USCIB Team Hosts MTN Roundtable on Solidarity in Doha During LDC5 

USCIB was on the ground in Doha for the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) and to participate in the LDC5 Private Sector Forum (PSF).  USCIB’s Moving the Needle (MTN) Initiative organized a March 8 LDC5 side event in the form of a roundtable on the private sector’s role for solidarity solutions, in partnership with the International Organization of Employers (IOE). 

LDC5, held from March 5-9, focused on accelerating the graduation of LDCs out of the LDC category of the world’s poorest countries. The forty-six LDC countries account for 13% of the world population but only 1.3% of global GDP and less than 1% of global trade and foreign direct investment (FDI).   

The LDC5 Private Sector Forum, co-organized by the United Nations with Microsoft and a business advisory group, emphasized actions and partnerships for LDCs to support the delivery of the new Doha Program of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Forum highlighted important sectors for LDCs, such as agriculture, energy, connectivity and finance and the need to create enabling environments for LDCs to benefit from trade, investment and capacity building. 

USCIB Board Member Chris Sharrock, Microsoft vice president for UN Affairs and International Organizations, opened the MTN Roundtable, stating that “Business plays a key role in delivering inclusive growth, creating opportunities and sustainable development around the world, especially for the 880 million people living across the LDCs.”  He went on to emphasize the necessity of partnerships that are effective, tailored to local needs and goals and that mobilize private sector knowledge and tools.   

The MTN Roundtable featured speakers from USAID, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and UNIDO, as well as leading IOE employers federation representatives from the DRC, Mali and Zambia.  

USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy, Policy Manager for Environment and Sustainable Development Agnes Vinblad and USCIB MTN Initiative consultant Lea Felluss were in Doha to advance U.S. business views and contributions to the sustainable and resilient graduation of LDCs as essential to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

According to Kennedy, “Simply put, solidarity means we cannot deliver the SDGs while leaving the LDCs behind.” 

Wanner Reports ICANN Progress Toward Launching New Domain Names 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its Community Forum in Cancun, March 11-16, to discuss the pending launch of a new round of top-level domain names, governance issues related to the selection of a new ICANN President and CEO as well as combatting Domain Name System (DNS) abuse. USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner was on the ground, joining over 1100 attendees across 164 countries and territories.

According to Wanner, the key outcome of the meeting was the progress made toward launching a new round of top-level domain names through a process referred to as the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures (SubPro).

ICANN community members described pent-up demand for a new round of gTLDs; the last round was in 2012. Proponents maintain that the availability of new gTLDs will offer more choice and will make the DNS accessible to more people around the world, especially those who use languages and scripts not based on English or ASCII.

Briefing the GNSO Council, Board Member Becky Burr outlined four areas of information that ICANN needs to prepare a timeline and launch plan before a specific date for the new round can be announced. These are outlined in the Board resolution approved on March 16.

Wanner, in her capacity as an industry representative, will continue to monitor and update USCIB members on the status of the launch of these gTLDs as well as the development of other issue areas discussed at ICANN. These include future governance of the organization as well as implementation of a system to enable legitimate requests to nonpublic gTLD registration data, now called the Registration Data Request Service.


USCIB Announces Appointment of Five New Tax Leadership Team Members (Vice-Chairs, USCIB Tax Committee)  

Rick Minor, USCIB VP and International Tax Counsel, is happy to announce five new appointments to the Tax Committee Leadership Team (Vice-Chairs). Leadership team members serve a two-year term with an option to renew for a second, consecutive term.

“These appointments resulted from several retirements from the Tax Committee Leadership Team at the end of last year and the creation of a Big Four International Tax Policy Board as part of our Tax Committee governing structure,” said Minor. “Being part of the Tax Committee Leadership Team is a significant commitment by the team members who are all senior tax executives at leading member companies. I look forward to enjoying their support and counsel along with that of our legacy members.”

