ON OUR DESKS

  • Identifying key in-market issues affecting business operations in Europe, East Asia, and Latin America
  • Analyzing Summit of the Americas deliverables for economic and food security impacts
  • Coordinating advocacy to administration officials on foreign environmental regulations on plastics products

How can we help you? Email any IBC counsellor for assistance or consult our issues list to find the expert you’re looking for.


WIBC DISCUSSIONS

In case you missed it:


  • No Washington International Business Council Meeting the week of June 6

Up next: Register for upcoming WIBC discussions here

WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Christina for membership inquiries.


YOU NEED TO KNOW

Summit of the Americas

Hosting the Summit of the Americas for the first time since 1994, the United States announced a host of initiatives aimed at giving shape to an agenda for the region. Among them, the new Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP) – including only countries with whom the United States already has a trade agreement – will comprise five pillars: regional economic institutions; regional supply chains; quality of life issues like participation in the formal economy, education, and health; decarbonization and biodiversity; and sustainable and inclusive trade. 

Other initiatives announced on the margins of the Summit include: 

After high-profile threatened boycotts, only one invited country (St. Vincent) declined to send a representative; 23 of 32 invited heads of government attended. In a bilateral call, President Biden reaffirmed support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido whom the White House recognizes as Venezuela’s interim president, but Guaido was not invited to attend the Summit. President Biden also held a bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, reportedly offered by the United States as an incentive for Brazil to attend. 

Contact: Ethan Knecht

 

Solar imports; China tariffs

President Biden on June 6 authorized temporary duty-free import of solar cells and modules from Southeast Asia, noting that an “acute shortage of solar modules and module components has abruptly put at risk near-term solar capacity additions.” Accordingly, the Department of Commerce will issue regulations to temporarily permit for up to 24 months duty-free import of solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

Commerce’s investigation into whether imports from these countries circumvent duties intended to limit imports from China will continue, but the permitted imports will not be subject to new antidumping or countervailing duties during the period of the emergency. Import duties on Chinese and Taiwanese solar cells and modules remain in effect.

In other China tariff news, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on June 8 testified to the House Ways & Means Committee that the Biden administration is looking to “reconfigure” tariffs and that more information will be available in coming weeks.

Contact: Steve Ziehm

 

Russia/Ukraine

June 3 marked the 100th day of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and Russia has regained some momentum in Ukraine’s east as it seeks to secure control over the entire Donbas region and form a “land bridge” between Crimea and the Russian Federation. Additional U.S. and EU sanctions may be automatically triggered in Russian-captured territory and/or against Russian-backed governments in occupied territory. 

The war continues to exacerbate food price inflation and fuel fears of a global food crisis. The FAO Food Price Index was 22.8% higher in May 2022 than in May 2021. The U.S. government warned that Russia, in addition to damaging Ukraine’s agricultural production and blocking exports, is trying to sell stolen Ukrainian grain. UN-led negotiations to end Russia’s blockade of Black Sea grain shipments have stalled.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) continued its series of reports on Ukraine, with its second report issued on June 8 arguing that the war combined with the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change has generated “a global cost-of-living crisis unseen in at least a generation.” UNCTAD’s third report will analyze the effects of the conflict on international trade logistics.

Contact: Pat Sheehy, Scott Seaman

 

Quick takes

  • The United States will reportedly end COVID-19 testing requirements for inbound air travelers as of Sunday June 12, following intense advocacy from travel industry stakeholders. 
  • USTR is accepting public comments until July 8 on negotiating objectives for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. Deputy USTR Sarah Bianchi has said the initiative could bear fruit more quickly than the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
  • The U.S. trade deficit decreased to $87.1 billion in April 2022, and exports increased 3.5%.
  • Treasury announced that no major U.S. trading partner unfairly manipulated its exchange rate in 2021, but the United States is further analyzing Switzerland’s currency policies and has placed 12 other countries on a monitoring list.  
  • Canada launched its Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System intended to provide a market-based incentive for innovative projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio could attend the June 29-30 NATO summit in Madrid, irking both Russia and China but supporting U.S. efforts to deepen Seoul and Tokyo’s engagement in global security discussions. 

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS


Federal Register Notices

Legislation

House

  • H.R.7985 (Murphy, D-FL) To require the Secretary of the Treasury to submit a report on the inflationary impact of certain tariffs.
  • H.R.7987 (McMorris, R-WA) To require the Secretary of Defense to seek cooperation with allies and partners in the Middle East, and to implement an integrated air and missile defense capability to protect such countries from attacks from Iran.
  • H.R.7763 (Khanna, D-CA) To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to support and incentivize domestic activities to address fertilizer shortages and deficiencies, diversify fertilizer sources, and reduce dependency on foreign sources for fertilizer.

Senate

  • S.4364 (Scott, R-FL) A bill to prohibit contracting with persons that have business operations with the Russian government or the Russian energy sector.

Hearings

House

Senate


WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Annie Petsonke, Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs
  • Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics
  • Dorothy Swann McAuliffe, State Department Special Representative for Global Partnerships
  • Stephanie Lynne Hallett, NSC Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa Affairs

Nominations

  • Doug McKalip, USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator
  • Kenneth Merten, Ambassador to Bulgaria
  • Jessica Davis Ba, Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire
  • Robert Faucher, Ambassador to Suriname

Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.


UPCOMING EVENTS

  • ILO Governing Body and committees (Geneva), June 11
  • First round of French National Assembly elections, June 12
  • WTO Ministerial Conference 12 (MC12) (Geneva), June 12-15
  • African Union High Level Meeting on Financing, June 13-14
  • Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (Vienna), June 13-17
  • 2022 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Asian Conference (Vienna), June 15
  • EU Eurogroup Meeting (Brussels), June 16

Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.