USCIB Celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity 2024

New York, NY, May 22, 2024 — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity (Biodiversity Day) 2024 and recognizes the critical role that US businesses play as implementation partners to support the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF), also referred to as The Biodiversity Plan.

The theme of this year’s Biodiversity Day 2024 is “Be Part of the Plan” and serves as a call to action for all segments of society to address the loss of biodiversity by working to adopt and implement The Biodiversity Plan. Everyone – including governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, local communities, and individuals – has a role to play.

USCIB members have taken a leadership role in this effort, leaning in on biodiversity considerations through the policy work of the Environment Committee and the Biodiversity Working Group, under the leadership of Agnes Vinblad, Director of Environment and Sustainable Development at USCIB. USCIB was actively involved in the process leading up to the adoption of the KMGBF at UN Biodiversity COP 15 in 2022 and will again lead a multisectoral US business delegation to UN Biodiversity COP16 in October 2024.

“Biodiversity Day 2024 highlights the critical need for private sector partnerships to fully leverage US business innovation and expertise as we move towards the implementation phase of the Global Biodiversity Framework,” said Vinblad. “The KMGBF marks a historical moment in multilateral biodiversity policy and USCIB and its members look forward to serving as a resource and champion in halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity around the world.”

Learn more about Biodiversity Day here.

Learn more about USCIB’s sustainability work here.

About USCIB

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) powers the success of US business across the globe. Our members include US-based companies and professional services firms from every sector of the economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of leading international business organizations including Business at OECD (BIAC), The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and The International Organization of Employers (IOE), USCIB advances the US business perspective to policymakers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate commerce, support sustainable development, and build trust in multilateral systems. USCIB is also the national guaranteeing and issuing association for ATA Carnets, a unified international customs document that allows for the temporary import and export of various types of goods into a foreign country without paying duties or taxes. Learn more at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Welcomes New and Reelected Trustees and Board of Directors for 2024-2026

New York, NY, May 20, 2024 — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) is pleased to welcome new members and congratulate reelected members of its Board of Trustees and Board of Directors for the 2024-2026 term. 

New Trustees include: 

  • Joaquin Duato, Johnson & Johnson Chairman & CEO 

New Board of Directors include: 

  • James Cascone, Deloitte Partner, Sustainability, Climate & Equity 
  • Michael Ferguson, AT&T Executive Vice President for Federal Legislative Relations 
  • Steven Hilton, Cargill Vice President & Head for Global Government Relations 
  • Carolina Perez Lopez, Johnson & Johnson Vice President for Global Tax Planning & Tax Counsel and USCIB Tax Committee Vice Chair 
  • Karen Rzeszutko, Roanoke Insurance Group, Inc. President 
  • Jay Thompson, Chevron Corporation Manager for International Government Affairs 

Reelected Trustees include: 

  • Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks Chairman & CEO 
  • Suzanne P. Clark, US Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer 
  • Borje Ekholm, Ericsson President & CEO 
  • Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber Chief Executive Officer 
  • Scott Miller, Sullivan & Cromwell Co-Chair 
  • Johnny Taylor, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) President & CEO 

Reelected Directors include: 

  • Emily Dickens, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Chief of Staff and Head of Public Affairs & Corporate Secretary 
  • Michael Goltzman, The Coca-Cola Company Senior Vice President for Global Policy & Sustainability  
  • Dan Konigsburg, KPMG Global Head for Public Affairs  
  • Peter Sherwin, Proskauer Rose LLP Partner and USCIB Arbitration Committee Chair  
  • Kurt Stuckwisch, Exxon Mobil Corporation Vice President for International Government Affairs 
  • Chad Withers, Caterpillar Inc. Chief Tax Officer and USCIB Tax Committee Vice Chair  

“I’m thrilled to welcome our new board members and trustee to USCIB and look forward to working together on critical issues affecting US businesses in the global marketplace,” said Whitney Baird, President and CEO of USCIB. “It’s more important than ever for businesses to play a constructive role in the decision-making process in multilateral, international forums. The wealth of expertise and strategic guidance represented by our Board and Trustees will ensure that USCIB remains a leader in shaping policy outcomes that promote economic growth and business success.” 

About USCIB 

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) powers the success of US business across the globe. Our members include US-based companies and professional services firms from every sector of the economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the US affiliate to leading international business organizations including Business at OECD (BIAC), The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), The International Labour Organisation (ILO), and The International Organization of Employers (IOE). USCIB advances the business perspective to policymakers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate commerce, support sustainable development, and build trust in multilateral systems. USCIB is also the national guaranteeing and issuing association for ATA Carnets, a unified international customs documents that allows for the temporary importation of various types of goods into a foreign country without paying duties or taxes. Learn more at www.uscib.org

Results of Section 301 Review Announced

The Biden Administration issued on Monday the results of its 4-year review of the Section 301 action taken against China intellectual property (IP) practices and will raise tariffs rather than provide tariff relief. Targeted for higher duties are $18 billion in green, technology, steel, and medical supply imports.

