition Committee held its semiannual meeting November 9, featuring Federal Trade Commission Counsel for International Affairs Paul O’Brien for an update on the work of the International Competition Network (ICN). Comprised of 142 competition authorities from around the globe, the ICN is a forum for sharing and advancing best practices in the field of antitrust. Through working groups, conferences and workshops, the ICN foments common understanding and harmony on voluntary recommendations in competition law. “It is clear the ICN is a trusted resource for government officials around the globe hoping to harmonize norms and principles as well as industry looking for clarity and convergence in practices,” said USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark.

Committee members were also updated on antitrust enforcement priorities in Brazil by economist Silvia Fagá and attorney Milena Mundim of Demarest law firm, both members of International Chamber of Commerce Brazil. They predicted that merger enforcement may increase along with regulation of hate speech on media platforms under the incoming presidency of Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, the populist leftist leader from the 2000s. Brazil’s competition authority, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), will continue to scrutinize digital platforms, with more active use of interim measures, they asserted.  As the economy recovers, expect to see more merger activity especially in the healthcare market in Brazil.

Chair of Business at OECD (BIAC) Competition Committee John Taladay (Baker Botts) highlighted key activities, including OECD Competition Week taking place November 28-December 2.  USCIB Competition Committee Chair and Vice Chair of the ICC Competition Commission Dina Kallay (Ericsson) updated USCIB members on task force developments, including an update to the ICC’s ten year old antitrust compliance tool kit. USCIB also provided a briefing on the minor competition changes anticipated to the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises.

USCIB Raises Concerns Over Content, Process of UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights

During the week of October 24, USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg was in Geneva to attend the 8th session of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group that is negotiating a UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights.  According to Goldberg, USCIB and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) have long raised serious concerns about both the content of the proposed treaty and the process by which it is being negotiated.

“A limited number of countries have engaged in this negotiation to date, and last month’s session saw no significant increase,” said Goldberg. “Many countries have expressed their disappointment and frustration with the approach of the Working Group, which represents a major departure from the international consensus achieved through the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights (UNGP). USCIB remains concerned that comments and suggestions from the U.S. and EU, as well as from private sector representatives, are being ignored.” There appears to be a lack of effort to develop a genuine consensus, added Goldberg.

Intersessional meetings will be convened before the next round of negotiations in 2023, but the terms and mandate for these meetings remain unclear.  What is clear is that this process promises to grind on for years to come.

Meanwhile, the current iteration of the draft treaty remains inconsistent with the purpose and principles of the UNGP in many respects. While the UNGP emphasizes that the corporate responsibility to respect human rights requires business enterprises to seek, prevent, mitigate and remediate adverse human rights impacts, including through due diligence, the draft treaty imposes a mandatory and complex due diligence process for business entities, requires that business entities either prevent human rights violations from happening or face liability, and makes no mention of other entities indispensable to the protection of human rights, notably governments implementing their own laws and obligations.

“In sum, the text that emerged from the recent negotiation remains unimplementable and largely unratifiable,” asserted Goldberg. “As it stands, it risks harming investment, trade and employment creation, particularly for countries with large informal sectors and deep-rooted challenges related to child and forced labor.” It would also be counterproductive to the efforts of business to safeguard human rights by undermining efforts to strengthen the implementation of the UNGP, raising serious concerns about State sovereignty and creating significant legal uncertainties.

USCIB has thanked the U.S. Government for its support for involving business alongside all societal partners in the Treaty negotiations.  “We will continue to engage with the Administration on ways to protect human rights in the context of rule of law and voluntary enabling frameworks for responsible business conduct,” said Goldberg.

 

USCIB Joins Transatlantic Business Coalition to Call on EU Policymakers to Finalize Agreement to Secure Transatlantic Data Flows

New York, N.Y., November 16, 2022 — Yesterday, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), as part of a broad transatlantic coalition of 41 associations, called on EU policymakers to make a swift conclusion to the EU adequacy decision process so that businesses can confidently rely on the new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework. The transatlantic coalition of associations represent companies of all sizes from various sectors of the business community. In a statement delivered to EU and U.S. officials, the associations offered an analysis of recent U.S. Executive Order and accompanying U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing the U.S.’s commitments under the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework to help inform and support EU’s work towards making the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework operational through the EU adequacy decision process.

“We urge all stakeholders to consider deliberately but fairly the substance of these new U.S. legal requirements, which establish unprecedented restrictions on U.S. surveillance activities as well as a meaningful redress mechanism for EU citizens,” the associations wrote. “We are heartened that these new safeguards serve to strengthen all existing transfer mechanisms available to companies, including standard contractual clauses, and should be relevant considerations in the context of EU supervisory authority investigations. Furthermore, we recognize that this is not only a matter of facilitating economic stability and growth. The efforts to reach agreement on a new framework embody a statement of common purpose from the EU and U.S., and a willingness to work together to find new ways to uphold the joint values we share as democratic societies. These developments also send a strong message on the importance of privacy globally, and in establishing robust and secure frameworks for cross-border data transfers.”

