USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee Meets in Chicago

USCIB held its Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee (CFTC) meeting at Google’s Chicago offices on May 16. 

The meeting, which was attended by USCIB members and staff, included a robust agenda. 

According to USCIB Senior Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin, members were updated on and discussed the work of the ICC Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission. Topics addressed included the ICC’s paper on transboundary waste for recovery, 21 CCF/ Customs Modernization, Forced Labor, the Green Trade Innovation and Incentives Forum scheduled for July 11th and related CBP Federal Register Notice call for comments as well as other priority CFT topics.  

The Committee also received updates on the work of both the World Trade Organization (WT0) and the World Customs Organization (WCO). Regarding the WTO, updates included work undertaken by the WTO Committee on Trade Facilitation, such as those pertaining to, for example, Indonesia Regulation 190 and humanitarian cargo / shipments. WCO matters included the upcoming Secretary General (SG) election, discussion on recent and upcoming meetings in the technical classification and valuation space. 

Following the meeting, Google hosted an outdoor, rooftop, networking reception.  

USCIB Conducts eATA Carnet Pilot With CBP at JFK Airport

USCIB collaborated with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters staff and leaders from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on a training, hosted on-site at JFK in New York on February 7, 2023. The goal of the training was to educate customs officers on the “eATA” Carnet System and process.

This training built on past trainings with JFK officers and advanced implementation of the eATA test at JFK. The “eATA” is the digital version of the ATA Carnet, currently a paper-based unified customs document used for the temporary movement of goods that are free of customs duties and taxes across the 79 countries and territories that are part of the ATA Carnet system. ATA Carnets are critical tools of trade facilitation for companies of all sizes, especially the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), which can be used for multiple trips into countries that are party to the ATA System, providing, for example, reduced cost to Holders as well as greater predictability at each customs border.

The joint USCIB-CBP HQ hands-on training at JFK was in preparation for Holder (user) selection and formal launch of the eATA test at JFK, according to USCIB Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Declan Daly. The ICC World Chamber Federation pilot, which the U.S. is participating in, is supported by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

Belgium, China, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are also participating in the pilot.

According to Daly, this training included end-to-end processing of several eATA Carnets in a test environment. USCIB is working in close collaboration with CBP HQ, JFK and ICC WCF IT developers of the eATA Carnet on next steps.

“We hope to conduct further testing in the coming months at other port locations beyond JFK, as well as engage in dialogue with Canada in partnership with the CBP, Canada Customs and the Canadian NGA,” added Daly.

The eATA System is developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation (WCF). USCIB manages and guarantees the ATA Carnet system in the United States. USCIB’s Daly is part of the ICC WCF’s eATA Project Team responsible for the development and rollout of the new digital ATA Carnet (eATA) system and has also recently been elected Vice Chair of the World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC).


Robinson Presides Over His Final Board of Directors Meeting as President and CEO 

L-R: USCIB Chair Eric Loeb (Salesforce), Peter Robinson, Board member Emily Dickens (SHRM) and USCIB Secretary Robert DeLaMater (Sullivan & Cromwell)

Following a 40-year career at USCIB, President and CEO Peter Robinson presided over his final USCIB Board of Directors meeting on May 24.  

Robinson, who announced his retirement in December, expressed his appreciation to the USCIB Board, as well as his predecessors, in supporting the institutional advancement of USCIB into what it is today. USCIB Chair Eric Loeb led a champagne toast to Robinson in honor of his service. 

“Leading the work of USCIB has been a fulfilling and exciting career for me,” said Robinson in his remarks to the Board. “It has been a real privilege to work and form relationships with such a diverse and dedicated group of people over the years including staff colleagues, members and partners in our Global Affiliates. I am proud of what we have accomplished together for the benefit of our members, for business, and for society at large.” 

While a new President and CEO of USCIB is yet to be announced, Robinson did emphasize that looking forward, USCIB will need to continue to drive home the importance of “upstream” work in positioning business at the table with multilateral institutions to influence the international business landscape and to support USCIB’s Global Affiliates—ICC, Business at OECD and IOE—in that effort. 

Robinson has been President and CEO of USCIB for 18 years and will be stepping down at the end of the summer.  

Robinson Joins BIAC’s London Consultation in Advance of 2023 OECD Ministerial Meeting

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson joined Business at OECD (BIAC) Chair and USCIB Vice Chair Rick Johnston (Citi Group) in London for the annual BIAC/TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee) and OECD consultation with the Chair government of the OECD Ministerial—this year being the UK government. The consultation, aimed at preparing for the 2023 OECD Ministerial meeting, was held at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (Whitehall).

