ON OUR DESKS

  • Assessing impact of regulatory barriers in Brazil 
  • Analyzing impact of the Ukraine war on the risk of China attacking Taiwan
  • Follow-up on Summit of the Americas outcomes

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 13

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

WTO Ministerial

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) concluded on June 17, having achieved modest but more meaningful-than-expected outcomes. Members agreed to a “Geneva Package” that includes commitments not to impose customs duties on e-commerce transactions, to facilitate trade to combat food insecurity, limit fisheries subsidies, waive intellectual property (IP) protections for COVID-19 vaccines, and launch WTO reform discussions. 

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai praised the COVID-19 vaccine IP waiver, noting it met the “strong desire of our African partners to produce a meaningful outcome.” WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said MC12 outcomes “show the world that WTO members can come together, across geopolitical fault lines, to address problems of the global commons, and to reinforce and reinvigorate this institution.”

Contact: Steve Ziehm

 

Forced Labor

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released preliminary guidance in advance of the June 21 implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which institutes a “rebuttable presumption” that any goods sourced in whole or part from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are produced using forced labor and may not be imported into the United States. UFLPA will also establish a list of entities subject to the presumption (UFLPA Entity List). In order to overcome the presumption, the guidance indicates importers must trace all finished goods, inputs, and raw materials to ensure that they are free of forced labor. 

The interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force is expected to issue a full implementing strategy and guidance the same day UFLPA enters into force. Significant disruptions are expected as the law is implemented.

Contact: Pat Sheehy

 

Climate/Energy

Several developments this week highlighted government efforts to address concerns about energy and climate change. At a Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) meeting on June 17, President Biden announced a number of new or enhanced initiatives such as a Global Methane Energy Pathway, Green Shipping Challenge, and Global Fertilizer Challenge.

In Australia, new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government increased the country’s 2030 target for cutting carbon emissions from 26-28% to 43%. This major policy shift will help dampen criticism about Canberra’s comparatively weak climate commitments. 

In the EU, two European Parliament committees voted on June 14 to support a resolution blocking a European Commission plan to include gas and nuclear power in the EU Taxonomy – a labeling system for “sustainable” investments designed to direct capital towards those supporting climate change targets. The full European Parliament will vote on the resolution in early July.

Contact: Scott Seaman

 

Russia/Ukraine

The United States announced an additional $1 billion in military aid to fund the transfer of advanced weapons systems to Ukraine and $225 million in humanitarian aid to support internally displaced persons. Meeting June 14-16 in advance of the June 29 NATO Madrid Summit, NATO defense ministers and the Ukraine Defense Contact Group also pledged new defense aid to Ukraine. 

Speaking at a June 16 UN Security Council meeting, EU High Representative Josep Borrell urged that UN member states and the body itself avoid neutrality in the conflict, arguing that “in the face of aggression, no one can be neutral. Being neutral in this case means being on the side of the aggressor.” The European Union announced on June 17 that Ukraine will formally begin the process to become an EU member, following the EU Commission’s formal recognition of the country’s “candidate status.” While completing accession is unlikely in the short term, Ukraine’s candidacy holds great symbolic significance. 

Contact: Pat Sheehy

 

Quick takes

  • The State Department announced a new Minerals Security Partnership with nine countries plus the European Commission, seeking to ensure that the production, processing and recycling of critical minerals in partner countries adheres to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards.
  • Poland is reportedly willing to drop objections to implementing a 15% global minimum corporate tax, but Hungary appears poised to block EU consensus.
  • The U.S. Export-Import Bank released its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan identifying four goals: supporting American prosperity; fostering American competitiveness; creating a diverse, dynamic work environment; and promoting integrity and transparency. 
  • The White House released full text of the Summit of the Americas Agriculture Producers Declaration which commits signatories (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States) to “promote best practices to boost crop yields, agricultural production, and trade” and “calibrate sanctions… to avoid other restrictions, like export bans, to limit the impact on trade in agricultural commodities.”
  • OFAC sanctioned a network of Iranian petrochemical producers and front companies in China and the UAE that support the sale of Iranian petrochemicals on the global market on June 16.

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS

Federal Register Notices

Legislation

House

  • H.R.8088 (Peters, D-CA) To establish the United States-India Climate and Clean Energy Partnership to facilitate clean energy cooperation with India, to enhance cooperation with India on climate mitigation, resilience, and adaptation.
  • H.R.8057 (Jacobs, D-CA) To implement policies to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths globally.
  • H.R.8041 (Mast, R-FL) To prohibit the provision of social media services to individuals and entities on the Specially Designated Nationals List and certain officials and other individuals and entities of the People’s Republic of China.
  • H.R.8029 (Banks, R-IN) To require the placement of Taiwan in Country Group A:5 for purposes of the strategic trade authorization license exception under the Export Administration Regulations.
  • H.R.8024 (Tenney, R-NY) To prohibit the distribution of Federal funds to certain entities related to the People’s Republic of China for certain public works projects.
  • H.R.8001 (Buck, R-CO) To ensure the United States currency market does not support egregious human rights violations.
  • H.R.7998 (Banks, R-IN) To impose additional sanctions relating to human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Senate

  • S.4407 (Rubio, R-FL) A bill to amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to prohibit exports of crude and refined oil and certain petroleum products to the People’s Republic of China.
  • S.4391 (Cassidy, R-LA) A bill to establish rules for export certification of devices manufactured outside of the United States.
  • S.4368 (Bennet, D-CO) A bill to establish the Office of Global Competition Analysis, and for other purposes.
  • S.4366 (Ernst, R-IA) A bill to require the Secretary of Defense to seek to cooperate with allies and partners in the Middle East to identify an architecture and develop an acquisition approach for certain countries in the Middle East.

Hearings

House

Senate


WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Benjamin Rimland, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for AUKUS Policy
  • Desirée Cormier Smith, State Department Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice
  • Jaime Lizárraga and Mark Uyeda, SEC Commissioners
  • Dr. John Nkengasong, State Department Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy
  • Mayra Nohemi Flores (R-TX), Member of House of Representatives
  • Michelle Dover, Executive Director for the State Department International Security Advisory Board
  • Samantha Schifrin, Foreign Policy and Defense Advisor to Senator Booker (D-NJ)

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

 

  • Colombia second-round presidential elections, June 19
  • EU Foreign Affairs Council (Luxembourg), June 20
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Meeting (Virtual), June 20-24
  • World Bank Conference on Development Economics (Washington), June 20-24
  • UNCTAD Trade and Development Board (Geneva), June 20 – July 1
  • APEC, Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting (Thailand), June 21-23
  • USAID Save Our Seas Initiative Launch (Washington), June 22
  • European Council (Brussels), June 23-24
  • G7 Leaders Summit (Germany), June 26-28
  • NATO Summit (Madrid, Spain), June 29-30

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