The new Vice-Chairs:

Lennaert ten Cate, SVP Tax, PepsiCo Inc. Lennaert has over 28 years of tax experience of which 25 with PepsiCo Inc. Prior to serving as SVP Tax, Lennaert served as SVP, International Tax, leading the corporate tax agenda for PepsiCo’s international operations and partnered with the business and other corporate functions on various business initiatives and M&A transactions. Lennaert has worked in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and in the US, where he is currently based. Prior to joining PepsiCo in 1996, Lennaert spent three years at Ernst & Young Tax Advisory in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Lennaert holds a Master of Law degree from Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Carolina Perez-Lopez, VP Global Tax Planning and Tax Counsel, Johnson & Johnson. In her role, Carolina is responsible for driving the tax strategy and execution for acquisitions, divestitures, licensing deals, and restructurings for the enterprise, as well as the tax planning for the Pharm and MedTech businesses worldwide.  Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Carolina was Vice President, Transfer Pricing and Senior Tax Counsel at Pfizer. Before that, Carolina worked as a counsel at Clifford Chance LLP, spending time both in New York and London. Carolina holds a JD and Master of Laws (LLM) in Spanish Taxation from the Universidad de Navarra, Spain, and an LLM in International Taxation from New York University, School of Law.

Erik Rosenfeld, VP Taxes, North America, Procter & Gamble. Erik leads the North America Tax Operations Team of The Procter & Gamble Company.  In this role, Erik’s responsibilities cover US GAAP external reporting on tax matters, North America direct and indirect tax compliance, M&A and cross-border tax issues, global tax technology and various global tax policy matters.  From 2018 – 2021, Erik led P&G’s European Tax organization from P&G’s international headquarter location in Geneva, Switzerland.  Prior to joining P&G, Erik spent 18 years in public accounting, including six years as an international tax partner with PwC.

Wendy Unglaub, VP, Chief Tax Officer, and Principal Tax Counsel, General Mills. Wendy leads the global tax function at General Mills, with responsibility for managing all aspects of the company’s tax profile from compliance to litigation to identifying solutions to business needs. Prior to joining General Mills, Wendy served in a variety of leadership positions at Microsoft Corporation, Ecolab and Cargill where she was responsible for a wide range of U.S. and international tax matters related to legislative policy, joint ventures, divestitures, mergers, acquisitions, capital market transactions, audits, litigation, intellectual property and strategic corporate tax planning. Before her in-house roles, Unglaub practiced law at the firms of Davis Polk & Wardwell (New York), and Morgan Lewis & Bockius (Philadelphia). Wendy holds her A.B. from Harvard University, JD from Georgetown University Law Center and post-doctorate LLM (Taxation) from New York University School of Law.

Jason Weinstein, Vice President, Tax, North America, Amazon. He and his teams are responsible for all U.S. federal and state as well as Canadian tax planning and tax policy, sales and property tax compliance, and tax-business partnering for Amazon’s North American Stores. Jason and his team also cover worldwide M&A, investments, debt offerings, internal structuring, and other special project areas. Prior to joining Amazon, Jason worked at the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson in New York, where he specialized in tax planning for M&A as well as private equity fund formation and strategic joint ventures. Jason has taught tax law at the University of Washington Law School and is a frequent speaker at the usual tax conferences. Jason received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his JD, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to law school, Jason served as briefings director for the Governor of New Jersey.

The Tax Committee and the Leadership Team are chaired by John Stowell, SVP of Tax, Incentives and International Financial Reporting at Disney. The 10-member leadership team, among other things, advises the International Tax Counsel on setting Tax Committee priorities, supports tax committee projects and programming, and helps to grow the tax committee network globally. The Tax Committee presently has 450 members. The new members join the other legacy members of the Tax Leadership Team: Daniel Smith, director, international tax planning and policy at Google, Chad Withers, chief tax officer of Caterpillar, Jocelyn Krabbenschmidt, international tax director of Apple, and Tom Roesser, tax policy counsel at Microsoft.

USCIB Advocates for the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties at the OECD   

USCIB argued for a permanent extension of the WTO moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions during a March 9 meeting of the OECD Working Party of the Trade Committee.   