Hanni Rosenbaum (Business at OECD) and Peter Robinson (USCIB)

The high-level BIAC and TUAC delegations, representing OECD’s key institutional stakeholders, met with the OECD Ministerial Council Bureau and leadership, including UK Minister of State for Indo-Pacific the Rt. Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan and OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann. This session provided a critical opportunity to provide targeted input to the Ministerial agenda, share business priorities and help guide expected key deliverables.

The annual OECD Ministerial will take place on June 7-8 in Paris under the theme “Securing a Resilient Future: Shared Values and Global Partnerships.” The Ministerial will convene Ministers of Economy, Foreign Affairs and Trade from OECD countries and beyond.

Robinson with ICC UK and ICC Germany Secretary Generals

While in London, Robinson met separately with ICC UK Secretary General Chris Southworth and staff, together with ICC Germany Secretary General Oliver Wieck, who was also in town. The three ICC National Committee heads discussed ICC activities and priorities, including the Digital Standards Initiative.

USCIB Joins Global Business Effort on EUCS Without Sovereignty Requirements

Washington DC, May 25, 2023—The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) has joined forces with businesses based in the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan to issue a statement urging swift and timely adoption of the “EU Cybersecurity Certification Scheme for Cloud Services (EUCS)” without sovereignty requirements. This effort was organized by AMCHAM EU.

Additionally, CCIA, a USCIB member, also issued a similar statement co-signed by the U.S. business community, including USCIB, and shared with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in advance of the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC) meeting taking place in Sweden this weekend.

USCIB recognizes its members’ acute concerns that the EUCS unfairly undermines U.S. competitiveness in Europe.

According to USCIB, such restrictive sovereignty restrictions do not add value to cybersecurity of cloud services in the EU. For well over a year, many European and international associations, industry actors and Member States have continued to publicly express their concerns with the lack of progress and the ongoing examination of restrictive sovereignty requirements in the EUCS. In addition, several Member States have proposed alternative options to end the stalemate, such as a European evaluation mechanism based on trustworthiness for non-EU cloud providers. Discussion on these proposals could offer a robust alternative that would meet the desired high level of cybersecurity requirements, while keeping the market open to all cloud providers.

The CCIA letter states that the business groups have called for removing discriminatory ownership requirements that would prevent American cloud service providers from bidding on public sector and critical infrastructure cloud contracts across Europe.

Other industry concerns about the EUCS include its limited transparency and lack of stakeholder engagement, conflicting views of Member States and legal confusion and uncertainty caused by the interplay with other EU legislation.

Click here to read the AMCHAM EU letter.

Click here to read the CCIA letter to U.S. Government.


USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development, and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at


Clark Moderates WITA Panel on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms

Top row, L-R: Alice Slayton Clark, Ken Ash, Mark Linscott
Second Row, L-R: Catrina Rorke, Ken Levinson, Ludivine Tamiotti

USCIB Vice President for International Investment and Trade Alice Slayton Clark moderated a Washington International Trade Association (WITA) webinar May 5 on Finding Synergies on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAM). The goal was to review the various international workstreams on carbon mitigation, discuss their synergies and explore how they can achieve climate solutions without disrupting trade.

The panel included experts with extensive knowledge in the field, including Ludivine Tamiotti, secretary to the Committee on Trade and Environment at the WTO, Mark Linscott, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, senior advisor at the Asia Group and former assistant USTR for WTO and Multilateral Affairs, Ken Ash, visiting fellow, Institute for International Trade, Adelaide and former Director of Trade and Agriculture at the OECD, and Catrina Rorke, executive director, Center for Climate and Trade and senior vice president for Policy and Research, Climate Leadership Council.

“With so many international organizations like the OECD, WTO and United Nations, and various government or government entities, such as the G7 and EU, exploring ways to reduce the global carbon footprint, we thought it would be helpful to industry and other stakeholders for this WITA panel to sort it all out,” said Clark in her opening remarks. “A priority for industry is cohesiveness of these efforts.  We are looking for consistency in carbon measurement methodologies and interoperability of carbon mitigation approaches in order to avoid duplicative efforts and potential trade disruptions.”

A collaboration between USCIB, WITA and the Silverado Policy Accelerator sponsors, the webinar drew an audience of nearly 200 participants from 15 countries including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, the UK, Spain, Turkey, China, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland and the U.S.

Click here to watch the webinar.

