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.” 

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 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.

USCIB Brings Business Recommendations to the Annual UN Partnership Forum 

Norine Kennedy speaks at the UN Partnership Forum

The United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) hosted the annual Partnership Forum at UN headquarters in New York on January 31, bringing together stakeholders across government, the private sector and civil society. The theme for this year’s Forum, which is also the theme of the upcoming UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), was: accelerating the recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels. The Partnership Forum is the first of a series of UN meetings related to SDGs, which will culminate in the UN SDG Summit in September during the High-Level Opening. 

USCIB, as part of the Business and Industry (B&I) Major Group at the UN in NY, played a critical role in this year’s Partnership Forum. USCIB SVP for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy delivered a private sector intervention as Co-Chair of the B&I Major Group. Additionally, USCIB Board member Chris Sharrock, Microsoft’s VP for United Nations and International Organizations spoke on a panel during a “Spotlight Session” hosted by USCIB and the International Organization of Employers (IOE). 

Throughout the Forum, there was a consensus among governments that the private sector was a necessary participant in partnerships to accelerate progress on the SDGs and reach full implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. 

During her intervention, Kennedy emphasized three priority areas outlined by the President of the UN General Assembly (PGA)—sustainability, science and solidarity. Linking these three priority areas to greater opportunities for private-public partnerships, Kennedy also cited USCIB’s Moving the Needle initiative, which will gather private sector tools and approaches across the three priority areas set by the PGA and to advance proposals set out in “Our Common Agenda,” an agenda-setting report by UN Secretary General Guterres.  

The potential of the private sector to work with governments and the international community for sustainability, science and solidarity solutions is not yet fully tapped, and with how far we have fallen behind on the SDGs, we should not hesitate to crowd in all partners,” said Kennedy.  

“Looking ahead to the SDG Summit, and next year’s Summit for the Future, we are calling for greater inclusivity of business and stronger cooperation across private and public sectors at all levels,” she added.  

During the spotlight session hosted by IOE and USCIB on “unlocking investment and financing for SDG implementation: the role of private sector partnerships,” Sharrock talked about the importance of partnerships and robust private sector engagement to mobilize financing and investment for Least Developed Countries (LCDs) through blended finance.  

“Private sector engagement can make a large impact through sustainable and affordable financing for all sectors at LDCs—in connectivity, agriculture, energy, sustainable tourism as well as climate action. And this can all be done through scaled use of blended finance instruments,” said Sharrock. “The blended finance model creates an opportunity to increase the size and breadth of investment in LDCs by combining public funds with private investment and advisement to increase impact.”  

The UN is co-organizing the Private Sector Forum at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-5) in Doha, Qatar from March 5 to 9 with Microsoft; USCIB is a member of the Business Advisory Group assisting in planning the LDC5 Private Sector Forum. 


Landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework Agreed at UN Biodiversity Meetings

Left to right: Agnes Vinblad (USCIB), Danny Grajales (ICC), Daphne Yong-d’Hervé (ICC), Markus Wyss (DSM), Petra Laux (Syngenta), and representatives from the Japan Bioindustry Association

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) convened a Fifth Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Global Biodiversity Framework (OEWG-5) December 3-6, immediately followed by the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-15) December 7-19, 2022, in Montreal, Canada at Palais des Congrès de Montréal.  

Government delegations traveled to Montreal for the final negotiations of a new global strategic framework to prevent biodiversity loss, known as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, or “GBF.” The framework includes four goals and twenty-three targets for achievement by 2030 pertaining to international cooperative action by governments, business and other key actors to protect and steward biodiversity. For the first time, it includes specific targets pertaining to expectations of business and consumers. 

USCIB Policy Manager for Environment and Sustainable Development and Policy Lead for Biodiversity Agnes Vinblad was on the ground in Montreal for the full duration of OEWG-5 and COP-15. USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy joined Vinblad on the ground for the first week of the COP. 

USCIB has been strongly engaged in the UN CBD process throughout 2022. Kennedy and Vinblad both attended OEWG-3 in Geneva in March, and Vinblad traveled to Nairobi in June to participate in OEWG-4. It was during negotiations in Nairobi that Canada was formally announced as the host for COP15, with China retaining the Presidency. This was welcomed news after two years of pandemic delays, leaving the world temporarily without a global biodiversity strategy as the prior Aichi Targets expired in 2020, according to Vinblad. 

During COP15 negotiations, Vinblad followed developments related to USCIB’s priority targets determined by the USCIB Environment Committee and the USCIB Biodiversity Working Group: Target 7 (Pollution and Plastic Waste), Target 10 (Sustainable Use/Agriculture), Target 13 (Access and Benefit Sharing), Target 15 (Expectations of Business) and Target 17 (Biotechnology). COP15 saw an unprecedented business presence with close to thirty USCIB members in attendance, and a global ICC Delegation of over seventy members.  

USCIB collaborated closely with ICC colleagues who were in attendance. ICC Director for Global Policy Daphne Yong-d’Hervé, and Global Policy Manager for Intellectual Property and Innovation Danny Grajales, coordinated daily business briefings each morning.  

While negotiations were marked by disagreement, with many sessions running from late nights into early mornings, parties managed to overcome their differences to successfully adopt the long-awaited Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The framework represents an opportunity for all stakeholders, including business, to come together to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.  