The OECD plans to publish a paper this fall to inform the debate at the WTO on extending the e-commerce moratorium set to expire at the next WTO ministerial conference (MC13) in February 2024. Speaking on behalf of Business at OECD (BIAC), Vice President for International Investment and Trade Policy Alice Slayton Clark lauded OECD efforts to provide evidence-based data, facts and insight relating to the direct and collateral costs of expiration and urged the OECD to address head-on the issues raised by opponents, including alternative revenue sources for countries struggling with budget shortfalls linked to the pandemic.   

The intervention condemned recent actions by the Government of Indonesia that violate the spirit of the moratorium, creating a domestic tariff classification for, and applying customs formalities, to digital downloads. “While Indonesia is not currently assessing duties on these downloads, the new administrative requirements are burdensome, disruptive to commerce, create a trade barrier and deter investment, with unbudgeted and onerous costs particularly for Indonesian small businesses,” Clark asserted.  

Clark urged the OECD to finalize and publish its paper as soon as possible to have the maximum influence on Indonesia and others at the WTO who remain non-aligned or unconvinced about the benefits of a permanent moratorium. She suggested the OECD share early findings from the paper at WTO e-commerce workshops and other discussions this spring. Finally, she encouraged all OECD members to take leadership positions at the WTO, particularly with non-aligned and opposing countries, to promote continuation of the moratorium.   

“Allowing the moratorium to expire would be a historic setback for the WTO, representing an unprecedented termination of a multilateral agreement in place nearly since the WTO’s inception – an agreement that has allowed the digital economy to take root and grow. It risks destabilizing the very fabric of a multilateral trading system already under intense strain,” she concluded.  


USCIB Fosters Relationship With Chinese Counterpart CCPIT/CCOIC 

Left to right: Declan Daly, Zhao Jianying, Peter Robinson

The head of the U.S. Representative Office of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Mme. Zhao Jianying, visited USCIB’s New York offices on March 8 to discuss areas of mutual interest and to foster the close working relationship between CCPIT and USCIB, which now spans over three decades.  

 Zhao Jianying, who became head of the CCPIT Representative Office last year, met with USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and COO Declan Daly. CCPIT is the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and its affiliate, the China Council of International Commerce (CCOIC) is USCIB’s counterpart National Committee in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 

Additionally, CCPIT/CCOIC is USCIB’s Chinese counterpart in the ATA Carnet system. ATA Carnet is a custom document for temporary imports and is honored in over 80 customs countries and territories worldwide and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period.   

According to Robinson, USCIB helped ICC bring CCPIT/CCOIC into the ATA Carnet system in the 1990’s and the two organizations have been working together since. 

Although the economic relationship between the United States and China has been tense for the past several years, USCIB’s working relationship with our Chinese counterpart CCPIT/CCOIC remains robust,” said Robinson. “We appreciated meeting Mme. Zhao and we look forward to fostering our relationship with her and the rest of her team.” 

USCIB Policy Team Covers APEC Meetings on Data, Customs and Chemicals

Megan Giblin and Declan Daly at APEC SOM 1

The United States is hosting this year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the annual meetings on trade and economic policy among twenty-one APEC member economies, as well as stakeholders, such as the private sector. APEC economies account for nearly forty percent of the global population and nearly fifty percent of global trade. The theme for this year’s APEC, set by the United States as a host country, is “creating a resilient and sustainable future for all” and includes three overarching policy priorities—interconnected, innovation and inclusive.

The first set of meetings for 2023 were collectively known as SOM1 (the first of three “Senior Officials Meetings”) and will conclude with an APEC CEO Summit in San Francisco later this year. USCIB staff attended SOM1 in Palm Springs last month to discuss a wide array of issues including data flows and privacy, gender in customs, digitalization in customs and the sound management of chemicals.

According to USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, SOM1 meetings on data flows and privacy mainly focused on the Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system, which was endorsed by APEC leaders in 2011. CBPR is a voluntary, enforceable privacy code of conduct for data transfers by information controllers in the Asia-Pacific region. Perhaps most important, according to Wanner, the CBPR system was conceived to preemptively discourage APEC economies from imposing unreasonable data flow restrictions on companies.

