USCIB Hosts US Focused Illicit-Trade in Counterfeits Dialogue at OECD Washington Center

Left to right: David Luna (USCIB & Business at OECD), Megan Giblin (USCIB), Piotr Stryszowski (OECD)

The USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee (AITC), in coordination with the Business at OECD (BIAC) Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group (AITEG) and the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT), hosted an informal U.S. focused dialogue entitled, “The challenges of illicit trade in counterfeits for e-commerce: Towards a global, voluntary standard for online marketplaces to counter illicit trade in counterfeits” on July 26 at the OECD Washington Center. According to USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin, the dialogue was robust and the meeting was extremely well attended with representatives joining from both OECD member governments, the European Commission, private sector and several U.S. federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPRCenter), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

According to Giblin, to address the risk of illicit trade in counterfeit goods in e-commerce, the OECD TF-CIT, in partnership with AITEG, has been carrying out a comprehensive, multi-phase project to provide additional structure, evidence, analysis and policy recommendations to inform policy-making communities about the continued challenge of counterfeits for e-commerce. Phase 1 of the project, undertaken and completed in 2021, involved a series of joint expert webinars organized between the TF-CIT and the BIAC AITEG that informed the development of a Final Report: E-Commerce Challenges in Illicit Trade in Fakes, Governance Frameworks and Best Practices. Among its conclusions, the report recommends that future work (phases) be focused on “the establishment of industry-led best practices, solutions, including the development of voluntary codes of conduct to enable online-marketplaces and other industry intermediaries and sectors to distinguish themselves with standards of excellence.” Phase 2 of the project is set to begin in Fall 2022, during which the TF-CIT will continue to collect and analyse existing industry best practices to inform the possible future development of a voluntary Code of Conduct for Online Marketplaces to Counter Illicit Trade in Counterfeits.

USCIB members were joined by key U.S. public and private sector stakeholders to discuss this project, take stock of existing U.S. anti-counterfeiting best practices, and identify possible next steps.  The TF-CIT Secretariat provided an update on the key findings from the first phase of the project and an overview of how current OECD initiatives serve as a model for this work, especially the recent development of a Certification framework and Code of Conduct for the Free Trade Zones (FTZs). Participants reviewed existing U.S. and EU best practices to counter illicit trade in counterfeits, identified knowledge gaps required to further research, tasks, milestones and deadlines associated with this project.

Building on the success from our Phase I joint E-Commerce project on the illicit trade, our members are keen to continue to actively participate in this important OECD initiative by sharing, voluntarily,  information and market data insights, best practices, and other industry perspectives to shed greater light on the booming trade of counterfeits across global supply chains and online marketplaces, and that leads towards more effective law enforcement and judicial action against criminals and fraudsters,” said David M. Luna, chair of both USCIB AITC and BIAC AITEG.

“USCIB was pleased to co-host this important informal discussion with BIAC, the OECD TF-CIT, and the OECD Washington Centre,” Luna added. “USCIB is committed to working with BIAC and OECD TF-CIT on critical PPPs, including FTZ implementation, Phase 2 E-Commerce, among others. We believe the FTZ model may serve as a general model for work in other areas, including E-Commerce and illicit trade in counterfeits.”

For more information about the USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee and/or the USCIB AIT Fund, please contact Megan Giblin at mgiblin@uscib.org.

USCIB Releases Statement Supporting World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

July 30, 2022, New York, NY — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joins the global community in recognizing World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, held annually on July 30. We are proud of the work our corporate members do to engage in the fight against trafficking, including initiatives to train employees to spot signs of human trafficking and conducting thorough human rights due diligence to mitigate instances of forced labor in supply chains.

We welcome this year’s theme, “Use and abuse of technology.” This theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. With the global expansion in the use of technology – intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of our everyday life to online platforms — the crime of human trafficking has conquered cyber space. The internet and other digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators; and hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness and anonymity.

The U.S. Department of State released the 2022 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which highlights the efforts, successes and deficiencies of 188 countries to combat and prevent human trafficking. The scale of the problem continues to be vast, as nearly twenty-five million people are currently victims of trafficking.  With an estimated thirty million victims worldwide at any given time, human traffickers prey on adults and children of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities, exploiting them for their own profit. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave remarks at the Report Launch Ceremony and highlighted the work of the twenty-one countries that were upgraded for their accomplishments. The Secretary also regretted the inaction, or even sponsorship, of eighteen nations that were downgraded. The report concludes that government corruption continues to be a top tool for traffickers.

