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.

Sincerely,
Peter M. Robinson
President & CEO

USCIB Pleased With Many of the Outcomes of International Telecommunication Union Meetings

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary (PP-22) wrapped up on October 14 with several Resolutions, “Final Acts,” many of which are both supported by and important to business. These Resolutions determine the direction of the Union, its finances and its activities for the next four years. Some of the Resolutions that were of keen interest to USCIB members were centered around Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks, the role of multistakeholder engagement and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

Of major relevance to the U.S. business community was the election of new leadership posts – mostly notably the new ITU Secretary General Doreen Bogdan-Martin, who USCIB actively supported. The other elected positions included Deputy Secretary General and the new Directors of the Standardization, Development, and Radiocommunication Bureaus.

Resolution 101 on Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks ultimately recognized the importance of ITU cooperation with the Internet Society, the Internet Engineering Task Force, UNESCO and other UN entities to ensure appropriate coordination on IP network issues. USCIB did not support any modifications to previous text, believing that this Resolution was sufficiently broad and flexible to address a range of issues. According to USCIB VP for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, who attended the Plenipotentiary in Bucharest, U.S. negotiators were able to hold the line on more ambitious proposed changes to this resolution.

The ITU’s role with respect to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses was addressed in Resolution 102.

“USCIB supported greater emphasis on the importance of multistakeholder engagement, including opening the Council Working Group on International Internet Public Policy to Sector Members, and elevating the reference to organizations involved in the technical aspects of the Internet (e.g., ICANN, IETF, RIRs) into the body of the Resolution.”

The Union recognized the importance of the private sector role in expanding development of the Internet and the need for greater reciprocal collaboration and coordination between the ITU and the aforementioned organizations. Throughout the resolution, the Union also acknowledged the need for stakeholder input concerning the management of Internet resources. Ultimately, however, ITU members stopped short of opening the CWG-Internet to Sector Members.

According to Wanner, there is also a new resolution on AI technologies and telecommunications/information and communication technologies.

“USCIB has been wary of efforts to expand the ITU work program to include AI and other emerging technologies on grounds that, if not appropriately scoped, the policy outcomes could stifle innovation and not be technology-neutral,” said Wanner.

“Recognizing the keen interest of many ITU members in AI, however, we supported an approach that would examine how the application of AI to telecommunications/ICTs has the potential to make telecommunications/ICTs more efficient and to facilitate universal access to telecommunications/ ICT,” added Wanner. “We felt this was within the mandate and core competencies of the Union related to telecommunications/ICTs. We are especially grateful for the effective advocacy of the U.S. Government on this topic.”

USCIB Applauds Historic Election of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to ITU Secretary General

Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Source: US Mission to Geneva

New York, NY, September 29, 2022–The U.S. Council for International Business applauds the resounding victory today of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to serve as the new Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ITU member states made history by elevating Ms. Bogdan-Martin to lead the organization the next four years — the first-ever female to serve as ITU Secretary General. Ms. Bogdan-Martin garnered 139 votes; Rashid Ismailov, a former Russian telecom official, secured 25. The vote was taken by secret ballot at the 21st meeting of the ITU Plenipotentiary (PP-22), September 26-October 14, in Bucharest, Romania.

“After 150 years, we shattered the glass ceiling,” Secretary General Bogdan-Martin said after the results were announced. The full text of her acceptance speech is available at this link.

Barbara Wanner, USCIB’s Vice President of ICT Policy, who participated in the PP-22 as a member of the U.S. Government delegation, concurred that the election represented a truly historic development. “The sheer breadth of support for Ms. Bogdan-Martin reflected a recognition across the Union that she is the right person for the job as the information and communication technology (ICT) landscape continues to evolve,” Wanner said.

July 13, 2022 reception in NY during UN HLPF. Left to right: Barbara Wanner, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Peter Robinson

USCIB was one the earliest organizational supporters of Ms. Bogdan-Martin’s candidacy. “It was readily apparent to our members that she possesses both the substantive knowledge and leadership skills to place the ITU at the forefront of global efforts to drive meaningful connectivity for the unconnected, broaden and deepen partnerships to accelerate digital transformation, and support greater organizational accountability,” Wanner noted. Thanks to members’ generous support, USCIB boosted Ms. Bogdan-Martin’s candidacy by hosting a special reception on July 13 in New York to enable her to engage informally with many UN delegates and share her leadership vision for the ITU.

In addition to electing the Secretary General and other key leadership positions, the ITU Plenipotentiary, which is held every four years, enables the ITU’s 193 Member States to conclude key agreements on the ITU’s strategic and financial plans and determine the direction for ICT issues under its remit for the next four years.

Other highlights of the first week of the PP-22 included:

  • An announcement by the U.S Government that it plans to increase its assessed contribution rate to the ITU from 30 contributory units to 35 contributory units, which would represent an additional 1.59 million Swiss francs per year to support the work of the ITU; and
  • Establishment of numerous ad hoc committees and informal consultations to build consensus on proposed resolutions on cybersecurity, Internet-related issues, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and space policy issues of priority interest to USCIB members.

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.

Eric Loeb (Salesforce) Elected Chair of USCIB

Left to right: Eric Loeb, Peter M. Robinson

Eric Loeb of Salesforce was elected to serve as the Chair of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) for the 2022-24 term. Loeb, executive vice president of global government affairs and public policy at Salesforce, Inc. succeeds Harold “Terry” McGraw III, former chairman, president and CEO at McGraw Hill Companies, who served as USCIB chair since 2010.  In addition, USCIB board member Charles “Rick” Johnston, managing director, global government affairs at Citi and chair of Business at OECD (BIAC), was elected a vice chair, joining vice chair Michele Parmelee, Deloitte deputy CEO and chief people and purpose office and president of the International Organization of Employers (IOE).

“We are thrilled to announce the election of Eric Loeb as chair of USCIB. Eric has been a champion of USCIB for many years and has regularly demonstrated his commitment to business leadership in the multilateral arena,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “I would also like to express my personal gratitude to Terry McGraw for his outstanding and dedicated stewardship, which has spanned over a decade.”

Loeb has an extensive track record of leadership roles at USCIB, including as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to joining Salesforce to lead global government affairs and public policy, Loeb was senior vice president of international external affairs at AT&T and served as chair of the USCIB Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Committee. As ICT chair, Loeb oversaw the committee’s development and delivery of business views on information technology and Internet policy worldwide. He also co-chaired the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Task Force on Internet and Telecoms Infrastructure and Services.

“I am honored to be entrusted with this opportunity to support the mission of USCIB, an organization I have worked with and admired for over two decades,” said Loeb. “USCIB has impactful members across all U.S. industry sectors, a talented policy staff and a unique position as the U.S. business representative to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Business at OECD (BIAC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). Together, we will be inclusive, substantive and focused on strengthening cooperation for the most important issues for our global stakeholders.”

Through Loeb’s direction, Salesforce has also been an active supporter of The USCIB Foundation, including as a member of the Business Advisory Council of the USCIB Foundation’s, Business Partners to CONVINCE initiative, which is a global movement of employers of all sizes that seeks to build vaccine confidence and support uptake among employees.

USCIB Sets Out Priorities for Upcoming International Telecommunication Union Meeting

Ahead of this year’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meeting, scheduled for September 26-October 14 in Bucharest, Romania, USCIB issued priorities for the organization’s Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 (PP-22).

USCIB’s priorities target ITU Member States and Sector Members as they seek to reexamine the ITU’s general policies, adopt the four-year strategic and financial plans and elect the senior management team of the Union, including USCIB’s endorsed candidate Doreen Bogdan-Martin for ITU Secretary General.

According to USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, who will be in Bucharest for the deliberations, decisions, such as the election for the new ITU Secretary General, taken at PP-22 have the potential to significantly impact global business on both the technical and policy fronts. USCIB was one of the first business organizations to join the U.S. government in strongly endorsing the candidacy of Bogdan-Martin to become the new ITU Secretary General.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Source: US Mission to Geneva

“By virtue of her current leadership of the ITU Development Bureau, we believe that Ms. Bogdan-Martin possesses both substantive knowledge and leadership skills that would make her a superb ITU Secretary General,” said Wanner.

USCIB extensive list of priorities for the ITU also included a position on the ITU’s role with respect to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses. Aligning with the U.S. Government and others, USCIB opposes the ITU assuming a role in managing, coordinating, overseeing, or otherwise regulating the use of the Internet on grounds that this is beyond the ITU’s authority and expertise.

USCIB also provided comments on several newer issues, such as a proposal to strengthen the role of ITU with regard to transparency, confidence-building and measures in outer space activities and regulation of AI. Concerning the AI proposals, in particular, USCIB is wary of efforts to expand the ITU work program to include AI and other emerging technologies on the grounds that, if not properly scoped, the policy outcomes could stifle innovation and not be technology neutral.

Click here to read USCIB’s Priorities document for the ITU PP-22.

USCIB Welcomes New Digital Policy Assistant: Nan Schechter

Nan Schechter

Last month, USCIB welcomed a new Digital Policy Assistant, Nan Schechter. Schechter joins the USCIB policy team in Washington DC to work closely with USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner.

In addition to assisting with management of the USCIB ICT Policy Committee, Schechter will be working closely with Wanner as a Point Person for all Digital Inclusion issues.

“An avid supporter of women’s rights and issues, Nan will apply her passion and talents to promote bridging the gender digital divide–a topic that has only been gaining more significance in organizations like UNESCO, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU),” said Wanner.

From 2020 until 2021, Schechter worked as a Legislative Intern for multiple politicians, namely Maryland Delegate Ariana Kelly, Congressman Jamie Raskin, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. In these positions, Schechter gained a crucial skillset in administrative support, committee management, correspondence drafting, and research.

Schechter began her professional career in 2017 as an Administrative Aide for the City of Rockville Recreation and Parks Department. Concurrently, she served as the Vice President of Administrative Affairs for the Sigma Delta Tau, Alpha Theta Chapter for three years. During the summer of 2020, she worked as a Public Policy Intern for RAINN, providing research and policy drafting during her time with the organization.

Schechter graduated from the University of Maryland – College Park with a Master’s in Public Policy in May 2022.

She brings expertise in project management, drafting, research, and an enthusiasm for women’s issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

USCIB Joins Pledge to Enhance Cyber Resiliency and Counter Evolving Global Threats

In partnership with the Coalition to Reduce Cyber Risk (CR2), USCIB was among thirty-seven companies and organizations that pledged on June 8 to enhance cyber resiliency and counter evolving cross-border cyber threats, such as the growth of ransomware.

Signers to this groundbreaking pledge from eight countries have promised to encourage the development, evolution and implementation of risk-based approaches that rely on consensus-based standards and risk management best practices, support efforts of vendors and supply chain contributors to adopt risk-based cybersecurity approaches in order to help small businesses flourish while improving the resiliency of the cyber ecosystem, incorporate widely accepted international cybersecurity standards as a foundation of cybersecurity policies and controls wherever applicable and feasible, and periodically reassess cybersecurity policies and controls against revisions to cybersecurity standards and actively participate in industry-driven initiatives to improve those standards.

“CR2 is committed to driving a globally-aligned approach for managing cyber risk. Thirty-Seven organizations from eight countries have signed the Cyber Risk Management Pledge, demonstrating the breadth of usage of international standards such as ISO/IEC 27110 and 27103, as well as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and associated sector profiles.” said
Benjamin Flatgard, President of CR2 and Executive Director of Technology and Cybersecurity Policy and Partnerships at J.P. Morgan Chase.

He added: “Governments should embed widely used international standards at the core of their national cyber policies to facilitate a seamless approach to shared cyber risk.”

For more information on the CR2 and the pledge, or if your company or organization is interested in joining the pledge, please visit https://www.crx2.org/

USCIB Joins Global Trade and Industry in Statement to Urge WTO to Renew Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions

May 17, 2022, New York, NY — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined today nearly 100 other global trade and industry associations to urge WTO members to renew the Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June.

According to the statement, 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. All WTO members have a stake in the organization’s continued institutional credibility and resilience, as well as its relevance at a time of unprecedented digital transformation.

Continuation of the Moratorium is critical to the COVID-19 recovery. As detailed by the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, and many other organizations, the cross-border exchange of knowledge, technical know-how, and scientific and commercial information across transnational IT networks, as well as access to digital tools and global market opportunities have helped sustain economies, expand education, and raise global living standards.

Continuation of the Moratorium is also important to supply chain resilience for manufacturing and services industries in the COVID-19 era. Manufacturers – both large and small, and across a range of industrial sectors – rely on the constant flow of research, design, and process data and software to enable their production flows and supply chains for critical products.

The Moratorium is particularly beneficial to Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), whose ability to access and leverage digital tools has allowed them to stay in business amidst physical restrictions and lockdowns.

Failure to renew the Moratorium will jeopardize these benefits, as customs restrictions that interrupt cross-border access to knowledge and digital tools will harm MSMEs, the global supply chain, and COVID-19 recovery – increasing digital fragmentation. As UNCTAD has explained, such fragmentation “reduces market opportunities for domestic MSMEs to reach worldwide markets, [and] … reduces opportunities for digital innovation, including various missed opportunities for inclusive development that can be facilitated by engaging in data-sharing through strong international cooperation…. [M]ost small, developing economies will lose opportunities for raising their digital competitiveness.”

The rest of the statement can be found 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. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD (BIAC), USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.