Commenting on the newly agreed GBF, Vinblad said, “The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework serves as an opportunity for business to lead the charge on responsible use of ecosystem services with the ambition of restoring and reversing biodiversity loss on a global scale. Looking at Target 15, which pertains specifically to business responsibilities and reporting on nature risks and dependencies, USCIB welcomes the language contained in the finalized text as it allows for adequate flexibility down on national level, which is critical for business to be able to meaningfully take action.”  

As final thoughts, Vinblad added that, “USCIB is looking forward to staying involved in the UN CBD process as countries now will move toward the implementation stage for the GBF, where there will be a special focus on the agreed decision to establish a global benefit sharing mechanism. While the U.S. is not a party to the CBD, many of our members operate transnationally and USCIB will continue working together to support U.S. business to best enable their efforts to leverage innovation to champion the sustainable use of biodiversity.”  

USCIB Organizes Second ‘Moving the Needle’ Business Roundtable at COP15 in Montreal

Eric Loeb speaks at the USCIB MTN Roundtable in Montreal

On the margins of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada in December 2022, USCIB held a second Moving the Needle business roundtable. The roundtable focused on the second priority area set out by the President of the 77th Session of the General Assembly: Science. Titled Creating a Safe Space for Collaboration: Enhancing Business-Science-Policy Interface to Accelerate Implementation of the SDGs and OCA Priorities, the roundtable focused on how business innovation and R&D can inform and strengthen implementation of the SDGs to achieve OCA targets, working with and through the multilateral system by identifying opportunities to strengthen the science-policy-business interface with the ambition to accelerate implementation.

Presiding over the session, Chair of USCIB and Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at Salesforce Eric Loeb highlighted the importance of promoting meaningful engagement by the business community across all sectors and the key role this will play in meeting the 2030 commitments working through and with the UN. Furthermore, “USCIB is focused on enabling private sector innovation, R&D, scientific partnerships and investments for nature-based solutions,” added Loeb.

The roundtable included eminent speakers such as OECD Environment Directorate Director Jo Tyndall, Chair of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Ana María Hernández and Head of Sustainability Partnerships, Scouting & Ventures at Novozymes Justin Perrettson, who also co-chairs the USCIB Environment Committee.

The speakers emphasized that science is key to accelerating the pace and effectiveness of government and business actions to deliver on the SDGs and OCA targets. While systems thinking and institutional innovation will be central to mobilizing private sector know-how and concerted efforts from all actors necessary to achieve our shared objectives, it is  critical for business to be part of that conversation.

Left to right: Chris Southworth (ICC UK), Daphne Yong-d’Hervé (ICC), and Prof. Tim Hodges (McGill University)

The main panel sessions included high level business speakers Kate Gibson, llobal head of ESG at Diageo, Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation, Chris Southworth, secretary general, ICC UK, Timothy Hodges, professor of Practice in Strategic Approaches to Global Affairs at McGill University Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) and Daphne Yong-d’Hervé, director, global policy, International Chamber of Commerce. As part of the knowledge community, inclusive engagement of business is important to better understand perspectives, priorities and identify the most suitable solutions. While many companies have already been involved in the science-based initiative, more widespread adoption is needed to strengthen the data, tools, and policies to guide assessment and disclosure of genuine corporate progress. The dialogue between business, government and society needs to be grounded in trust, respect and guided by science.

USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy and USCIB Policy Manager for Environment and Sustainable Development Agnes Vinblad worked together to organize this second MTN roundtable with the support of Lea Felluss, project manager for MTN.

BACKGROUND: About the Moving the Needle (MTN) initiative

USCIB launched the Moving the Needle (MTN) initiative during the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2022. MTN focuses on three priorities identified by the President of the UN General Assembly: Solutions for Sustainability, Science, and Solidarity.

MTN explores how business expertise, action and resources in these three areas can be brought to the table via dialogue, partnerships, and resource mobilization, accelerating SDG implementation through Our Common Agenda (OCA), working with and through the multilateral system.

Learnings from the three roundtables will conclude with a Moving the Needle Roadmaps for Results report and provide the foundation for a white paper on Business and the UN 2.0. Further information about USCIB’s Moving the Needle can be found HERE.

USCIB Statement on Climate COP Outcomes and US Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About USCIB: USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development, and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC). More at

USCIB at UNGA77: Business Roundtable on Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution 

On the margins of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77), USCIB, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and American Chemistry Council (ACC) convened a High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution. This roundtable focused on the UN decision earlier this year to launch negotiations on a global treaty on plastics pollution, and how business could play an active and supportive role in the deliberations. 

The message from CEO’s and C-suite executives was clear: U.S. business to work with governments and the international community to develop an ambitious and effective plastics pollution agreement that will accelerate the transition to a circular economy, while reflecting a lifecycle approach. President and CEO of USCIB Peter Robinson declared, “The key to achieve a truly implementable and successful global plastics pollution agreement will be animating all business sectors, while developing partnerships and regionally relevant win-win solutions for communities around the globe.” 

High level speakers included Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Inger Andersen, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina as well as Permanent Representative to the UN for the International Organization of Employers (IOE) Shea Gopaul.  

The roundtable discussion explored key issues, such as how the private sector and government can act jointly to accelerate the shift to a more circular plastics economy and increase the availability of recycled plastic while promoting infrastructure critical to enable efficient recycling and waste management. Some of the key solutions to solve plastics pollution will be found through unlocking private sector financing and innovation, and providing capacity building for regulators, communities, and Small and Medium Enterprises. 

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 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.”