USCIB commends the twenty U.S. agencies of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Traffickingin their efforts tackle this crisis.

USCIB and our members continue to take decisive action in the fight against human trafficking.  The private sector continues to design and implement innovative programs to root out this type of abuse in supply chains.  USCIB is a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Global Business Network on Forced Labour (GBNFL). Operating across all sectors and geographies, ILO GBNFL members and partners work to engage smaller enterprises, develop resources and tools and devise local solutions that help shape national frameworks to create lasting change.

USCIB and our members stand ready to work with civil society, academics, governments and others in the fight against human trafficking.  We are committed to ensuring victims and survivors are treated with dignity and respect, and given opportunities in their post-rescue journeys.

USCIB Welcomes New Co-Chairs of the Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs Committee

USCIB is pleased to announce our new Co-Chairs of the USCIB Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Committee, IBM Vice President of Global Workforce Policy David Barnes and Bechtel Corporation’s Global Head of Sustainability and General Manager for bechtel.org Tam Nguyen.

Barnes leads IBM’s global agenda in workforce public policy and is based in Washington DC. He oversees IBM’s advocacy on a range of issues including the future of work, labor and employment rules, skills and education, diversity and the use of AI in employment. He engages on these topics with government leaders and in multilateral fora such as the G7, the EU and at the OECD where he is Vice Chair of the Business at OECD Employment, Labor and Social Affairs Committee. Barnes has been in active participant in USCIB’s Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs committee, including serving as vice chair for the past 2 years.

Nguyen has twenty years of progressive, diversified experience in sustainability, corporate strategy and management, business development, and intrapreneurship. He’s the global head of sustainability for Bechtel Corporation, an international engineering and construction company, and general manager of bechtel.org, its social enterprise. He formulated Bechtel’s sustainability strategy, directed implementation and supports integration across the enterprise and its ESG process. He also prepared Bechtel’s net zero blueprint and led the implementation of its human rights program. Nguyen is a member of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation Advisory Council, vice-chair of the corporate responsibility committee and former chair of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) working group of the USCIB, and a board member of Chevron’s Niger Delta Partnership Initiative – a social enterprise he helped create.

“David and Tam bring extensive knowledge and expertise in many fields, including labor relations, sustainability, corporate responsibility and responsible business conduct,” said USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog. “We thank David and Tam for accepting these Co-Chair leadership roles, and we thank our outgoing Chair – Laura Rubbo of The Walt Disney Company – for her years of valued service.”

USCIB Announces Leadership Change in Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs Work

Laura Rubbo attends USCIB’s 2019 International Leadership Award Dinner
L-R: Peter Robinson (USCIB), Laura Rubbo (The Walt Disney Company), Guy Ryder (ILO), Terry McGraw (USCIB and formerly S&P Global)

USCIB has announced that after nearly eight years of outstanding leadership, Executive Director for Global Public Policy at The Walt Disney Company Laura Chapman Rubbo is stepping down from the chairmanship of USCIB’s Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs Committee (CR/LA).

One of the leading global practitioners in the fields of Corporate Responsibility, Labor, and Responsible Business Conduct, Rubbo has held the Committee’s Chairperson role for over seven years and served as its Vice Chair for two years as well. As an ambassador for the profession, Rubbo has constantly driven improvements and innovations in the social compliance programs of some of the world’s largest companies and across high impact industries.

“Laura’s insights and experience have served the Committee and our Members,” said USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog. “She has strengthened our engagement with key multilateral bodies like the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as important U.S. Government Agencies like the Departments of State and Labor, the United States Trade Representative and the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Geneva. Understanding first-hand the importance of stakeholder engagement and collaboration, Laura has also meaningfully advanced USCIB’s alliance building with its employer peers around the world via our unique global affiliations – the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and Business at OECD.”

“I remain so impressed by the sophistication and depth with which USCIB helps member companies engage in critical international policy discussions related to corporate responsibility and international labor affairs,” said Rubbo. “Their global network is unparalleled. I’ve also been so enriched by the collaboration with committee staff and members, who are some of the world’s leading experts on corporate responsibility. I will continue to be an ardent supporter and cheerleader of USCIB’s work in this arena.”

USCIB expresses its sincere appreciation to Laura Rubbo for her years of service. We also welcome David Barnes of IBM and Tam Nguyen of Bechtel as Co-Chairs of the USCIB Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs Committee.