While USCIB remains wholly committed to US efforts to confront unfair Chinese trade practices, we remain concerned about the implications of ratcheting up a tariff war that has done more harm than good. Of significant disappointment, the review yielded no cuts in the current Section 301 tariffs, despite earlier hope of some duty relief to better target the 301 action and help tame costs.

According to White House and USTR press releases, tariff actions respond not only to unfair Chinese practices with respect to IP and forced technology practices but also to non-market economy policies that spur overcapacity and export surges. The report details the limited impact of the 301 actions on China’s IP violations, the impact of the tariff actions on the US economy and the proposed modifications.

To bolster US production, the report also recommends establishing a product exclusion process geared at machinery used in domestic manufacturing and advancing 19 exclusions linked with certain solar manufacturing equipment. We are grateful for an exclusion process but are concerned that the list continues to narrow. USTR will issue a Federal Register notice next week seeking public comments on this exclusion proposal and, presumably it will provide details on the tariff lines impacted by the action today. We will review the notice to see where there may be opportunity for USCIB to comment.

For more information, contact Alice Slayton Clark at asclark@uscib.org.

USCIB Congratulates Sean Patrick Maloney on His Confirmation as Next US Ambassador to OECD 

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc

Washington DC, March 20, 2024—The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) congratulates Former Representative of New York Sean Patrick Maloney on his confirmation as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Maloney was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12. 

As the U.S. representative to Business at OECD, the private sector voice in OECD policymaking, USCIB attests to the positive impact of the OECD across a range of issues that affect the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. These issues include investment, taxation, trade, energy and environment, health, competition, consumer policy, bribery and corporate governance. 

“USCIB is delighted to welcome Representative Maloney as the next OECD Ambassador,” said USCIB President and CEO Whitney Baird, who is a former Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the OECD. “The OECD is a critical forum for our members—it is uniquely open and receptive to the views and real-world experiences of the private sector. We look forward to working with Representative Maloney to support the OECD’s mission to promote global economic growth, which benefits American businesses, consumers, workers and taxpayers.” 

For decades, USCIB members have relied on the OECD as an institutional voice of evidence- and data-based policy guidance and assessment, influencing policies and practices in markets important to U.S. business competitiveness and to jobs generated for U.S. taxpayers. 

USCIB Members Elected to Leadership Roles at BIAC

USCIB is pleased to announce that several members have been accepted to leadership positions across Business at OECD’s (BIAC) Committees. The BIAC Executive Board officially voted on nominations on February 19 to accept the following USCIB members:

  • Mark Prince (Amazon) will be Vice Chair of the BIAC Consumer Policy Committee
  • Jesus Alvarado Rivera (AB-InBev) will be Vice Chair of the BIAC Competition Committee
  • Rick Ziegler (UL Solutions) will serve as Vice Chair of the BIAC Consumer Policy Committee

Additionally, BIAC also appointed Kate O’Sullivan, (Microsoft) and Krisztian Katona (Computer & Communications Industry Association) as special advisors to the BIAC Competition Committee.

“We’re thrilled that so many USCIB members have this opportunity to share their experience and expertise to help lead these important BIAC Committees,” said Norine Kennedy, USCIB senior vice president for policy and global strategy. “We have no doubt that they will provide great value in conveying business priorities to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).”

USCIB Welcomes New Staff in Communications, Legal Affairs, Finance & Administration  

USCIB welcomed several new staff members across the New York and Washington DC offices over the past two weeks. 

Most recently, USCIB welcomed Anna Hughes as Vice President of Communications. Hughes has over twenty years’ experience in communications, marketing and public relations having held various positions at Twitter, BSA | The Software Alliance, American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and Ogilvy. Hughes will be based in the Washington office. 

Earlier this week, USCIB also welcomed Jason File as USCIB’s new Director of Legal Affairs, based in New York. Along with his Arbitration Committee responsibilities, File will also serve as General Counsel for USCIB. Prior to joining USCIB, File was a senior associate in the Arbitration group at Cooley LLP, focusing on high-stakes arbitration, including investor-state arbitration, international commercial arbitration, mass arbitration claims and corporate executive disputes. File’s previous positions include serving as a war crimes prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and an international arbitration associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in London.  

Finally, Andrew Julia joined as the new Director of Finance & Administration. Andrew brings over 15 years of experience in financial management, accounting, and administration in the non-profit sector. He joins us from the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Inc. where he was the Director of Finance & Human Resources. Prior to this, Andrew worked at the American Federation of Musicians & Employer’s Pension Fund where he held various accounting and audit roles. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist. Julia will work out of USCIB’s New York office.           

 

USCIB Celebrates International Women’s Day and Joins UN in Calling for Continued Investment in Women 

New York, NY, March 8, 2024 — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) celebrates International Women’s Day. USCIB also welcomes the United Nations’ 2024 theme of “Invest in women: Accelerate progress” and believes that investment in women is a human rights imperative.  