Wanner made an intervention on behalf of U.S. business during the SOM1 Data Privacy Subgroup meeting and the Digital Economy Steering Group meeting on February 19 and 20, respectively. Her intervention focused on the newly created Global CBPR Forum and the potential of this Forum to facilitate cross-border data flows to the economic and social benefit of APEC economies.

“USCIB has been a long-time supporter of APEC’s CBPR system precisely because we felt that it served as ground-breaking model to realize a regional approach to interoperability of privacy regulations,” said Wanner during her intervention.

“Thus, we welcomed with enthusiasm the proposal to ‘globalize’ the CBPR and create the new Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum. We understand the Forum will take a fresh look at the CBPR and update certification procedures for both company and country participation, as well as for Privacy Recognition for Processors. This is timely and appropriate. USCIB also appreciates that the Forum will regularly review data protection and privacy standards to ensure that the Global CBPR and PRP program requirements are aligned with industry best practices.”

Concurrently, USCIB Senior Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin attended Advancing Gender Equality in APEC Customs Administrations, a workshop focused on project led by New Zealand Customs. This workshop was well attended by the private sector and APEC customs administrations, including Ian Saunders who serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary – Western Hemisphere Department of Commerce and is the U.S. candidate for World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chair to the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) Kristie McKinney, who serves as international relations specialist at CBP.

In addition, Giblin participated in a digitalization workshop on February 18—Implementing APEC’s Framework for Supply Chain Connectivity: Focus on Digitalization of End-to-End Supply Chains.  Giblin and USCIB Senior VP and COO Declan Daly spoke on a panel titled, The Government’s Role in Digitalization of Cross-Border Trade Procedures. The focus of the USCIB presentation was to provide a brief educational overview of the ATA Carnet, a critical tool of trade facilitation that benefits companies of all sizes, including SMEs as well as an update on the efforts to digitize ATA Carnet (known as the “eATA Carnet Project”). Daly spoke on the panel in his capacity as vice chair of the ICC World Chamber Federation (WCF) World ATA Carnet Council.

During his presentation, Daly discussed the eATA Carnet Project and the six economies that were selected for the pilot program—Belgium, China, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the UK, and the United States. “APEC is an essential forum for the eATA Carnet Project, particularly because half of the economies in the project are APEC economies,” said Daly. “With the potential addition of thirteen economies that have expressed interest in joining the pilot, we’ll have even more APEC economies that would benefit from this modernized trade facilitation tool.”

This in-person only workshop was widely attended with 20 panelists, over 50 attendees and representation from many of the APEC economy customs administrations, including Chile, Indonesia, Peru, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Malaysia, the United States and Viet Nam.

The focus of the workshop was on end-to-end supply chain digitalization. Giblin and USCIB Members Michelle Welsh (Google), John Bescec (Microsoft) and Jerry Cook (HanesBrands) worked with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to provide thoughtful inputs as the workshop was being developed including advancing ATA Carnet and eATA (the digital form of the ATA Carnet) as a prime example of a global digitalization effort. This multilateral effort has both domestic and international aspects, and includes the private sector, economies and global institutions, such as the ICC WCF and WCO.

“From a USCIB perspective, our intent was to advance thoughtful, knowledgeable speakers from an array of sectors and provide positive examples of digitalization efforts,” said Giblin. “Various panels and panelists address priority, such as confidential business information and related protections. We are supportive of digitalization but recognize that more digitalization can lead to more data, data grabs and what is appropriate data to be shared with whom and under what legal mechanisms.”

USCIB members, including Cook, Carol Anderson (Microsoft) and Lisa Schulte (Target) were featured on various panels during the workshop.

The final panel of the day was an interactive wrap-up, which will aid in the APEC Subcommittee on Customs Procedures developing a related report. “We look forward to continuing to engage on this priority area for members,” said Giblin.

“We expect the next round of customs meetings and workshops to take place in late summer in Seattle,” she added. “USCIB is heavily engaged in APEC, including in the areas of customs and trade facilitation. We will remain engaged and will work closely with CBP, USTR and other partners in preparation for the meetings while engaging and supporting USCIB member views.”