Recipients of the statement included European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager; Commissioner Didier Reynders; Commissioner Vera Jourova; Members of European parliament’s LIBE Committee, the European Data Protection Board, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and individual Data Protect Authorities; officials from EU Member States; and U.S. Administration officials, including those at the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice.

The statement was signed by ACT | The App Association, Alliance Française des Industries du Numérique (AFNUM), Alliance for Automotive Innovation, Allied for Startups, AmCham EU, AmCham Ireland, American Council of Life Insurers, Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Bitkom, Business Roundtable, Coalition of Services Industries (CSI), Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPCR), Consumer Technology Association® (CTA), Danish Entrepreneurs, Dansk Erhverv / The Danish Chamber of Commerce, Developers Alliance, Digital Future for Europe, Digital Poland ZIPSEE, Ecommerce Europe, Engine, Entertainment Software Association, European Games Developer Federation (EGDF), European Publishers Council, FEDMA, IAB, INFOBALT, ITI – Information Technology Industry Council, Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), Internet Infrastructure Coalition, National Retail Federation, NLdigital, Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), Swedish Enterprise (SN), TechNet, techUK, Trans-Atlantic Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Council of International Business (USCIB).

Read the full statement here.  

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. USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Outlines Priorities for UN Climate Meetings (COP27) in Letter to US Government

USCIB policy experts are now at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. In advance of COP27, USCIB sent a letter on behalf of USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, setting out USCIB members priorities for COP27. The letter can be downloaded here, or viewed directly below.

Dear Special Presidential Envoy Kerry:

Addressing the multiple challenges of climate change in all their complexity, alongside advancing food and energy security, are interconnected imperatives. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomes the Administration’s leadership as it has engaged with the international community for ambition and progress on these linked issues en route to the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh next week.

As Administration officials have emphasized, COP27 is a chance to focus on “Implementation Plus”– win-win opportunities to incent investment and create jobs for shared climate -friendly prosperity, not just from governments but across society. Implementation Plus approaches should catalyze innovation and trade to deploy U.S. private sector technology and partnerships on mitigation and adaptation. Implementation Plus oriented COP outcomes should encourage synergies between climate and nature protection agendas and actions. And those outcomes should recognize and mainstream supporting frameworks for voluntary pledges from business and other non-state actors.

In particular, USCIB members look for progress at COP27 in the following areas:

  • Just transition for workers, society, and employers: Further discussions of just transition should reflect the fundamental role of social dialogue, and recognize the impacts and opportunities for workers, societies, and employers. In this regard, representative employers’ federations are essential to sound climate change and just transition policy and its implementation.
  • Integrated Approach to Adaptation and Resilience: Incentives for private sector investment are needed to direct funds not only to infrastructure, but also to other key societal sectors for adaptation and resilience, such as agriculture and food production, supply chain, and access to the internet.
  • Enhanced Substantive Engagement of Business and other Stakeholders: The involvement of business in all its diversity is more important than ever to deliver on Paris, Glasgow, and Sharm El-Sheikh commitments. The Administration has consistently supported the inclusion of all stakeholders in the UNFCCC and this is more crucial than ever at COP27. We urge you to continue to speak out strongly for enhanced and meaningful inclusion of business with all stakeholders, and oppose any measures that would discriminate against or exclude any constituency.

In Glasgow, despite unprecedented business commitments to reduce GHGs and mobilize financial and technical resources, COP26 decisions did not mention the private sector apart from a reference to finance. For USCIB, this sent the wrong signal, and contradicts a record of real achievement and commitment by the private sector to do more.

The Administration has encouraged business from every sector to step up on climate change and join diverse U.S. climate initiatives for ambition, green energy, green purchasing, and more. USCIB member companies have responded positively, and many have additionally launched their own actions to keep 1.5 alive, commit to net-zero and meaningfully contribute across numerous other climate-relevant areas.

We ask therefore for your support to include acknowledgement in COP27 outcomes of the distinct role of business, recommending increased dialogue and partnership with the private sector, and consulting with business and employers to hear views and recommendations on policy options under the UNFCCC.

USCIB members will bring their commitment and solutions to tackle climate change to Sharm El Sheikh, and USCIB looks forward to supporting the U.S. delegation at these meetings. We will be joining forces with our global sister organizations, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) to achieve outcomes for broad deployment of lower carbon options across all forms of energy, to strengthen market-based approaches to tackle mitigation and adaptation, and to take international cooperation to a next level of ambition and impact.

Sincerely,
Peter M. Robinson
President & CEO

USCIB Advocates Member Interests at OECD Trade and Investment Committees

Business at OECD (BIAC) Trade Committee led by Pat Ivory (center). Also in photo: Marion Jansen, Director of the OECD Trade Committee and USCIB’s Alice Slayton Clark

USCIB joined Business at OECD (BIAC) to advocate member interests in Paris at the October meetings of the OECD Trade and Investment Committees.