Wanner Reports on OECD Digital Economy Policy Meetings

The 91st Session of the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP), which convened May 10-11, featured substantively rich discussions on various topics of interest and concern to USCIB members, according to USCIB VP for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, who was on the ground in Paris covering the meetings as part of a Business at OECD delegation.

Topics included the launch of the Global Forum on Technology (GFT) under theme “Shaping Our Future at the Tech Frontier,” the AI Governance Working Party’s future work on generative AI, and the OECD’s potential role in taking forward the G7’s call for the Institutional Arrangement for Partnership (IAP) to operationalize the Data Free Flows with Trust (DFFT) concept, among other topics.

“A high point of the meeting was a presentation by Japan about the Ministerial Declaration of the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers issued on April 30,” said Wanner. “The Declaration calls for establishing the IAP to bring governments and stakeholders together to operationalize the DFFT through principles-based, solutions-oriented, evidence-based, multistakeholder and cross-sectoral cooperation.”

“The Declaration is an important foundation for operationalizing data free flow with trust and other bilateral/multilateral agreements to further trusted cloud environments, but there is more work to be done to unlock the full potential of digitization,” added Wanner.

Regarding the next GFT, Israel announced it will host the meeting on November 27 in Tel Aviv. The theme will be “Challenges Posed by Quantum Technologies and National Strategies for Emerging Technologies.” This will be followed by the 92nd OECD CDEP meeting, November 28-29, also in Tel Aviv.

According to Wanner, Business at OECD commended the work done to date in launching the GFT. BIAC also reiterated its interest in making meaningful contributions to the GFT, noting that more than 60 percent of investment in new technologies is from the private sector.

Other topics addressed at CDEP that are of interest to USCIB members included, Transparency Reporting on Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA), a draft outline for a report on “Human rights in the digital age: shaping a human-centric digital transformation,” financing broadband networks of the future, identifying common guideposts for identifying AI risks and developing a comprehensive roadmap on generative AI.

Business at OECD further noted the relevance of its May 9 workshop on “Privacy, Immersive Technologies, and the Metaverse,” which is part of a project dedicated to exploring the implications of immersive technologies on for the OECD Privacy Guidelines and urged that this work be fed into the GFT process. The USCIB Foundation has been supporting this project.

Finally, the CDEP Secretariat announced the appointment of Jerrard Sheehan as new director of the OECD Science, Technology, and Innovation Bureau (STI). Sheehan, who succeeds Andrew Wyckhoff, will begin July 10, 2023. He is currently Deputy Director for Policy and External Affairs at the National Library of Medicine at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and will bring more than 30 years of experience in policy development, scientific data, and information technology.

USCIB, OECD, BIAC Roundtable on AI Considers Path Forward to Make AI More Trustworthy

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to drive economic growth and commercial activity, as well as to improve lives. AI deployment and applications have swept across many sectors and have been embraced by a broad array of companies, beyond traditional “tech companies.” However, different frameworks and standards for AI have also emerged, aimed at ensuring that AI systems are “human-centric” and “trustworthy” and to safeguard against AI misuse that can undermine personal privacy and online security protections, support decision-making biases that exacerbate social inequality and cause disruptions in the labor market.

Against this backdrop, USCIB launched the Joseph H. Alhadeff Digital Economy Roundtable Series as a virtual event on April 26. The event was a joint initiative of USCIB, Business at OECD (BIAC) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and addressed the topic “Advancing Implementation of the OECD AI Principles Across Sectors.” Representatives from companies such as IKEA, LEGO and Walmart discussed non-traditional use cases of AI in delivering products and services and shared experiences about how their respective companies are assessing and addressing potential risks of AI.

“What we’re seeing is that AI can increase safety and quality of the associate and customer experience,” said Walmart Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel of Digital Citizenship Nuala O’Connor. “As long as we are fair, accountable, transparent, and we embed those values into the use of AI, we believe AI can be a trust enhancer. Digital trust is essential to our brand and our company in the future, and we continue to strive to be the world’s most trusted retailer.”

“If done right and consistent with principles, including the OECD AI Principles, the impact of AI can be positive,” added LEGO Global Lead on Digital Policy Adam Ingle. “But there are workforce challenges and other risks that we can’t walk blindly into. The nature of our conversation on this panel shows that everyone is aware of the risk and that we’ll find a solution that is a net benefit.”

During the panel on “Government and Standards Setting Perspectives,” experts from both the OECD and government agencies examined how ground-breaking AI Principles provide a foundational reference for companies across all industries so they might feel more confident that their AI deployment is trustworthy.

“The OECD previewed work aimed at promoting global consistency in frameworks and standards to ensure that AI systems deployed are trustworthy, human-centric, accountable and ethical,” said USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner.