Finally, USCIB Manager for Regulation and Trade Chris Olsen participated in meetings of the APEC Chemical Dialogue and the Green Chemistry and Sound Chemicals Management Workshop. One of the main objectives of the Chemical Dialogue was to provide APEC economy updates on regulatory improvements and action plans, while encouraging APEC endorsement and participation in Chemical Dialogue-led project proposals.

The Chemical Dialogue will also continue to explore interest in data exchange, particularly for regulatory cooperation and convergence by focusing on data communication within the supply chain through the digitalization of hazardous information.

“The Chemical Dialogue is one of APEC’s two industry dialogues, where the private sector is institutionally involved in every aspect of the Chemical Dialogue’s work. We look forward to even more industry engagement at SOM3 in Seattle later this year,” said Olsen.

USCIB Issues an ATA Carnet Advisory for the United Kingdom

New York, N.Y., March 14, 2023 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), the national guaranteeing and issuing association for the ATA Carnet in the United States, reminds Carnet Holders and Users regarding the customs requirements for haulers (freight forwarders) crossing into or out of the United Kingdom to file a GVMS declaration. Such requirement was first communicated at the time of Brexit and the requirements were updated in 2021 and 2022. Below are the requirements:

1.The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) – Any haulers crossing into or out of the UK, via any port, will need to register for the service to get their goods through customs. An ATA Carnet number should be entered in the “Declaration Reference” field for the GVMS declaration. Goods Movement Reference (GMR) is also required for personal or company vehicles transporting Carnet goods in both directions, i.e., exiting the UK and returning to the UK. For freighted goods, GMR will be obtained by the freight forwarder. For holders driving the goods in personal or company vehicles, if they don’t have their own HMRC accounts to obtain GMR, they can contact the London Chamber of Commerce (LCCI) to obtain the GMR for their shipment using this link: please click here to submit a GMR request. They can also contact other Customs Agents in the market.

Personal Cars and Vans travelling to UK via Calais Euroshuttle will need to go to the Freight Terminal to get their Carnet stamped, as French Customs do not have Carnet processing facilities at the Passenger Terminal (GVM will be required to enter the freight terminal).

2. Harwich Port – as of January 1, 2022, haulers passing via the freight terminal will need to lodge a Customs Clearance Request before arriving at the port. Form C21 allows haulers that do not have access to the UK Customs System to lodge a request (note that shipments via Calais and Dunkerque do NOT need to lodge this request).

ATA Carnet, a custom document for temporary imports, is honored in over 80 customs countries and territories and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period. The global ATA Carnet system is overseen and managed by the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). USCIB administers the Carnet system in the United States.

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of leading international business organizations and as the sole U.S. business group with standing in ECOSOC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. USCIB is also the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association for ATA Carnets in the United States, having been appointed to do so by the Department of Treasury in 1969. More at

USCIB Celebrates International Women’s Day and Accomplishments of Women in Innovation and Tech 

New York, N.Y., March 08, 2023 — On this year’s International Women’s Day, USCIB joins the global community in recognizing the critical contributions of women in every aspect of society and applauds the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day: DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. Gender equality is critical for social justice and is key to more productive resilient economies.  

USCIB and its members have long championed the critical role of women’s education, employment and entrepreneurship for their own and their families’ health and well-being, as well as for the health and competitiveness of the societies and economies in which we live and do business.  

“USCIB is proud that women across USCIB’s membership have made untold contributions to the digital world. These accomplishments have been made despite setbacks and barriers in a field that has traditionally been challenging for women,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. 

“Through our engagement in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC), we will continue to work with our business counterparts around the world to address the barriers that continue to confront women and girls, in the digital space and beyond, and to advance the opportunities that will allow them to thrive and our enterprises to prosper,” added Robinson. 