Under consideration by the OECD Trade Committee were the trade impacts of the war in Ukraine and the process for considering the OECD accession candidates—Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania. According to USCIB Director for Trade, Investment and China Alice Slayton Clark, who attended the meetings in Paris, of concern is managing OECD overload from undertaking market openness reviews for all five candidates, with the European countries likely to be fast-tracked due to their adherence to the European Single Market and Common Commercial Policy. BIAC stressed the importance of a robust role for business throughout the accession process, having already presented preliminary trade, tax and other business concerns for each candidate.

At the OECD Investment Committee meetings, BIAC urged countries to safeguard an enabling environment for private investment as the world is increasingly unstable due to national security concerns, and as the global rules-based trading system is under challenge.

“This is an imperative as private investors are pressed more than ever to contribute to COVID recovery and help emerging economies combat climate change, develop clean energy, improve healthcare and infrastructure, and bridge the digital divide,” asserted Clark. BIAC also urged OECD to pay special attention to in-and outbound investment screening, and to catalog strategies countries have developed to deal global value chain vulnerabilities.

USCIB used the opportunity to urge OECD staff and U.S. policymakers to promote the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions (e-commerce moratorium) through market openness reviews of OECD candidates. The OECD was also encouraged to provide additional studies to help inform the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce work program on the benefits of the moratorium for digital services in emerging economies.

Concurrently, OECD held its annual Global Trade Forum focused on the intersection of trade and responsible business conduct (RBC), with significant discussion about promoting more coordination and transparency as states and international organizations increasingly impose mandatory and voluntary RBC measures on supply chains. While RBC is good for business, BIAC warned policymakers to provide proper balance and not overload trade agreements with environmental and social expectations that countries cannot achieve through rule of law enforcement.

USCIB Pleased With Many of the Outcomes of International Telecommunication Union Meetings

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary (PP-22) wrapped up on October 14 with several Resolutions, “Final Acts,” many of which are both supported by and important to business. These Resolutions determine the direction of the Union, its finances and its activities for the next four years. Some of the Resolutions that were of keen interest to USCIB members were centered around Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks, the role of multistakeholder engagement and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

Of major relevance to the U.S. business community was the election of new leadership posts – mostly notably the new ITU Secretary General Doreen Bogdan-Martin, who USCIB actively supported. The other elected positions included Deputy Secretary General and the new Directors of the Standardization, Development, and Radiocommunication Bureaus.

Resolution 101 on Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks ultimately recognized the importance of ITU cooperation with the Internet Society, the Internet Engineering Task Force, UNESCO and other UN entities to ensure appropriate coordination on IP network issues. USCIB did not support any modifications to previous text, believing that this Resolution was sufficiently broad and flexible to address a range of issues. According to USCIB VP for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, who attended the Plenipotentiary in Bucharest, U.S. negotiators were able to hold the line on more ambitious proposed changes to this resolution.

The ITU’s role with respect to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses was addressed in Resolution 102.

“USCIB supported greater emphasis on the importance of multistakeholder engagement, including opening the Council Working Group on International Internet Public Policy to Sector Members, and elevating the reference to organizations involved in the technical aspects of the Internet (e.g., ICANN, IETF, RIRs) into the body of the Resolution.”

The Union recognized the importance of the private sector role in expanding development of the Internet and the need for greater reciprocal collaboration and coordination between the ITU and the aforementioned organizations. Throughout the resolution, the Union also acknowledged the need for stakeholder input concerning the management of Internet resources. Ultimately, however, ITU members stopped short of opening the CWG-Internet to Sector Members.

According to Wanner, there is also a new resolution on AI technologies and telecommunications/information and communication technologies.

“USCIB has been wary of efforts to expand the ITU work program to include AI and other emerging technologies on grounds that, if not appropriately scoped, the policy outcomes could stifle innovation and not be technology-neutral,” said Wanner.

“Recognizing the keen interest of many ITU members in AI, however, we supported an approach that would examine how the application of AI to telecommunications/ICTs has the potential to make telecommunications/ICTs more efficient and to facilitate universal access to telecommunications/ ICT,” added Wanner. “We felt this was within the mandate and core competencies of the Union related to telecommunications/ICTs. We are especially grateful for the effective advocacy of the U.S. Government on this topic.”

USCIB Attends WTO Public Forum, Meets with WTO Director General

Stacy Dieve (Cisco), Megan Funkhouser (ITIC), Alice Slayton Clark (USCIB)  with WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (center) with WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González

USCIB was in Geneva for the WTO Public Forum last week, advocating with USCIB members and other industry associations for the launch of a new round of tariff eliminations under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-3) and for permanent extension of moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions.

The meetings with WTO officials, including Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and WTO missions made progress in laying the ground work for member objectives, but also provided important insights into how USCIB and member companies can navigate the challenges ahead.

USCIB member companies also met with Representative Director of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Geneva Crispin Conroy to discuss the WTO landscape and USCIB/ICC international trade priorities. USCIB is working closely with ICC on WTO workstreams including with respect to the Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce, the e-commerce moratorium, the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) and WTO reform.

USCIB and ICC remain strong advocates for a more formal role for business and civil society input at the WTO, especially as the forum becomes one more focused on policy discussion.