USCIB and its members have long championed the critical role of gender equality, support for female change-makers and implementation of gender-responsive financing. USCIB is also proud to be led by Whitney Baird, the first female President and CEO in the organization’s 79-year history, as of September 2023. 

“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 gender equality barriers that continue to confront women and girls and to accelerate progress for women everywhere through adequate investment and effective policies,” said USCIB Director for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Ewa Staworzynska. 

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 www.uscib.org. 

The 13th WTO Ministerial Conference Falls Short But Delivers Some Wins for Industry

Renewal of e-commerce moratorium and intellectual property rights secured

New York, N.Y., March 04, 2024—The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomes outcomes from the WTO 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi on two key objectives for U.S. industry: a two-year extension of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions and a rejection of efforts to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics.

“If the moratorium had expired it would have been an historic setback, representing an unprecedented termination of a multilateral agreement that has allowed the digital economy to take root and grow over the past 25 years,” said President and CEO Whitney Baird who represented USCIB at the ministerial last week. “USCIB is similarly pleased that the WTO failed to extend a TRIPS waiver to diagnostics and therapeutics, a move that would have undermined innovative industries, global health security and international rule of law.”

Another positive outcome, according to Baird, 72 nations officially adopted the Joint Statement Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation, simplifying rules for over 90 percent of the world’s trade in services. USCIB joined the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for which it serves as the U.S. national committee, in welcoming the move. The agreement text had been concluded in December 2021. USCIB also hails progress at the WTO mapping out linkages and exploring best practices in consultation with industry on trade related aspects of circularity, climate, plastics and other policies aimed at advancing sustainability goals.

The outcomes in Abu Dhabi were mixed, however. USCIB is disappointed that MC13 failed to deliver agreements on agriculture, dispute settlement and fisheries, adding uncertainty to a multilateral trading system already under intense strain. “USCIB looks forward to working with the WTO to deliver outcomes in these sectors favorable to U.S. industry,” said Baird. “As the cornerstone for open, fair and reliable global trade, the WTO is too important to industry to fail.”

USCIB was on the ground in Abu Dhabi with a strong showing of member companies and the ICC, promoting robust digital and innovation safeguards, U.S. leadership on disciplines for sustainable trade, and enhanced roles for plurilateral negotiations and stakeholder engagement at the WTO.

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 the economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million workers worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate to several leading international business organizations, including the ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade and development. More at  www.uscib.org.

USCIB Issues 2024 Priorities and Recommendations for APEC

USCIB has issued this year’s priorities and recommendations that USCIB and its members would like to see advanced in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). This annual priorities document reflects critical issue areas across USCIB’s primary workstreams related to APEC. USCIB has always been a longstanding and steadfast contributor to APEC workstreams and stands ready to provide business inputs to advance APEC goals and objectives for 2024 and beyond.   

APEC also reflects USCIB’s longstanding and guiding objectives of promoting open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence.  

“USCIB values the committed partnerships that APEC has established with the private sector to address the many economic opportunities available to foster greater integration between APEC’s member economies,” said USCIB Senior Vice President for Trade, Investment and Digital Policy Alice Slayton Clark. 

“We laud the excellent work accomplished during the 2023 U.S. APEC host year and look forward to an equally productive 2024, exploring new topics for outcomes and deliverables as Peru takes the helm,” added Clark.  

USCIB Supports First-Ever Multilateral Agreement on “Living Wage”

New York, NY, February 27, 2024–This weekend, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN entity responsible for setting international labor standards, reached the first-in-history multilateral agreement on the concept of a “living wage.” The alignment on the concept, negotiated between workers, employers and governments, was part of the outcome of a week-long expert meeting on wage policies, including living wages.

In recent years, there has been a rise in political pressures on ensuring wage levels that can ensure a decent standard of living and an increase in living wage initiatives and consulting firms, claiming to help companies set correct wage levels. Yet, as reported by the ILO, such initiatives have largely been ignoring the second pillar of wage-setting, namely economic factors. The expert meeting provided clarity on this and underscored that a wage-setting process must take into account both the needs of workers and economic factors.

“We are proud to have reached multilateral alignment on the concept of a ‘living wage,’” said Ewa Staworzynska, director of corporate responsibility and labor affairs at USCIB, who represented American business during the expert meeting, together with Ryan Larsen, group director, international labor relations at Walmart. “In order to set sustainable wages and not disrupt employment levels, it is critical that wage-setting processes couple the estimates of needs of workers with economic factors, such as macroeconomic stability and productivity levels.”

The full conclusions, including the ILO’s description of the concept, is expected to be published in the coming days.

About USCIB
The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) advances the global interests of American business. We do so through advocacy for an open system of world trade, finance, and investment, where business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare, and environmental protection. We are the sole U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Business at OECD (BIAC) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE). USCIB is also the only U.S. business organization with standing at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and is recognized at the UN Environment Program (UNEP), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD).