Wanner Reports ICANN Progress Toward Launching New Domain Names 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


USCIB 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At 2022 IGF, USCIB Emphasizes Inclusive, Multistakeholder Approaches to Internet Governance

2022 Internet Governance Forum

The 2022 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) informally kicked off on November 28 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, drawing a robust “post-COVID” attendance of stakeholders from around the globe. Notably, many of the participants hailed from African and Middle Eastern countries.

The Forum’s overarching theme was Resilient Internet for a Shared and Sustainable Common Future and revolved around five key issues: connectivity, avoiding Internet fragmentation, data governance and privacy, Internet safety, security and accountability and, finally, addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by advanced technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI).

While the IGF was formally opened on November 29, the informal sessions the day prior (“Day Zero”) set the stage for workshops and main sessions for the full duration of the IGF, which ran from November 29 to December 2. The formal launch of the IGF featured remarks by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and ITU Secretary General-Elect Doreen Bogdan-Martin. They all highlighted the IGF’s welcome return to the African continent and the Forum’s critical role as a convenor for inclusive, multistakeholder discussions aimed at sharing policy solutions, best practices and experiences. The speakers noted that these types of inclusive discussions would leverage the power of the Internet and digital technologies to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), economic growth and a wide array of societal benefits.

By the week’s end, USCIB members, led by USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, made substantive contributions in high-level sessions and workshops, several of which were organized by USCIB and ICC-BASIS, that addressed virtually all these year’s IGF themes.

According to Wanner, USCIB members’ messages amplified USCIB advocacy priorities in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the UN Global Digital Compact and the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy.

Day Zero featured two High Level Sessions: one focused on Universal, Affordable & Meaningful Connectivity and Digital Rights, and another focused on the Global Digital Compact Action areas of applying Human Rights online and protection of data. According to Wanner, the first session featured representatives from virtually all stakeholder groups, who agreed that participation of all stakeholders in Internet-related policy discussions remained critical as the digital ecosystem evolves to safeguard against unintended consequences from under-informed policy and/or regulatory decisions.

The first official day of the IGF featured a workshop co-organized by USCIB, Business at OECD (BIAC), and the OECD, titled Realizing Trustworthy AI through Stakeholder Collaboration. The workshop applied the OECD’s groundbreaking AI Principles as a foundation for considering both technical and operational realities for stakeholders when implementing tools and processes to ensure a human-centric and trustworthy use of AI. While AI is an innovative and evolving technology, it has the potential to revolutionize how we live, work, learn, discover and communicate. However, potential misuse of AI risks undermining personal privacy and online security protections, supporting decision-making biases that exacerbate social inequality and, thereby, causing disruptions in the labor market, among other possible pitfalls.

“Adopted in 2019, the OECD’s framework involves five values-based principles and five recommendations for government policymakers. These principles and recommendations were designed to shape a stable policy environment at the international level to promote a human-centric approach to trustworthy AI and prevent the algorithms from running away from us or out of human oversight,” said Wanner.

“The workshop was timely and the scheduling of it on Day One of the IGF was significant. The workshop distinguished the OECD AI Principles from other approaches aimed at realizing trustworthy deployment of AI, such as the UNESCO AI Ethics recommendations and the Council of Europe’s initiative to develop a binding Convention on AI.”

Distinct focus was placed on the ongoing government efforts in building trustworthy AI in the developing countries and the global South. The challenges posed by the newly evolving generative AI technology were also explored. Speakers from OECD, Meta, the Government of Chile and others offered interesting takeaways, according to Wanner.

One takeaway emphasized that as more and more countries are planning to introduce regulation over AI, all relevant stakeholders should seize the window of opportunity for collaboration to define concepts, identify commonalities and gather evidence to improve the effective implementation and enforcement of future regulations before their launch. Another takeaway included ensuring that all actors, from both technical and non-technical communities, work together transparently to develop general principles that can be applied in various contexts. This would foster trust for the AI systems of today and tomorrow. Finally, capacity-building and upskilling of the workforce remains critical.

USCIB Welcomes Adoption of OECD Principles on Government Access to Personal Data Held by Private Entities

Gran Canaria, Spain, December 14, 2022—Ministers of OECD countries responsible for digital economy policy today adopted a ground-breaking Declaration on Government Access to Personal Data Held by Private Entities. This action culminated two years of multilateral and multistakeholder discussions in the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy, which for the first time brought together privacy, national security and law enforcement officials.

The Declaration articulates principles that are common to OECD members with strong democratic traditions of respect for human rights and the rule of law. It offers clarity and transparency around these shared values, which, in turn, increases trust among governments. For businesses and internet users, the Declaration creates greater confidence in the sufficiency of protections that are guaranteed when individuals’ data is being transferred to a third country or accessed by a third country’s government.

This Declaration comes at a time when growing mistrust in data and data flows feeds uncertainty that has discouraged participation of individuals, businesses, and even governments in the global digital economy and undermined economic recovery efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic and global supply chain disruptions. As the G7 Trade Ministers Digital Trade Principles expressed last year, achieving this consensus among OECD member countries will now help provide greater transparency and legal certainty to cross-border data flows, and will support the transfer of data between jurisdictions by commercial entities and result in positive economic and social impacts.

USCIB members, working under the aegis of Business at OECD (BIAC) and in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), actively contributed evidence and recommendations to inform the TGA process, outlining principles and safeguards for government access to personal data that respect individual rights, promote shared democratic values, and are based on common practices.

“The TGA Principles establish a solid foundation for building trust in the digital ecosystem, similar to the OECD Privacy Guidelines,” said USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, who was on the ground in Gran Canaria. “Excitement about the TGA Principles and the sense of achievement in the Ministerial plenary were palpable. By creating more confidence in data flows, the Principles ultimately will support USCIB members’ global commercial activities not to mention produce societal benefits for all,” she added.

See this link for further information about the OECD Digital Ministerial.

Business Contributions to the OECD CDEP process:

Joint Business Statement on the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy’s work to develop an instrument setting out high-level principles or policy guidance for trusted government access to personal data held by the private sector

ICC White Paper on Trusted Government Access to Personal Data Held by the Private SectorCenter for International Economic Collaboration

CFIEC Report on Forming Rules for Government Access: Toward Optimizing the International Flow of Personal and Non-Personal Data

Barbara Wanner
VP, ICT Policy

Kira Yevtukhova
Deputy Director, Communications and Marketing

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 www.uscib.org.

USCIB Policy Experts Provided Extensive Input Into the B20

This year’s B20 Summit, held November 13-14, embraced the theme of ‘Advancing Innovative, Inclusive and Collaborative Growth’ in support of the G20 theme of ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’. The B20 Summit brought together world business leaders representing leading multinational corporations. In the lead up to the B20 Summit, USCIB policy experts worked closely with USCIB members through various B20 Task Forces, such as those focused on digitalization, trade and investment, integrity and compliance as well as illicit trade and illicit finance. 

USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner participated on the B20 Indonesia Digitalization Task Force on behalf of USCIB members. Wanner provided inputs to the Digitalization Task Force report aimed at ensuring that the substance aligned with USCIB contributions to the OECD digital work and the UN Global Digital Compact. According to Wanner, the focus of USCIB substantive inputs – which largely were taken on board by B20 Indonesia – were aimed at carrying through the themes of “data free flows with trust,” opposition to data localization requirements, risk-based and interoperable approaches to digital security, and the importance of multistakeholder participation in global digital consultations.  

USCIB Director, Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark served on the B20 Trade and Iinvestment Task Force and provided recommendations on behalf of USCIB members in four key areas: promote open, fair and inclusive post-pandemic global trade and investment policies; facilitate innovation and digitalization that supports international development and avoids future crises; encourage inclusivity in global supply chains; and ensure trade and investment drive greener and more sustainable development. USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin also played a key role in advancing inputs and securing inclusion of customs and trade facilitation language to reflect member and Committee priorities.  

Meanwhile, USCIB Senior VP, Innovation, Regulation, and Trade Brian Lowry participated as a Member of the B20 Indonesia Integrity & Compliance Task Force alongside USCIB Policy Manager for Environment and Sustainable Development Agnes Vinblad, supporting as a deputy member of the task force. Giblin also served a critical role in coordinating efforts to gather USCIB member inputs, reflecting member and Committee priorities, on the inclusion of language specifically pertaining to illicit trade and illicit finance.  

Working with David M. Luna, chair of the USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee, USCIB submitted comments pertaining to Policy Recommendation 3 to foster agility in counteract measures to combat money laundering/terrorist financing risk and Policy Action 3.1 to refocus on money laundering/terrorist financing risk factors identification. USCIB’s submission on language recognizing the “link between the sustainability agenda, illicit trade/illicit finance, and financial crime” was adopted by the task force and is included in the final policy paper. Additionally, commentary submitted by USCIB to include language on environmental crime and trade-based money laundering is also reflected in the final policy paper. 

USCIB Joins Transatlantic Business Coalition to Call on EU Policymakers to Finalize Agreement to Secure Transatlantic Data Flows

New York, N.Y., November 16, 2022 — Yesterday, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), as part of a broad transatlantic coalition of 41 associations, called on EU policymakers to make a swift conclusion to the EU adequacy decision process so that businesses can confidently rely on the new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework. The transatlantic coalition of associations represent companies of all sizes from various sectors of the business community. In a statement delivered to EU and U.S. officials, the associations offered an analysis of recent U.S. Executive Order and accompanying U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing the U.S.’s commitments under the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework to help inform and support EU’s work towards making the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework operational through the EU adequacy decision process.

“We urge all stakeholders to consider deliberately but fairly the substance of these new U.S. legal requirements, which establish unprecedented restrictions on U.S. surveillance activities as well as a meaningful redress mechanism for EU citizens,” the associations wrote. “We are heartened that these new safeguards serve to strengthen all existing transfer mechanisms available to companies, including standard contractual clauses, and should be relevant considerations in the context of EU supervisory authority investigations. Furthermore, we recognize that this is not only a matter of facilitating economic stability and growth. The efforts to reach agreement on a new framework embody a statement of common purpose from the EU and U.S., and a willingness to work together to find new ways to uphold the joint values we share as democratic societies. These developments also send a strong message on the importance of privacy globally, and in establishing robust and secure frameworks for cross-border data transfers.”

Recipients of the statement included European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager; Commissioner Didier Reynders; Commissioner Vera Jourova; Members of European parliament’s LIBE Committee, the European Data Protection Board, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and individual Data Protect Authorities; officials from EU Member States; and U.S. Administration officials, including those at the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice.

The statement was signed by ACT | The App Association, Alliance Française des Industries du Numérique (AFNUM), Alliance for Automotive Innovation, Allied for Startups, AmCham EU, AmCham Ireland, American Council of Life Insurers, Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Bitkom, Business Roundtable, Coalition of Services Industries (CSI), Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPCR), Consumer Technology Association® (CTA), Danish Entrepreneurs, Dansk Erhverv / The Danish Chamber of Commerce, Developers Alliance, Digital Future for Europe, Digital Poland ZIPSEE, Ecommerce Europe, Engine, Entertainment Software Association, European Games Developer Federation (EGDF), European Publishers Council, FEDMA, IAB, INFOBALT, ITI – Information Technology Industry Council, Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), Internet Infrastructure Coalition, National Retail Federation, NLdigital, Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), Swedish Enterprise (SN), TechNet, techUK, Trans-Atlantic Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Council of International Business (USCIB).

Read the full statement here.  

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. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Outlines Priorities for UN Climate Meetings (COP27) in Letter to US Government

USCIB policy experts are now at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. In advance of COP27, USCIB sent a letter on behalf of USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, setting out USCIB members priorities for COP27. The letter can be downloaded here, or viewed directly below.

Dear Special Presidential Envoy Kerry:

Addressing the multiple challenges of climate change in all their complexity, alongside advancing food and energy security, are interconnected imperatives. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomes the Administration’s leadership as it has engaged with the international community for ambition and progress on these linked issues en route to the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh next week.

As Administration officials have emphasized, COP27 is a chance to focus on “Implementation Plus”– win-win opportunities to incent investment and create jobs for shared climate -friendly prosperity, not just from governments but across society. Implementation Plus approaches should catalyze innovation and trade to deploy U.S. private sector technology and partnerships on mitigation and adaptation. Implementation Plus oriented COP outcomes should encourage synergies between climate and nature protection agendas and actions. And those outcomes should recognize and mainstream supporting frameworks for voluntary pledges from business and other non-state actors.

In particular, USCIB members look for progress at COP27 in the following areas:

  • Just transition for workers, society, and employers: Further discussions of just transition should reflect the fundamental role of social dialogue, and recognize the impacts and opportunities for workers, societies, and employers. In this regard, representative employers’ federations are essential to sound climate change and just transition policy and its implementation.
  • Integrated Approach to Adaptation and Resilience: Incentives for private sector investment are needed to direct funds not only to infrastructure, but also to other key societal sectors for adaptation and resilience, such as agriculture and food production, supply chain, and access to the internet.
  • Enhanced Substantive Engagement of Business and other Stakeholders: The involvement of business in all its diversity is more important than ever to deliver on Paris, Glasgow, and Sharm El-Sheikh commitments. The Administration has consistently supported the inclusion of all stakeholders in the UNFCCC and this is more crucial than ever at COP27. We urge you to continue to speak out strongly for enhanced and meaningful inclusion of business with all stakeholders, and oppose any measures that would discriminate against or exclude any constituency.

In Glasgow, despite unprecedented business commitments to reduce GHGs and mobilize financial and technical resources, COP26 decisions did not mention the private sector apart from a reference to finance. For USCIB, this sent the wrong signal, and contradicts a record of real achievement and commitment by the private sector to do more.

The Administration has encouraged business from every sector to step up on climate change and join diverse U.S. climate initiatives for ambition, green energy, green purchasing, and more. USCIB member companies have responded positively, and many have additionally launched their own actions to keep 1.5 alive, commit to net-zero and meaningfully contribute across numerous other climate-relevant areas.

We ask therefore for your support to include acknowledgement in COP27 outcomes of the distinct role of business, recommending increased dialogue and partnership with the private sector, and consulting with business and employers to hear views and recommendations on policy options under the UNFCCC.

USCIB members will bring their commitment and solutions to tackle climate change to Sharm El Sheikh, and USCIB looks forward to supporting the U.S. delegation at these meetings. We will be joining forces with our global sister organizations, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) to achieve outcomes for broad deployment of lower carbon options across all forms of energy, to strengthen market-based approaches to tackle mitigation and adaptation, and to take international cooperation to a next level of ambition and impact.

Peter M. Robinson
President & CEO