USCIB Hosts Reception to Endorse Doreen Bogdan-Martin as New ITU Secretary General

At the July 13 in reception in NY during UN HLPF. Left to right: Barbara Wanner, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Peter Robinson

Ahead of the upcoming election this fall of the new Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Bucharest, Romania, USCIB has joined the U.S. government and many others in endorsing the nomination of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to become the new ITU Secretary General. As part of this endorsement, USCIB hosted a reception on July 13 in New York during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF), which was sponsored by Amazon, AT&T, BT, Lumen, Microsoft and Verizon.

“The outcome of this election will have important ramifications for telecommunications/ICT policies and regulations, which ultimately could affect countries’ ability to tap innovations that will boost economic and social prosperity, drive capacity building, and help to realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson.

Bogdan-Martin, who currently serves as Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, has shared her vision for the long-term success of the ITU, which includes: aiming high to achieve universal digital connectivity that is safe, inclusive and affordable; collaborating for impact to transform delivery; and excelling as an institution with integrity and accountability.

“By virtue of her leadership of the ITU Development Bureau, we believe that Ms. Bogdan-Martin possesses both substantive knowledge and leadership skills that would make her a superb ITU Secretary General and place the Union at the forefront of global efforts to meet connectivity needs and expand digital opportunities for the people of your country and around the world,” added USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner. “Importantly, she understands what business needs: effective policies and standards that attract investment and support innovation. And perhaps most important, Ms. Bogdan-Martin will ensure that the ITU continues to embrace multi-stakeholder input into the development of the ITU’s regulatory practices and technical standards, and that those practices and standards directly relate to the ITU’s core mission.”

USCIB Policy Experts Contribute to The Economist Impact’s Global Trade Week

The Economist Impact kickstarted its four-day, second annual Global Trade Week (GTW) in London on June 27. The summit commemorated the supply-chain resilience day on June 28, amid other thematic issues, and had a melee of high-profile speakers including European Commission Director-General for Trade Sabine Weyand, office of the United States Trade Representative Senior Advisor Beth Baltzan and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile Director General of Multilateral Economic Affairs Marcela Otero Fuentes. USCIB policy experts – Senior VP, Innovation, Regulation and Trade Brian Lowry, Director, Investment, Trade, and China Alice Slayton Clark and Senior VP, Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy moderated crucial panels during the week that focused on technology, data and supply-chain resilience.

The summit aimed to connect supply-chain, procurement, manufacturing and finance executives with high-level government representatives including ministers, policymakers and advisors. According to the organizers, the summit allows for the new reality of trade to be understood in its entirety, including geopolitical and climate-change risks.

Clark moderated the June 27 panel, “Changing tariffs and trade barriers – are you prepared?” under the theme geopolitical dynamics impacting supply chains and was chaired by Mayra Souza (TradeExperettes), Darya Galperina (Pernod Ricard), Fernanda Herrmann (Diageo) and Stewart Paterson (Hinrich Foundation).

On June 30, Lowry moderated the panel “How to eradicate forced labor in global supply chains” and participants included Romain Chambre (French Treasury), Gemma Brierley (Danone), Desirée LeClercq (Cornell University) and Evan Smith (Altana).

According to Lowry, key issues discussed was how countries, multilateral institutions and businesses can collaborate better to eradicate forced labor from global supply chains and the role of trade policy in facilitating and addressing these issues.

Kennedy moderated the panel “Delivering a greener, fairer global economy” with panelists: Aik Hoe Lim (World Trade Organization), Marion Jansen (OECD) and Elisabeth Tuerk (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe).

Key issues discussed included links between trade and the environment and how trade could offer solutions to enforcing international climate agreements.

USCIB Welcomes New Leadership to 2022-2024 Board of Trustees and Board of Directors  

Following recent membership elections, USCIB is pleased to welcome new members to the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors for the 2022-2024 term and to congratulate reelected members: 

New Trustees include Michael Froman, Mastercard Vice Chairman & President, Strategic Growth; and Timothy Ryan, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Senior Partner & Chair. J.P. Morgan Chase & Company Chairman & CEO Jamie Dimon and PepsiCo, Inc Chairman & CEO Ramon Laguarta were reelected.  

New Directors include Dorothy Attwood, The Walt Disney Company Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy;  Sahra English, Mastercard Vice President, Global Public Policy; Tam Robert Nguyen, Bechtel Corporation Global Head of Sustainability; and Chris Sharrock, Microsoft Corporation Vice President, UN Affairs and International Organizations. Salesforce Executive Vice President, Government Affairs Eric Loeb and PMI Global Services, Inc Vice President, External Affairs J.B. Simko were reelected. 