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, the International Organization of Employers 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 


USCIB Releases 2023 Trade and Investment Agenda

USCIB released to policymakers and the press its 2023 Trade and Investment Agenda, an annual paper outlining Member objectives for the year. The 2023 priorities include:  

  • Free, open and fair markets are imperative to competitiveness, well-paying skilled jobs and broad-based economic prosperity. 
  • Companies and workers depend on a stable, rules-based trading system to facilitate global commerce and support jobs. The WTO is the critical cornerstone of the global system and is important for bringing countries together to reach new agreements, monitor commitments and resolve disputes. 
  • Foreign direct investment strengthens the U.S. economy and is a key tool in spreading democracy and American values while helping emerging economies recover from the global pandemic, meet sustainable development goals and build green infrastructure consistent with the objectives of the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) initiatives. 
  • Agile and quick responses to emerging global trade and investment issues facilitate innovation, workforce resiliency and green development goals. To sustain its competitiveness, the U.S. must be at the forefront in shaping international rules for the new economy, especially in the areas of sustainability, circular economy, socio-economic equality, worker rights, digital policy and emerging technologies. 
  • It is important to hold trading partners accountable for commitments made in trade agreements, but any retaliatory actions should be exacted with proportionality, meaningful stakeholder consultation, and careful consideration of harmful impacts to domestic jobs, companies, and consumers. 
  • A robust, effective, and durable trade policy requires consultation, collaboration and good will between the branches of the U.S. government as well as with the business community. 

“The USCIB annual priorities paper is instrumental to Washington policymakers because it reflects the voice of a robust and diverse group of U.S.-based global companies representing $5 trillion in revenues and 11.5 million employees from every sector of the economy,” said USCIB VP for International Investment and Trade Policy Alice Slayton Clark. “Our members believe in free, open and fair markets as imperative to U.S. competitiveness, well-paying skilled jobs and broad-based economic prosperity.” 

USCIB’s priority paper was developed by the USCIB Trade and Investment Committee, which is chaired by Charles R. (Rick) Johnston, managing director for Global Government Affairs at Citigroup. 

The document underscores that, “as the world grapples with existential threats and economic disruptions posed by climate change, global pandemic, geostrategic challenges and hybrid warfare, it is imperative that the United States lead in shaping outcomes and partnerships that strengthen U.S. supply chains.” The United States must seize the opportunity to be at the forefront in securing open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development, and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence, Clark said.  

A summary document of the full 2023 agenda is available here.

Wanner Provides Input to Global Digital Compact on Behalf of US Business

A United Nations Intergovernmental Process road map on the Global Digital Compact has been announced by co-facilitators Rwanda and Sweden. To gather input for this new road map, the UN held a consultation with the private sector and the technical community on February 10. USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner spoke on behalf of the U.S. private sector, alongside the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and ICC-UK.

Wanner’s intervention focused on three issues—internet fragmentation and the growing digital divide, data protection, and the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Throughout her intervention, Wanner urged the Co-Facilitators to continue establishing meaningful ways for stakeholders, like the private sector, to participate in all aspects of the Compact’s development. According to Wanner, multistakeholder cooperation and input will best leverage the expertise of the private sector and civil society and avoid unanticipated consequences.

“The involvement of stakeholders holds the best chance of success and garnering broad support,” she stated.

Regarding internet fragmentation and the digital divide, Wanner noted that various technical, legislative, and policy developments, such as restrictions on data flows, interference with free expression and Internet shutdowns in recent years have caused fragmentation and digital divides to grow.

“Such fragmentation is disrupting the open, interconnected and interoperable Internet and undermining the associated benefits to economic and societal well-being,” said Wanner.

On data protection, Wanner stated that the Compact’s call for data protection and the need to foster trust involves ensuring a safe and empowering online experience.

“USCIB encourages cooperation across government, business, and society to help individuals, especially youth and vulnerable groups, make healthy decisions online, stay safe, build resilience, and develop 21st century skills to thrive in the digital world,” emphasized Wanner.

Regarding AI, Wanner noted the potential of AI to address economic and societal inequalities and environmental challenges but that AI governance policies should be carefully considered to ensure they are narrowly tailored to address specific concerns as they arise.

USCIB also submitted more detailed comments to the UN Tech Envoy’s office.