Furthermore, representatives from the U.S. and UK, as well as technical organizations such as DG-Connect and IEEE, discussed how they will be working with the OECD to identify common guideposts to assess AI risk and its trustworthiness. They also reviewed their own frameworks, responded to business concerns and considered the prospects for greater global interoperability.

Participants also heard from AI pioneers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, GSMA, Microsoft and RELX on the way forward.

“Standards will be our short cut to interoperability,” said Marc Etienne Ouimette, global lead for AI policy at Amazon Web Services. “It’s likely that different jurisdictions will have different risk tolerances, or different understandings of what constitutes high risk AI. Notwithstanding this, standards (and audits and assessments against these) will be the method by which we will define what good development/deployment is (what the “good” is). When jurisdictions embrace international standards, they allow for differences in regulatory approaches while ensuring access to and alignment with global markets. This provides the right type of enabling environment for responsible AI, a key OECD recommendation.”

USCIB has released a report of the Roundtable. Please click here to access the summary report.

USCIB Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Committee Deliberates Specific Outcomes on Strategy, Policy Approaches

USCIB Director for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Ewa Staworzynska

The USCIB Committee on Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs (CRLA) met in Washington DC May 3-4 to discuss a wide range of issues faced by U.S. business in international fora. Committee chairs, David Barnes (IBM) and Tam Nguyen (Bechtel), opened the two-day meeting that included 35 member companies, U.S. government speakers, European partners and a guest speaker from AFL-CIO.

The meeting also served as an official introduction to the Committee’s two new vice chairs, Melissa Kopolow (Albright Stonebridge Group) and Ryan Larsen (Walmart), as well as the new USCIB Director for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Ewa Staworzynska.

Specific issues discussed by members over the course of the two-days included the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNE Guidelines), the UN Biding Treaty for Business and Human Rights, the upcoming June International Labor Organization (ILO) Conference negotiations related to just transition and apprenticeships and proposed EU legislation. Members shared their feedback on strategic priorities and discussed how to further advance U.S. business’ perspective in global policy.

The meeting was the first time the Committee met in person since before the pandemic and member companies expressed their appreciation to the CRLA leadership and highlighted the importance of meeting in person. The meeting also reinvigorated the committee’s work; as a member-based organization, listening to members is the main priority for USCIB staff. The next CRLA Committee meeting will take place in the fall.

At UN STI Forum, USCIB and IOE Deliver Side-Event on Innovation Solutions in Africa 

Top left to right: Norine Kennedy (USCIB), Edward Obiko (Microsave), Megan O’Neill (Microsoft) Bottom left to right: Dr. Cosma Zavazava (ITU), Inhee Chung (Samsung), Jehiel Oliver (CEO, Hello Tractor)

On the occasion of the UN Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa Day, USCIB co-organized with the International Organization of Employers (IOE) an official virtual side event, Catalytic Private Sector Innovation Solutions in Africa. The side event focused on technology and innovation partnerships as catalysts to advance the sustainable and resilient graduation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), most of which are located in Africa. The event preceded the eighth UN Science, Technology and Innovation Forum (STIF) in New York, a key meeting preparing for the UN SDG Summit in September. 

“Driving meaningful change in Africa will depend on sustained engagement by local business communities working with global business partners across all sectors,” said USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy. “This catalytic dynamic is key to deploying the science-based solutions that underpin SDGs and Our Common Agenda (OCA) implementation.” 

The event focused on ensuring that business is part of the conversation relating to the science-policy interface, to listen, to learn and engage with stakeholders towards collective bottom-up actions that are needed for the implementation and integration of solutions that have real impact on the ground. 

Dr. Cosmas Zavazava, director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), gave keynote remarks. Zavazava called for a new era of partnerships. ITU is partnering with businesses on the ground in Africa and globally through programs such as the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development, Partner2Connect Digital Coalition, and Giga Global—a joint global initiative by ITU and UNICEF that aims to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice.  

“Public private partnerships are essential to drive digital innovation, build human capacity and deliver much-needed infrastructure to connect the unconnected,” said Zavazava.  

Participants also heard from a panel of experts, which included Shea Gopaul, IOE special representative to the UN, Hasna Barkat Daoud (Employers Federation of Djibouti), Megan O’Neill from USCIB member Microsoft, Jehiel Oliver, CEO at Hello Tractor, Edward Obiko (Microsave) and Inhee Chung (Samsung).  

Over 40 participants tuned into the meeting from across the globe, ranging from countries such as Belgium, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.