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson also expressed his appreciation to the Nominating Committee: USCIB Trustee Ester Baiget (Chair), president and CEO, Novozymes; Trustee Paul Knopp, U.S. chair and CEO, KPMG LLP; and USCIB Vice Chair and Trustee Michele Parmelee, deputy CEO and global chief people & purpose officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. 

USCIB Welcomes New Associate for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs – Jose Arroyo

Jose Arroyo

USCB welcomed a new policy and program colleague at the end of June – Jose Arroyo, who joins USCIB as a Policy & Program Associate to help cover Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs as well as Corporate Governance. Jose will be based in USCIB’s New York office.

Originally from Costa Rica, Arroyo started his career in 2011 as a policy and financial auditor of the National Comptroller of Costa Rica. He audited the use of public funds according to financial and legal regulations. Then, he applied to work for the Foreign Service of Costa Rica and was appointed as a diplomat in New York City in 2013. He worked at the Consulate in New York for five years implementing foreign policy, with a particular focus on sustainability and immigrant protection, in partnership with multiple agencies and local officials.

As a diplomat, Arroyo tracked policy and legislation developments and fostered cooperation between the Government of Costa Rica, U.S. officials, and multinational organizations.

After leaving the Consulate and settling in New York City, Arroyo became a consultant with UNEP, advising on economic growth under a decarbonization strategy.

He brings expertise and experience in communications, project management, and partnership building.

USCIB’s Annual OECD Tax Conference Focuses on Pillars One and Two

OECD’s Pascal Saint Amans

Following a landmark OECD/G20 statement and implementation plan announced on October 8, 2021, multinational companies are now facing a global minimum corporate tax on their operations with multilaterally agreed limitations on said tax. The implementation plan at national levels, known as Pillar Two, seeks to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy and was endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at their October 2021 meeting.

Such was the backdrop and main focus of USCIB’s 15th annual OECD International Tax Conference at the Four Seasons in Washington DC earlier this week (June 27-28), where more than 200 tax experts, OECD officials, multinational companies, as well as foreign and domestic government representatives gathered for the two-day event to discuss pressing global tax issues and developments, including Pillars One and Two.

“This conference took place at another critical point in the 2022 OECD timeline for designing Pillars One and Two for consensus in the Inclusive Framework and, eventually, implementation at the national level,” said USCIB Vice President and International Tax Counsel Rick Minor.

According to Itai Grinberg, deputy assistant secretary for multilateral tax office of tax policy at the U.S. Treasury, ““Pillar Two helps level the playing field. It will ensure that all U.S. and foreign headquartered MNCs face a common level of minimum taxation. And in doing so, this deal, as it has come to be, really answers the single most frequently heard international tax policy request made by the U.S. multinational business community for the entire course of the 21st century.”

“The stability of the international tax architecture is at stake here,” said Martin Kreienbaum, director general of international taxation at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance. “I think the international tax architecture is the predictability of tax burden for tax payers from a tax payer perspective. But it’s also the avoidance and absence of double and multiple taxation. I think that is the main objective, the main purpose, under which we have the discussions in the inclusive framework.”

Many questions still remain around Pillar One however, especially in terms of better multilateral coordination around multiple and double taxation and how to build trust with tax payers.

“Together with the agreement on October 8, we had a detailed implementation plan with an extremely ambitious political timeline,” reflected Pascal Saint Amans, Director of the OECD Center for Tax Policy and Administration. “Keep in mind that the overall debate and the deal was still concluded against the background of transatlantic tensions with the previous administration and the need to show that we are restoring better relationships among the countries at stake and cooling down on threats of multilateral measures or trade sanctions.”

Other panels during the conference focused on the tax implications of an increased global mobility of workers arising from the pandemic, tax and climate change, a global minimum tax, dispute prevention and resolution, and much more.

USCIB members from Deloitte, Google, Procter & Gamble and Ernst and Young, among others, joined as panelists to contribute their companies’ perspectives on these pressing taxation issues.

More information on the agenda, speakers, and topics of discussion can be found here.

USCIB is the national affiliate of Business at OECD (known as BIAC), the official multi-jurisdictional business advisor the to OECD.

Featured speakers included:

  • Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • John Peterson – Head of Unit, Aggressive Tax Planning, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
  • Achim Pross – Head of International Cooperation and Tax Administration Division, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Pascal Saint-Amans – Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
  • Rick Minor – Vice President & International Tax Counsel, USCIB
  • Itai Grinberg – Deputy Assistant Secretary (International Tax Affairs), U.S. Treasury
  • John Hughes – Director of Field Operations, Northeastern Compliance Practice Area (Mid-Atlantic) (LB&I), IRS
  • Rebecca Kysar – Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, U.S. Treasury
  • Michael Plowgian – Co-Chair, OECD Task Force on the Digital Economy and Counsellor, Office of Tax Policy, US Treasury
  • Isaac Wood – Attorney-Advisor, Office of Tax Policy, US Treasury
  • Martin Kreienbaum – Director General, International Taxation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany
  • Fabrizia Lapecorella – Director General of Finance of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance and Chair of OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs
  • Gaël Perraud – Co–Chair, OECD Task Force on the Digital Economy; Director of International Taxation and European Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Finance, France
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury, United Kingdom
  • Barbara Angus – Global Tax Policy Leader, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Mary Bennett – Senior Counsel, Baker & McKenzie
  • Ryan Bowen – Senior Manager, Washington National Tax Office, Deloitte
  • Nate Carden – Partner, Skadden
  • Liz Chien – Global Head of Tax and Chief Tax Counsel, Protocol Labs Inc.
  • Tracee Fultz – Global Transfer Pricing Leader, Ernst & Young LLP
  • John Harrington – Partner, Dentons US LLP
  • Hannah Hawkins – Principal, KPMG Washington National Tax, KPMG
  • Harris Horowitz – Managing Director, Global Head of Tax Policy & Innovation, BlackRock, Inc.
  • Tom Hutchinson – Vice President, Finance, Google
  • Mark Martin – Principal, Washington National Tax, KPMG
  • Tim McDonald – Chairperson, USCIB Tax Committee and Senior Vice President, Finance & Accounting, Global Taxes, The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Alan McLean – Chairperson, Business at OECD Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs and Executive Vice President, Tax and Controller, Shell International Limited
  • Will Morris – Deputy Global Tax Policy Leader, PwC
  • Loren Ponds – Member and Co-Lead of the Tax Policy Practice, Miller & Chevalier
  • Tom Roesser – GM, Tax Policy Counsel, Microsoft
  • Danielle Rolfes – Co-Partner in Charge, Washington National Tax-International Tax, KPMG
  • Sonja Schiller – Head of Global Tax Controversy, Netflix
  • Daniel Smith – Director, International Tax Planning & Policy, Google
  • Liz Stevens – Member, Caplin & Drysdale
  • Bret Weaver – Partner, KPMG
  • Louise Weingrod – Vice Chairperson, USCIB Tax Committee and Vice President, Global Taxation, Johnson & Johnson
  • Lisa Wolski – Head of Government Affairs and Senior Executive Counsel, General Electric

USCIB Participates in ICC Sweden’s Sustainability Committee Meeting in Stockholm

On the margins of the UN meeting, Stockholm+50, on June 3, ICC Sweden opened up their Sustainability Committee Meeting to the public and invited a group of speakers to discuss current environmental policy trends from a global perspective.

Representing USCIB, Agnes Vinblad, policy associate for sustainability, presented on key environmental policy developments of special importance to U.S. Business, including the recently agreed upon UNEA resolution on plastic pollution, and the preparations leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27). In delivering her remarks, Vinblad emphasized the importance of USCIB’s guiding principles of open markets, competitiveness and innovation, and sustainable development and corporate responsibility for and by U.S. companies. Vinblad further mentioned the newly formed UN High Level Experts Group (HLEG) on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments on Non-State Entities, and what this development could mean for businesses and their voluntary net-zero carbon emissions pledges.  

For the section on Global Outlook on Sustainability Developments & New Regulations, Vinblad was joined by Mats Pellback Scharp, head of sustainability at Ericsson and Gabriel Lundstrom, head of ESG Investments at SEB. 

Justin Perrettson, chair of the Global ICC Commission on Environment & Energy, and co-chair of the USCIB Environment Committee, opened the meeting with an overarching presentation on global developments pertaining to sustainability and environmental policy and the role and work of ICC in these areas. 

Head of Delegation to UNFCCC at the Swedish Ministry of Environment Mattias Frumerie also participated in the meeting, speaking on goals and expectations ahead of COP27.  

“After two years of pandemic disruption, in-person meetings like this one are critical and offers valuable opportunities for discussion and collaboration,” said Vinblad, reflecting on a successful meeting. “As the U.S. affiliate of ICC, USCIB especially appreciated this meeting with ICC Sweden’s Sustainability Committee and the great value of coming together to compare challenges and opportunities across the EU and the U.S. as they pertain to environmental policy and regulation.”